I am currently a registered mental health counselor intern with the state of Florida, with experience as a therapist in private practice, in residential drug treatment for teens, and for the Baker Act receiving facility. Most recently, I have worked doing therapy with children and families referred through child protective services after a report of abuse.
I have also worked with autistic children, adults with autism and severe behavioral problems, victims of domestic violence (including helping to insulate them from truly dangerous situations), and with children using cognitive behavior therapy to treat trauma. I have training in "The Batterer Intervention Program".
I have facilitated anger management and substance abuse treatment groups, and have intern experience with the sex offender treatment program. I also value my experience as a volunteer at the Women's Resource Center of Gainesville as a client advocate and with Celebrate Recovery.
I love helping people reach a sense of peace, purpose, direction, and well-being. I help those in need to find the ability to thrive and function at their best. Everyone has something wonderful to offer to the world, and our most difficult times can lead us to those special gifts and qualities that are within every one of us.
In addition to counseling I also do life coaching. Coaching is different than therapy or counseling. Coaching focuses on the here and now and not on past hurts. Life coaching is a relationship that provides a place to be heard and discover how to overcome any challenges in life. The goal is to move forward to what you most want out of life. With a coach you can identify your passions, gifts, and calling and develop an action plan. Similar to having a personal trainer a coach will hold you accountable to the plan and help you to overcome any challenges to meeting your goals. If you have ever had a vision, goal, or desire and felt you could use some help to move towards its realization a life coach may be a way to make that happen!
My counseling services include the following:
* Mood disorders/anxiety/depression: Often, it is our thinking that gets us down. A doctor may provide medication to help, but nothing can replace changes in lifestyle, identifying causes of stress, and looking at thought patterns and core beliefs that darken our moods, lead to depression, and control our lives. Talk therapy helps us identify and change these things that don't represent our true selves.
There is success, kindness, friendliness, empathy and happiness just waiting to be awakened in us. Just as we can create ourselves as victims of an unfair life filled with anxiety and depression, we can also regain faith, confidence and well-being. Mood disorders can affect anyone regardless of age, race, social status, or even money and possessions.
I listen to, help and respect people of all backgrounds and histories in a variety of settings.
* Domestic violence victims: I have experience as a domestic violence advocate and am trained in "The Batterers Intervention Program". I help victims and potential victims to identify the dynamics and thought patterns that drive the cycle of abuse. If need be, I can also help to find shelter resources and offer advice about serious safety concerns for women and children.
* Families of a loved one suffering mental illness: I also help family members of those suffering from mental illness. These families may feel isolated and have a difficult time finding a safe place to talk about mental health illness in their family, especially those with loved ones in the most acute phases of mental illness who are in crisis. In therapy, families may find that safe place to talk and gain resources from a community that knows and cares about the stigma that can be associated with this very personal situation.
* Therapy with children: Children are different than adults. They undergo a lot of changes in growth and development at different stages. Children do not have the same cognitive development and resources as adults for understanding, coping, communicating and influencing the world. Their lives are much more dependent upon their caregivers and the environment in which they live. They are also individuals and personalities in their own right. Therefore, these things must be considered, and different approaches to therapy are appropriate for their specific needs.
* Trauma victims: Many people experience some form of trauma, be it physical, sexual or emotional abuse, a natural disaster, or an accident. Most of us want to push it as far out of memory as we can so that it no longer exists; however, if not properly processed and dealt with, trauma may lead to stress and negative psychological responses. These may include intrusive or racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, irritability, flashbacks, rumination, cognitive distortions, and/or dissociation. In therapy, breathing and relaxation techniques help to assist in preparation for a discussion of the problematic symptoms, assistance in alleviating them, and leading up to a retelling of the traumatic event(s).
The aim is that as the traumatic experience is discussed, little by little, the associated strong emotions are re-admitted and the trauma re-experienced, but this time in a familiar environment with support of the therapist who can listen and comfort, and the painful emotions are let go.
* Parenting: I can assist parents, they be married or single, in developing a healthy relationship with their children. Whether it is discipline problems, communication, or instilling a healthy personality and/or self-esteem in your children, I can come alongside and assist. This may be in individual sessions and/or with your child or family. The foundation is clear communication of unconditional love and the bond with your child.
* Christian counseling: I graduated from an accredited master of science counseling psychology program at a Christian school where I studied secular therapies along with taking classes about biblical theology and worldview at both university and seminary. From working in churches and in para-church ministries, I have many resources to facilitate spiritual growth and development through bringing prayer, scriptures, and biblical principles into the counseling process. Faith in Jesus Christ can facilitate growth and healing of unhealthy patterns of emotion, thought, and behavior. Our relationship with God and others is broken and we experience pain.
In relationship, we can also find healing. I work as a Christian in many modalities and different settings including general theories and practices that are not particularly "Christian" but help people to find healing and to thrive. I believe God is love, and strive to listen well and help everyone in ways that they can receive. It is a person's own decision and choice to bring this aspect of counseling into the session.
It is an honor to be trusted and to be a part of bringing hope to others. The therapeutic relationship is a place where the infinite value and worth inherent in every individual is recognized and validated. To have the honor of being confronted with this mystery everyday at my job is priceless.
My current supervisor is Linda Callahan.
4723-B NW 53rd Ave Gainesville, FL
Gainesville, FL 32653
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