When I first started studying to be a counselor, I didn’t think I wanted to work with couples because I didn’t want to be in the same room as people arguing. Along the way, one of my professors helped me realize that I have a strong personality and could handle it.
And it’s good thing! Because when I started working, couples kept coming to me for help. So, I guess you could say being a couples therapist found me. For almost ten years, that’s what I’ve done.
I am a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Georgia. On a more personal note, I am also married to a marriage therapist, Gabriel. People often ask if we sit around and analyze each other, and yes, we do, but not as much as you might think. Most of the time we are juggling our careers with the other demands of life with children.
My husband and I met through our graduate school education in Marriage and Family Therapy. Taking classes together about counseling couples doubled as fun pre-marital training for us. We have found this background to be an amazing foundation for our marriage, and one thing I try to do with couples I see is pass on some of this wisdom.
I do try to practice in my marriage what I teach my clients, so I understand it is easier said than done to respectfully disagree with your mate. But, having made it past the “seven-year-itch” (the 7th year of marriage which is famous for a peak in the divorce rate), I can begin to personally attest that the effort to build a loving and respectful marriage is worth it. Nothing comes close to knowing someone “has your back” and knows your yesterdays and today until “death do you part.”
Christian Marriage Counseling
I am trained to integrate the Christian faith into counseling when this is desired by clients, and I also welcome and enjoy serving people of other faiths, cultures, and backgrounds in a way that respects your values and beliefs. I want to understand what makes you tick, not just the problem that brings you into therapy. My style is warm and empathic, yet still able to ask the tough questions or offer direction when needed.
What is Gottman Marriage Counseling?
Primarily, I use John Gottman’s research-based therapy for helping couples and am Level 3 Gottman trained. (As a sidenote: I encourage you to Google John Gottman if you haven’t heard of him. His work is amazing!)
For couples where faith is central, I really shine as a therapist as I combine faith based counseling with the best of Gottman therapy and other approaches for helping couples. Faith-based or not, I provide couples counseling specific to each couple’s needs and situation.
Before opening Harmony Counseling Services, I served families, couples, children and individuals in both private and non-profit counseling centers. I also counseled adolescents on juvenile probation and their parents through a county-based family therapy program and provided therapy for children in foster care or at risk for abuse and neglect.
Outside of counseling, I have worked for two Christian non-profits in roles of developing leaders and in administration. I have also been involved in church plants in the Northeast and in Georgia. I enjoy reading, family time, walking, and traveling.
Credentials and Training
I’m licensed by the state of Georgia in Marriage and Family Therapy as well as Professional Counseling. For graduate school, I got my masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Richmont Graduate University, which is a school that taught me how to integrate my Christian faith and theology with the best of psychology. I am a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Continuous learning is an important part of my work and I’m in the process of learning how to better serve couples and individuals who were hurt by traumatic incidents. I’ve also been learning more about how transitioning to parenthood can impact a relationship. It certainly did when my kids were born!
How I Work
When couples first come to see me, they’re usually nervous and angry. All I ask is that they be honest. If that means yelling or crying, go for it. My job is to help you sort through that. After the first few weeks, though, I expect we’ll be more deeply involved in the work. If the couple wants to continue working between the sessions, I have homework I can assign based on what we’re doing.
Either way, during the sessions, I provide a safe environment for both partners to talk about their feelings and we explore them in new ways. Often, couples have the same conflict over and over again, even if on the surface it looks different. So the goal with each session is to safely talk about the hurts underneath those situations and reconnect in a way that each person feels supported. Once that’s started, it usually continues, just like money earning interest in a bank account.
How To Get Started With Me
Because I believe the right therapist is truly the key to successful counseling, it’s important to me to work with couples or individuals who are a good fit for how I work. If what you see on my site and social media resonates, let’s connect. If it doesn’t, I’m happy to refer you to someone who might be a better fit in the Marietta area.