ROBERT REED, CMHC/LPC
Phone: 888-801-1556 x101
Prior to my life with Christ, I was headed in a destructive direction. My life was consumed by addictions-specifically alcohol, marijuana and sex. I had no identity apart from this. I attended college as an animal science/wildlife major, but my main focus was to support my addictions. This continued to be more apparent the longer I stayed in college, but my response was to ignore the problem and feed the addiction. I had moved far away from whatever knowledge I had of God because I perceived that living right was the only way to reach Christ and I could not live up to that.
After seven years in college and enslavement to myself, God began to reveal himself to me in areas of my weakness that I was no longer able to mask over. He led me to study Scripture and to fellowship with other believers. This began a transformation in my life that I had never imagined. Within a few months I was miraculously free of the addictions and was discovering a new identity in Christ. He quickly began to speak to my heart about working with people, and He was patient in walking me through my own struggles in this area. A year and a half later He called me into counseling specifically and I followed. This journey has been magnificent, and I could not imagine doing anything else.
I am a licensed professional counselor. I consider my efforts as a counselor inadequate apart from the grace and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have been called into this ministry and I am blessed and humbled to go to work each day and see Christ working in people’s lives in a very intimate way. I earned a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in 2004.
I have maintained a private practice since 2007 in Stephenville, TX. I have worked with both inpatient and outpatient facilities including Adapt of Texas, Counseling Center of Ellis County, Summer Sky Inc., and Christian Counseling Centers of Utah. At these facilities, I worked with severe mental illnesses (anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia), addictions (sexual, drug, alcohol, etc.), duel diagnoses, and also counseled with families of these individuals. I currently work with individuals, families, and couples in broad range of interpersonal and psychological issues. I work with the client to seek how God's unconditional love and His indisputable grace through Jesus Christ impacts their personal situation and their everyday life.
I began counseling in Utah November 2011, just three months after the Lord placed on my heart and my wife’s heart that he was leading us to the Wasatch Valley area. My special interests include spiritual/faith related issues, depression, anxiety, various addictions (including alcohol, substance and sexual,) dual diagnosis, lack of self-worth and legalism, struggles with anger and/or bitterness, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar, and life transition issues. General practice areas include adults and adolescents in individual, couple/marriage, and family counseling. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife, since 2001, and a precious daughter, since 2007.We are looking forward to many more years of life together. We enjoy the outdoors including hiking, camping, fishing and archery-and we have been adding various winter sports to this list.
KAREN FLESSNER, LCSW
Phone: 888-801-1556 x701
Karen was born and raised in a Muslim developing country where her family practiced Taoism, Buddhism, idol worship and ancestral worship. As a young adult, she left that country in 1995 to pursue her bachelors at Western Michigan University. Within two months of being in Michigan, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal LORD and Savior and became the first generational curse breaker in her paternal and maternal lineage. At that point, she sensed a calling to life-long work as a professional minister and clinical social worker. Since 1995, she trained for Christian ministry, and served in various ministry capacities. She became an ordained minister through The Missionary Church International (TMCI) in 2009.
Karen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communications from Western Michigan University (1997) and the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Utah State University (2014). Since 1996, she worked with at-risk children and adolescents at residential home treatment centers in Michigan and Idaho. In Utah, she was employed at the Social Program at Utah State University from 2008 to 2017. Within nine years, she was rapidly promoted from being a Staff Assistant to teaching BSW-level practicum courses and supervising interns.
Since 2016, as a clinical Social Worker in Utah, her specialty includes providing trauma-informed psychotherapeutic services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and working with individuals (adults, adolescents and children), couples and families struggling with issues including marital and/or family conflicts, grief, posttraumatic stress, depression, severe mood swings, depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, separation anxiety, oppositional defiance, dissociation, and substance abuse.
She recognizes the importance of appreciating a person’s biological, psychological, social, and spiritual strengths and struggles. Combining Christian faith, knowledge and experience with psychological techniques, she meets her individual clients where they are at mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Then, she and her clients will journey together to find what best fits them as they move towards new and healthy ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. Her treatment approach is borrowed from a combination of different theories and modalities, including those that recognize the importance of the person’s past experiences, family dynamics, and patterns of functioning. With God’s guidance, she carefully customizes the treatment to meet her client’s unique needs while valuing each one as a unique individual.
Her hobbies include worshipping God, prayer, cooking, gardening, hosting parties, photography, painting, spending quality time with her husband, and watching her son lead worship, and play various musical instruments, baseball and football.
