Donna Westcott, M.Ed.

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I am a Licensed Professional Counselor who loves helping individuals, couples, and families.
 
Those I have helped in the past include:
               Couples dealing with communication problems, ongoing conflict, and affairs
               Young women figuring out how to be healthy adults
               Families navigating the challenges of international adoption
               Individuals stressed by anxiety, depression, or life changes
               Individuals healing from past trauma
               Couples and individuals who want to stop patterns of dysfunction that they grew up with
               Those dealing with loss through death or the ending of relationships
               Parents trying to find the best way to guide their children or teens
               And many, many more…..as many variations as there are human beings

How do I do this?
               I start by providing a safe environment for you to share what is on your heart.  I listen without judgment and help you make sense of your emotions or your relationship struggles.  I help you see what you’ve been doing right, what your strengths are, and how you can harness them to bring health to the areas where you are struggling.  I use talk therapy, but also supplement it with expressive therapy, such as art, music, or writing, when that seems appropriate.  But I never force you to use any method you are uncomfortable with.

What principles do I base my work on?
               Emotions have their own logic:  our emotions may seem to spring up out of nowhere, or they may seem completely illogical.  But they are sending us messages which we can decipher and address.
               Neuroscience:  recent discoveries about how the brain functions have added to the therapist’s toolkit of techniques.  We will talk about how emotions are introduced into our experience before we have the understanding or vocabulary to process them.
               Trauma:  I have training in understanding the effects of trauma and the methods to heal it.
               Mind/body/emotion connection:  These are all inter-related, and so the interventions I use address each of these areas.
               Attachment:  human beings are created to be in relationship with others.  Our sense of security and worth come from our earliest interactions, and can influence how we relate to others in adulthood.  So we take a look at what life was like for you growing up.
               Christian faith:  you don’t have to be a Christian, or any religion at all, to work with me. I find things to appreciate and enjoy in every individual.  This is just to let you know where I’m coming from in my view of life.  I do believe Christianity offers rich resources for understanding how humans and their relationships work, and how to live a meaningful and satisfying life.  How much we bring that into the counseling experience depends on you.
               Continuing education:  I love to learn and keep up with the latest discoveries in the art and science of counseling, so I read constantly and frequently attend trainings.
 
Education
Master’s Degree in Education in Counselor Education, Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate work in Professional Counseling, Liberty University
Completed Level 2 in Gottman Method Couples Therapy
Additional training in Trauma, Attachment Theory 
Special study, practice, and teaching on Forgiveness Process        


Donna Westcott Reaches

Richmond VA