Ms. Kira O’Neal

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Webster University, 2018

What made you decide to become a counselor?

I have always enjoyed working with children and families, specializing in many different areas. Shortly after graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, I realized that I could not stop there. I wanted to interact with people on a deeper level and help them in understanding themselves. In a previous job, I sat in a counseling session as a silent observer for a child that I was working with. I felt like the counselor was doing magic! After I left, I researched several programs in the area and signed up for the Master of Arts in Counseling program. I could not have made a better choice than to further my career in doing something that I love.

How would you describe what therapy looks like in your office?

Therapy in my office looks different for each person. I tend to move at the pace of the person while maintaining a strong therapeutic relationship, so that everyone feels comfortable enough to share their life with me. With children, I get on their level. Whether we are sitting and talking or playing a game on the floor, it’s all about what works for each person. Overall, my goal is to provide a comforting, judge-free, yet safe environment for anyone that walks into my office.

Do you have a particular theory or type of treatment you use?

I have a toolbox full of theories to use in therapy. Simply put, I use different approaches to therapy for different situations. Most often, I enjoy using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy. CBT is great in helping people understand how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. The person-centered approach allows each person to discover and take lead of their own path, while I am only there to listen, encourage, and support.

Tell us a little about your life away from work?

While away from work, I enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends, visiting the beach, teaching my dog new tricks and doing Crossfit. I also enjoy trying new recipes from Pinterest and traveling to new places.

What’s your idea of the perfect vacation and why?

My idea of a perfect vacation is a full week on a private island with a close friend or with family. I would leave all electronics (cell phone, iPad, gaming system, etc.) at home, so that I can spend true one on one time with the people I am with. Being able to get away, learn about a different culture, experience life in a different atmosphere, and witness the beauty of nature is the most peaceful vacation I can think of.