CHARLES SMITH, CMHC
Phone: 888-801-1556 x901
Growing up through the 60’s and 70’s in a career military family, I experienced moving around the country multiple times and with each move, the experience quickly and naturally taught me to remain detached from others and avoid becoming dependent on anyone. This type of self-reliance rapidly discourages deep, intimate and honest relationships because every move or loss of friends brought with it pain. Being truthful and trusting others became confusing and brought the mistaken understanding of what relationships meant. Truth in my personal life seemed relative depending on the circumstances and I found it impossible to form healthy relationships.
It took years as an adult for me to realize that my experiences and false beliefs taught me to harbor the shame of sexual molestation as a child warping any ability to be truthful with others, God or myself. Very few people knew of my experiences or struggles and because I did not understand that the motivation for my choices in life were rooted in shame and detachment, no one else could understand my choices either. My distorted sense of shame kept me from realizing the damage I would perpetuate within my own life and those around me. After years of chasing the wrong solutions to the emptiness inside, God broke through my self-deception and lies allowing me to experience God’s love and forgiveness as well as becoming honest with myself and others. I continue to grow daily in my understanding of love and intimacy that is not defined or measured by sex.
God is persistent in calling to us because God values us and wants a deep, intimate relationship wherein we find our life of purpose and meaning (1 Jn 4:16) in relationship to Jesus. We are all broken in some fashion and God showed me that my brokenness does not disqualify me from ministry but rather has equipped me by using my experiences and heartbreak as a basis wherein I can relate to pain and trauma within others.
From 1978 to 1981 I attended Weber State College where I met the woman, I would eventually marry in 1983 after joining the US Air Force. Between 1983 and 1987, I served as an enlisted airman in the USAF, both stateside and in England. In 1987, our daughter was born at RAF Upper Heyford, in England and shortly afterward completed my tour of duty, receiving an honorable discharge. We returned to Utah where I completed a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement at Weber State with the hope of pursuing a career in Law Enforcement.
We moved to Washington State, where I served with the City of Kent Police Department from 1989 through 1994. I left the career field after sustaining an on-duty injury spinal injury that prevented me from continuing a career in LE. However, law enforcement, first responders and military members and their families remain close to my heart.
From 1994 through 2001, I worked various positions across the country trying to reconcile my inner spiritual struggles before settling into graduate studies at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX in 2001. By 2004, I earned two Master of Arts degrees, one in Community Counseling and the second in Pastoral Ministry. From 2004 through 2007 I helped put together a consortium of 5 United Methodist Churches in northern Bexar County providing low and no cost counseling to church members of those 5 congregations as well as working for a company providing in-home counseling to families in CPS reunification programs. My first glimpse of understanding God’s love and forgiveness began at St. Mary’s in Texas.
2007 saw us move back to Washington State, after being recruited by Kitsap Mental Health Services in Bremerton Washington in the position of DMHP (Designated Mental Health Professional) wherein I responded to hospital emergency rooms and in the local community with police at their request to conduct assessments and crisis interventions with suicidal persons. By late 2008, for several reasons, many I recognize as my own doing, my marriage ended in divorce.
After our divorce, I moved to Forks, Washington in 2009 to fill the role of primary intake and assessment specialist conducting biopsychosocial assessments for diagnosis and treatment planning for West End Services in Forks, WA filling that role from 2009- early 2011. This position provided a unique opportunity and privilege of working with local tribal members at Neah Bay on the Makah Reservation and Quileute tribal members in La Push.
In 2010, during a visit to my parents in Utah, I realized the magnitude of my parent’s health issues and made the decision to move back to Utah to assist my parents through their health care in early 2011. Upon my return, I worked briefly worked as a mental health therapist for a year at a local correctional department before beginning work as a contractor on Hill AFB with military families in 2012. In July 2013, I married my current wife and by October had transitioned to a different contractor’s position at HAFB as a ¾-time counselor the FOH-EAP program working with federal civilians and their households. Shortly after transitioning into my current position at HAFB, I became aware of a growing internal desire to minister to others helping them reconcile their emotional and spiritual pain by recognizing God’s desire for relationship through forgiveness and inner healing. I am honored to be given an opportunity to join Grace & Peace Christian Counseling in 2019 in a part-time capacity.
STEVE EVANS, ASSOCIATE CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR
Phone: 888-801-1556 x301
I was fortunate enough to be raised by two loving parents that put Jesus Christ first in their lives, and spent a lifetime serving Him. I excepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at an early age and followed Christ well into my teenage years. As with many adolescences do, I myself began to drift away from my relationship with Jesus and follow worldly passions which led me down a path of destruction. I soon found myself addicted to chemicals. At the age of twenty-three I knew my life was going nowhere and decided to join the U.S. Navy. My intention was that the military would provide enough discipline that I would clean my act up; however, during this time, a sailor’s thought process was if you work hard, you need to play hard and alcohol became my favorite extracurricular activity.
