Thrive Therapy Space: Community for Therapists


Penny Mechley-Porter is a licensed professional counselor and founder of Thrive Therapy Space . She has been in private practice for 10 years. During that time Penny benefited by being in practice with colleagues who became friends. Though they each had separate practices, they routinely met to touch base, to help and support each other, to discuss difficult practice questions, and to be an active part of each others’ lives. 

Penny also became experienced in running groups, and in helping clients learn to share more deeply, listen more intently, and to embrace each other non judgmentally. She learned that as clients feel deeply connected and supported, they heal and grow and thrive. 

Penny founded Thrive in order to help therapists--who are helpers themselves, but who often feel isolated, unsupported, and disconnected. Why not take her own experiences, both being a part of a supportive community of therapists and teaching clients to more fully support each other and reproduce that on a larger scale for all local therapists? The idea of Thrive Therapy Space was born. 

Thrive is a place of community, connection and collaboration. Local therapists gather to get to know each other, to learn together and to provide mutual understanding and support. The idea expanded into a more traditional "coworking" space with the added thought of therapy offices where therapists practice with individuals, couples, families, and groups. 

Thrive opened on September 3rd, 2019 with just 10 members and has already grown just a month in! We have the Gathering Space - where therapists gather together for a variety of reasons - and 5 Therapy Offices where therapists see their clients. Some have even been able to start their own private practice, thanks to being at Thrive!

The beginning of the Thrive:



When beginning this journey, Penny (and her husband Steve) decided they would not take out any loans to finance Thrive. They invested their own money, bought gently used furniture, found a space that was mostly move-in ready, and relied on the help and generosity of their family, friends and Thrive’s Founding Members!

We created a welcoming, safe space for therapists and their clients alike on a limited budget. However, there are several larger projects that will help to make Thrive the best it can be. We are fundraising to make improvements to the space to not only make it more functional, but to make it an environment that helps therapists to heal, grow and thrive. 

Thrive today:


We are incredibly grateful for the help and support of our community up to this point. So many friends, family members and Thrive members have donated their time, talent and energy to getting Thrive up and running! We have narrowed down our (long) list of what we’d “like” to what we really “need” in the short term. 

Here are the projects we are hoping to complete:

- Additional electrical outlets in the Gathering Space (we’re currently using extension cords everywhere!) ~$500

- Upgrade lighting (using fewer of the overhead fluorescent lights will create a calmer space) ~$200

- Stools for the high table (which was built by a friend!) ~$100

- New couch in Office 4 ~$200

- Furniture for Office 5 (currently unfurnished and used as a storage room) ~$300

- Upgrade kitchenette (currently we only have a tiny fridge, microwave and some dishes) ~$500

- 30 (or so) stacking chairs for the Gathering Space (this would allow us to host larger events like Lunch & Learns and CEUs) ~$30each or $900 total

- Carpet in the Gathering Space (currently we have small area rugs over cement) ~$4,000

Estimated Total: ~$6,700

We understand that getting all of these done at once is an unreasonable request so we are starting small and will work on the most important tasks first (like outlets in the Gathering Space) and complete the others as we have the resources. Any improvement we make will create a better space for our members and their clients.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your interest in Thrive Therapy Space and for your support. As we create a thriving community of mental health professionals in the Erie area, we know this will in turn improve the mental health of the entire Erie community. 

Remember to Heal, Grow & Thrive.


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Eliza Porter 
Erie, PA
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