I am pleased that you have selected me for counseling services. I am providing you with this section of information to explain important aspects of how I work with children, couples, and families. After you have had an opportunity to read this document, I encourage you to ask questions either about my way of working or about counseling in general. During our initial visit we will explore your reasons for seeking services; the goals you wish to accomplish; the risks and benefits of counseling; and the appropriateness of my training, experience, and scope of practice in meeting your needs. Part of the assessment process will involve gathering background information.
Training, Experience, and Approach
As you and I discuss working together, it is important for you to know a little bit about my background and general approach to counseling. This is because different counseling approaches exist and knowing what counseling will look like can help you make a decision regarding our work together. If you feel uncomfortable with my approach, I can refer you to someone who might fit your expectations and needs better.
I received a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in August of 2015 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Christian Counseling in May of 2012, both from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. I am currently working towards a PhD in Leadership with a focus on Counselor Education and Supervision at University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky where I also receive clinical supervision clinical group supervision. I am fully licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Georgia #LPC010754.
It is my belief that spirituality and/or religion are important elements of many people’s lives. I believe that religion and/or spirituality can have a significant effect on the types of problems for which many people seek counseling. These effects might be positive (e.g., religious beliefs helping someone to cope with their concerns) or negative (e.g., disconnection from a religious community that makes other problems more severe). As a result, I seek to include a client’s spiritual or religious commitments in the counseling process whenever appropriate. I will be capable of integrating specific spiritual or religious practices with typical empirically researched counseling strategies and may ask if you would like to integrate specific spiritual or religious practices into your treatment. These include, but are not limited to, praying with or for you, teaching and guiding you in meditation, assigning readings from scripture or sacred writings, encouraging you to practice specific religious or spiritual rituals, and helping you to access the resources of your spiritual or religious community. In all cases, the counselor will strive to provide you with interventions that are congruent with your spiritual or religious perspective and that fit within your faith tradition. You are free to decline these interventions at any time and request that your counselor refrain from including certain interventions.
My orientation as a counselor is from an Adlerian perspective where I seek to understand what a client is striving towards and what motivates them; to search for any misunderstandings and mistaken goals; to explore a lifestyle aimed at protecting self through safeguards; and to assist the client in moving towards success at life’s tasks. In selecting treatment methods, I tend to draw ideas and techniques from several the major counseling approaches whose utility have been supported through research (e.g., Adlerian therapy, Gestalt therapy, Roger’s client-centered therapy, family systems therapy, and cognitive/behavior therapy). I borrow from other modalities, as appropriate. I typically focus on the therapeutic relationship and psychoeducation; use encouragement and natural consequences; and consider birth order and earliest memories while primarily focusing on the here-and-now. A typical counseling session may consist of my listening to what a client has to say and then responding with a comment, question or request for clarification. Sometimes I may remain silent in order not to interfere with what a client is thinking or feeling. My goal is to encourage growth and for you to understand your power to change; for you to gain awareness through psychoeducation; and for you to be able to apply information and insight to your situation.
My approach to counseling frequently contains more than just coming to sessions and talking. Sometimes, we might develop projects or activities that you can do outside the session to further promote your healing. These activities can be very helpful to insure the changes you experience in the sessions translate into your life outside of the session. It is natural and expected for strong feelings to arise during the course of counseling; coming to an understanding of such feelings is an important part of the work we do together. It is not unusual for symptoms to become more pronounced during the course of counseling, although counseling may also help with painful feelings, difficult memories or problems relating to others.
In the absence of an explicit treatment objective, I will assume that your purpose in meeting with me is for open-ended self-exploration and growth, involving an opportunity for increased insight into your feelings, history, current situation and personal relationships. The number of visits will depend in part on the types of problems you wish to resolve, and the treatment plan we develop together. Generally, our work will continue until you decide our work is complete.