At the age of twenty-eight I began hearing God speaking to me, and I soon entered into recovery from alcohol. While at meetings I would here people speak about a higher power and how this higher power provided strength and a path to recovery. The only higher power that I ever knew was God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, and I soon began praying again for the first time in many years. I wish I could say that I quickly turned my life around and began a close walk with God; however, it was a few years later that this happened. It wasn’t until I endured a divorce that I found myself in a church fully reaching out to the Father.
After about a year in recovery I had volunteered to serve as a Command Drug and Alcohol Advisor and served in this capacity for over fourteen years while in the military. During that time, I often wondered if this was a path that God had chosen for me, but it was not until after I retired from the military and was working as a substance abuse counselor that God’s calling became clear. I hesitated for a few years before deciding to complete a Bachelor of Science in psychology through the University of Phoenix, and immediately entering in the graduate program for clinical mental health counseling. I have been in school now for the last 6 years, and currently in the final year which is the process of completing an internship with Grace and Peace Christian Counseling (GPCC). I am humbled to be serving with Robert Reed at GPCC, since this is exactly the vision that God had laid upon my heart many years ago.
I have 19 years’ experience working with people that suffer from a variety of addictions, and while working with this population I have encountered numerous people that were dually diagnosed; however, I have never until now been able to provide services for both diagnoses. While providing counseling I encourage the use of prayer, biblical scriptures, and inviting Christ into the process. In doing this I believe that true healing can happen.
Since mental health counseling is a new arena for myself I am open to working with all patients that have the desire overcome mental health, behavior health, and spiritual health problems. I enjoy working with adolescences, adults, and couples. I believe that therapy is a learning process for both the client and the counselor and will dedicate myself to each and every person that I work with.
I am blessed to have a wonderful wife that dedicates her life to her first love, and that is Jesus Christ. I have 4 wonderful adult children and 3 grandchildren. I enjoy many outdoor activities; such as cycling, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and surfing when a trip to the beach is convenient. I am originally from Tennessee, but spent most of my childhood and adult life in San Diego California. I really believe that God has called me to Utah to serve Him in what He has been calling me to do for so long.
JARED TAYLOR, MSW, CSW
Phone: 888-801-1556 x801
I feel fortunate that I was raised in a Christian home. This set the foundation for much that has guided my life. It was at the age of three that I said the sinner’s prayer and made a verbal commitment to Christ. However, it was not until adolescence that I sought the purpose of life through the exploration of various world religions, one which was Christianity. It was in reading the four gospels multiple times that I became convicted of my ways. Like the Apostle Paul, my sin became exceedingly sinful. I then had to trust that Christ’s payment on the cross was sufficient for my sin. My life was forever changed as I became a new creation.
As a young adult, Jared considered pursuit of full-time ministry as a missionary. In fact, he lived with a missionary family for a year in the democratic republic of Congo and loved it. Once he saved enough money, working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in Utah, he went to Bible school in Minnesota. Some events happened, and he eventually found himself as a traveling project manager where he shared the gospel across the United States. With the recession, his job slowed greatly. This led him to join the United States Army. Indeed, he served a little over a half decade in the Army as a Rescue Technician and a Human Resource Manager. He was a top graduate of the NCO Academy and was a commandants list recipient. He has board certifications from the National Fire Protection Agency in everything from Hazmat at the Operations level to Rope Rescue.
Just after discharge from the Army, he completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Christian Counseling from Liberty University graduating Suma Cum Laude. With careful consideration, he then decided to pursue a Masters in Clinical Social Work with Walden University and graduated in 2018 with a 4.0. One thing he appreciated about Clinical Social work was the emphasis on Holism. Thus, in his work with clients, he takes into account the biological, psychological, physical, and the spiritual. Indeed, he sees addressing the spiritual as essential to addressing the whole person. Understanding that each person has a different background, he seeks to fit the treatment to the person. He is a bit existential in theoretical disposition, and this allows him to easily draw from other modalities that the client finds work best for them and maintain a foundational basis. He also finds experiential therapy valuable and occasionally intertwines aspects of the modality in his practice. Up until coming on as a therapist with Grace and Peace Christian Counseling, his previous experience in mental health was working on the national suicide hotline as a volunteer, a veteran’s behavioral health center as a Graduate Intern case manager/counselor and at a Christian Counseling Center in Utah as a Graduate Intern Therapist. He primarily works with adolescents, adults, and couples. His particular interest are in working with relationship issues, spiritual issues, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and some trauma disorders. He is licensed in Utah as a Certified Social Worker (CSW). He holds membership in the psychology Psi Chi (ΨΧ) Honor Society and the social work Phi Alpha (ΦΑ) Honor Society. Jared is the father of four girls and his happily married to his wife, Rachel.