New relationships can bring stress and anxiety, even more so for counseling relationships, as the counseling process requires an exceeding amount of openness and vulnerability. The first step is a big one on the path to healing, results, and resolution. Change is not a fast or an easy thing. Underlying issues are carried with us daily and that weight can be exacerbated by the situations and settings we find ourselves in on a regular basis. It is easy to overlook the work and the complexity an individual puts into themselves and their lives.
Recognizing clients for who they are as people, as individuals, and accepting them in their entirety, is the foundation of my practice. Multicultural awareness, diversity, and inclusion are cornerstones to counseling. Every person has the potential for growth, even when we cannot see this potential ourselves. By attending to our wellness, we can begin the work of healing. It is a gift for a client to choose to come to counseling and a privilege to work with them as they bravely (express themselves) / (put their thoughts and feelings into words).
Currently, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Mental Health Service Provider (LPC-MHSP), and am a National Certified Counselor (NCC). I am also a Doctoral Candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at the University of TN Knoxville. My dream is to finish my Ph.D. and work both in private practice and education.
My theoretical orientation includes a combination of Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Person-Centered counseling. I believe in working collaboratively with clients to help them find new perspectives of viewing their lives and assisting them with navigating mental health issues. In education, we are taught to attend to all the different types of learners. I believe the same is true in counseling. I attempt to adjust and adapt to each individual I work with to understand what they are trying to communicate fully. While some may be solid verbal communicators, others may be stronger at expressing themselves through creative outlets (such as children through play or trauma victims through art). Expressive arts therapies are another strong interest of mine as I am working on my dissertation in photography: Phototherapy, therapeutic photography, mindfulness photography, and photovoice as a wellness tool. I believe that each individual can overcome any obstacle they are presented with as long as they can establish communication and understanding while attending to their wellness practices.
Experience and Training:
I have 6+ years of experience (3 of which were with children and 3+ with adolescents and adults). In my years of working with communities, I have found a passion for working with children, couples, early adolescents/early adults, and individuals experiencing symptoms of psychosis. I have training in play therapy with a focus on child-centered play therapy. It is my goal to become a registered play therapist in the next few years. Also, I am currently training with The Gottman Institute for couples and marriage counseling. I am passionate about counseling and will do my best to help support you in any capacity I can.