Just typing aspirecounselingmo.com into your browser or googling “therapists in Columbia, Missouri” shows that you want to make a change in your life or are concerned about your child.
Maybe your child is:
- Struggling in school
- Avoiding school or other public places due to anxiety
- Struggling with memories of a traumatic event
- Having nightmares due to a traumatic event
- Having trouble getting out of bed?
- Feeling “on edge” and not knowing why
- Tired of being angry, sad, anxious, exhausted
Or maybe one of these things applies to you.
If so, you have come to the right place. You’ve taken the first step towards healing. There are many reasons why people decide to go to therapy. Maybe, none of these apply to you but you know something needs to change. I often say that I believe everyone should go to therapy at some point. In fact, many of my friends who are therapists have gone to counseling at one point in their lives. We all have areas of our lives in which we struggle. Sometimes we are able to move through the struggle with our own resources and other times we need outside support. Although I don’t have a magic wand, we can work together to provide relief to your pain.
My Approach to Counseling
Every individual is different; therefore, no two treatment plans are the same. I use many approaches; however, I mainly use Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
One reason I tend to use approaches rooted in CBT is the emphasis on clients learning practical skills to use the rest of their lives. I want you to have skills you can use to manage your concerns once you have completed treatment. CBT focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In CBT, we will discuss the relationship between the three. We will discuss skills, practice them in session and then you’ll be using them during the week. In the following session, we’ll discuss how the skills worked for you. You will continue to practice those skills or learn skills that are a better fit for you.
With CPT (for adults) and TF-CBT (for children and adolescents), we will work through the trauma you have endured especially the thoughts and feelings associated with the event. My role is to assist you or your child in developing coping strategies to relieve the symptoms of traumatic stress. CPT and TF-CBT are two of the most successful treatment approaches used with clients who have endured trauma. Many clients no longer qualify for the diagnosis of PTSD once treatment is completed.
Although I am qualified to work with people of all ages, I mostly work with children, adolescents, and college students. Some of the things I can help with include:
- Peer relationship concerns
- Transitioning from adolescence to adulthood
Why do I enjoy working with children and adolescents?
Since I was in high school, I’ve enjoyed working with children and adolescents. I first started as a camp counselor at 15 and never looked back. I seemed to attract youth who were hurting and struggling to make it from one day to another. Sometimes they just needed to talk with someone who would listen. Other times they needed extra support. It was a huge compliment when someone would say that I was a good listener or encourager. That desire to help youth who needed extra support led me into social work.
My Mental Health Experience
After graduating with my BSW I went to receive my MSW from Mizzou.
I began my career at Rainbow House first as a practicum student, then the clinical coordinator for the Child Advocacy Center and finally as the shelter director for the Children’s Emergency Shelter. While at Rainbow House, most of my clients were children and adolescents who were the victims of child physical or sexual abuse. Many of these youth were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the abuse and other traumatic events in their lives. I enjoyed helping them go from having the mindset of a victim to having the mindset of a survivor.
Many of the children I worked with no longer qualified for the diagnosis of PTSD once we completed treatment. In addition to PTSD, many of my clients struggled with depression, anxiety, problems at school, and peer relationship concerns. I received comments and letters from parents who thanked me for giving their child back.
One of my responsibilities at Rainbow House was supervising practicum students. In addition, I am an adjunct in Mizzou’s School of Social Work. I’ve taught several classes within the department over the past 10 years. Therefore, I’ve come to enjoy working with college students. As a field instructor, I did a lot of advising and guiding students not only about professional concerns but also about personal challenges.
I enjoyed walking with them to help them to begin to adjust to the professional world. College is a very unique time in one’s life. You’re learning who you are and how you fit in the world. Many college students are beginning to come to terms with family issues and childhood trauma. These things can cause one to feel lost and unsure. In addition, many mental health disorders are diagnosed during young adulthood.
Upon leaving Rainbow House in 2013, I continued working with youth but within a school setting. Many of my students struggle with trauma symptoms, mood regulation, depression, and anxiety. I decided to join Aspire Counseling because I miss the therapeutic relationship that is unique between a therapist and client. I enjoy being a part of someone’s healing process.
On a personal note, I enjoy attending Mizzou games, traveling around the world and reading books on many different topics.
You have read about me so now we’re back to you. Hopefully, I convinced you to contact our office to set up a free consultation appointment for you or your child. It is not easy to talk to strangers; however, I would be honored to hear your story.
Please contact Aspire Counseling here or by calling 573-328-2288. I look forward to hearing from you.