Our History

1982 was a big year.

 

Olivia Newton-John broke the charts with her single “Physical.” Audre Lorde delivered one of her most famous speeches, “Learning From The 60s.” The first artificial human heart was developed by Dr. William Devries. And in West Michigan, A Speech-Language Pathologist had an idea that would lead to the birth of Comprehensive Therapy Center.

Therapy & Fun: Our First Program

 

  • Comprehensive Therapy Center began as a supplemental speech and language program for children in 1980. While working as a speech pathologist in public schools, founder Jean Silbar noticed that every fall, children with developmental differences were re-learning skills that they had achieved in the spring but lost over the summer.
  • She implemented a summer therapy program that addressed speech-language therapy. Soon, occupational and sensory therapies were added as well. This summer program developed into our flagship service, Therapy & Fun.
  • Comprehensive Therapy Center incorporated in 1982 and gained 501(c) 3 nonprofit status in 1987. In 2006, the agency received CARF accreditation for clinical excellence, which is still maintained.
  • Therapy & Fun has since won many awards for its innovative approach to serving West Michigan children with developmental delays and disabilities. We’re also widely recognized for our youth volunteer program, clinical fellowships, and graduate internships, that train the next generation of health care providers.

Expanding Our Services

 

Through the 1980s, state-run mental health institutions were closing. People with severe developmental disabilities were sent to community agencies like Hope Network and Pine Rest. These organizations provided Comprehensive Therapy Center’s first adult services, and our first community contract work. Over time the agency has changed to stay in step with the special needs community.

 

In the 1990s, most of our adult clients were placed into managed care. Unfortunately, therapy contracts disappeared. However, charter schools were on the rise in Michigan. With able and experienced staff members, CTC agency began offering special education services to West Michigan schools. Today, we still work in public and charter schools, providing top-notch services to our clients while steadily growing our own in-office programs and services.

Today: 40 Years Of CTC

 

40 years in, we serve around 700 people every month with a staff of over 30 clinician professionals. Services today include speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, dance/movement therapy, tutoring, social work, educational psychology, community-based programs, and more. We’ve developed into a local, person-centered non-profit dedicated to servicing people with disabilities regardless of their financial situation. We’ve helped several generations reach their goals; we’re excited for what our future holds!

 

Jean Silbar: A Founder's Legacy

 

Watch our founder and Executive Director Emeritus, Jean Silbar, discuss the dream and goals of Comprehensive Therapy Center and Therapy & Fun. Learn about our rich history, our desire to meet the individual needs of our clients, and our big successes!