What made you decide to become a counselor?
In high school I had a teacher tell me that if I planned on going to college, I’d better pick something in actually interested in studying because I was going to be studying that one thing for years. I had one psychology class my senior year and I knew that was it for me. I was definitely interested in learning more about the human mind.
How would you describe what therapy looks like in your office?
It varies depending on the client. If I’m with an adult, we just have coffee and talk. If I’m with a teenager we might draw or do some kind of activity-like making stress balls. When I’m with children we play, color, and definitely do activities-like setting up dominos to watch them fall down. I’ve found that with children and teens it’s best to let them think we’re just doing something fun, and half the time they don’t even realize it’s therapy.
Do you have a particular theory or type of treatment that you use?
I mostly utilize Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in my everyday practice. It’s a process of finding negative patterns and breaking them. But again-it varies on the patient and diagnosis. If I’m working with someone that has a form of spectrum diagnosis I’ll use social skill building. If someone is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, I’d use trauma-focused therapy. Generally, I just like to meet them where they are at and find something that works best for their given situation.
Tell us a little about your life away from work.
I have an 11-year-old Pekingese that is basically my child. He likes to go with me to Charleston to visit his grandparents (my parents) and my niece and nephew-Ella and Eli.
I’m really a geek. I love going to book stores and reading in my spare time. I’m obsessed with Superman and Archie comics. I’ve been to comic-con and collect funkos. I’ve definitely earned my geek card.
If you weren’t a counselor, what would you be?
That’s really hard because being a counselor is all I’ve ever wanted to do in my life. Maybe I’d be an author and write YA novels.