It has been said: "God uses our deepest pain as a launch-pad for our highest calling". It is quite difficult, in the midst of the pain, uncertainty, and loss of relationships to see how anything like a “calling” could come from such a season. In our time in counseling, my goal is to help you not so much re-label the outcomes of life to painless (or meaningless) events, or to help you change others, but rather, to name those events for what they are. Furthermore, through identifying obstacles, setting boundaries and understanding how your upbringing has shaped your worldview, current relationships with others, yourself and with your Maker, our sessions will be structured to help you identify alternate approaches to life that will help you see healthy changes in yourself.
How did I get here?
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Communication and Marketing from the University of North Alabama in 2006 with the goal that I would one day be in a helping profession. It was soon after that I earned my Masters of Education in Clinical Mental Health at the University of Montevallo in 2013. I am currently an Associate Licensed Counselor and National Certified Counselor under the supervision of Joyce McKay, MEd, EdS, LPC-S, CSAT-S, NCC.
Populations I enjoy working with:
I have experience working with individuals struggling with depression and anxiety, grief and loss. My specialties are identifying family system issues, women's issues, trauma, and working with women who have experienced abusive/exploitive relationships. In addition, I am a certified Prepare – Enrich pre-marital counselor and enjoy shepherding younger couples as they navigate building a life together. I also enjoy working with teenagers (12+), particularly teens struggling with codependency/enabling and issues related to faith in Christ. I have been married for 8 years and have one son.
How I approach counseling and varying needs of my clients:
· Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): In Philippians we are called to think "on whatsoever things are true", and we are also human and participate in "stinkin thinking". This enables to believe a lot discouraging things about ourselves, when we make mistakes, fail and "are not measuring up" . I use this approach when my clients deal with a harsh "critical inner voice" and for those who struggle with depression and anxiety.
· Experiential/Play Therapy/Psychodrama: This is useful in helping teenagers and those who experienced trauma give words to their lives and offers a projective technique so they can look at their suffering more objectively.
· Narrative Counseling: I enjoy walking clients through narrative counseling as it helps them give meaning and validating their life narratives and varying experiences. This is also helpful for working with clients who have experienced considerable grief and loss and trauma. This helps the client confront their beliefs about life and their Creator.
· Family Systems Counseling; It is important to know where we have come from and why relate the way we do, right?!? In Family Systems Counseling we work to recognize dysfunctional patterns of relating, such as codependency or a family dealing with addiction, lack of client differentiation or boundaries. This is all helping the client identify patterns which may be adding to their current suffering with anxiety, depression, marital issues and more.
· Premarital Counseling: I facilitate a Prepare- Enrich assessment which covers areas such as: Communication, Values, Conflict Resolution, Expectations, Sexual Expectations, Finances, Parenting & Family of Origin issues. This offers a benefit to the couple as they more aware of, have insight to what ideas and issues they carry into their marriage.
· Couples/Marriage Counseling: I have heard it said, that "Satan hates marriage" and that is absolutely true. In marriage/couples counseling I work with the couple to identify the root issues and helping each member lean into the difficulty of marriage (unmet expecatations, disappointment, trust, communication) and "naming it"as well as standing up to the evil that so easily ensnares us. It is not easy but the sooner, a couple confronts their problems and work towards correcting them, dictates the overall health and stability of their marriage.
Why Honeyrock Counseling?
I chose the name Honeyrock Counseling as a reminder that this Earth is not our permanent home, and we will experience suffering. Additionally, in life we make idols (i.e. things other than God that we trust to make life more bearable) for ourselves. Our marriages, our children, our mental agility, our health or physique, money, status, even the approval of others can all become idols. Then, something happens: the marriage fails, people disapprove of us, etc. We become angry and depressed,. We might think, “life was supposed to look differently”, and we are forced to identify, and deal with, our idols (one way or another).
In Exodus, God provided a rock for the Israelites as they wander through the desert to arrive eventually to the Promised Land. From that rock, God provided water as a means of nourishment. Additionally, God asked Moses to strike the Rock -- an allegory and foreshadowing of God’s justice to strike His righteous and sinless son, Jesus, on the Cross, making Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf (2 Cor 5:21). God gives us honey from the Rock, he gives us sweetness of insight, courage, sobriety, and humility as we wander through the deserts of our own lives, confronting and reconciling our suffering. And while the process can be difficult and devastating, God points us to Jesus, who sympathizes with our weakness, so that we may realize we are not alone and that through Jesus, God’s plan for us is definitely not over.