We at Counseling Associates for Well-Being are happy to announce that Anna Headdon, LAMFT, will be joining us at our Athens office. She is available to start serving clients throughout the area. She enjoys working with couples who are struggling with conflcit and tension, working with eating and body image problems, treating those with  anxiety and trauma,   and is a passionate advocate for those who identify as LGBTQ+.

Anna Headden, LAMFT—  Bachelor of Science – Psychology minor in Child & Family Studies, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 2015, Master of Art – Marriage & Family Therapy, Lipscomb University, 2019, Certified SYMBIS Facilitator, 2019 (Premarital Assessment)

From Anna: ” It takes a lot of courage to begin therapy and I understand how difficult it can be to find a therapist that is the right fit. I want to help make that process easier for you. I believe change begins when previous behaviors or relationships no longer serve us and I believe that lasting transformation happens in the context of relationships when people feel heard, understood, and respected. I aim to meet clients where they are in a space that is safe, non-judgmental and allows for true healing and change by honestly confronting painful and uncomfortable issues.

In my work as a therapist and as a human I value authenticity, respect, strength, and empowerment of others. These values govern my life, and are at the root of my integrative approach to therapy. This is why I use multiple modalities including Emotion Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems, and Solution Focused Therapy. I also believe that our physical and emotional well-being are directly connected so I incorporate a variety of body exploration and movement techniques to further the change process when appropriate. I have found that in using a variety of frameworks I am able to tailor my approach for each individual client’s specific needs.

I enjoy working with a variety of populations including: young adults & adults dealing with anxiety, life transitions, trauma, and depression; couples dealing with anything from high-conflict to sexual difficulties to pre-marital counseling; and women dealing with self esteem, eating disorders, confidence, and societal pressures. Also, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community I aim to provide empowerment and better the quality of life of fellow LGBTQ+ persons through my work as a clinician and as an advocate. My pronouns are she/her.

When I am not working you can find me going on hikes with my partner, spending time with our dogs, playing pickleball, trying out a new restaurant, testing out a new recipe or spending time with loved ones. I find joy and connection through each of these activities and view them as an opportunity to learn a life lesson or find greater meaning that I can share with others. I would be honored to help you heal and reach your most fulfilled life. I am ready whenever you are.”

Anna sees clients in our Athens office. Email Anna at Anna@ca4wellbeing.com  Call Anna at 706-425-8900

 

Counseling Associates for Well-being’s  Isom White, LCSW wrote a very thoughtful piece published in the Georgia  Society for Clinical Social Work (GSCSW) summer publication for his colleagues. It is a wonderful invitation for all  to contemplate. In it he addresses his white colleagues in particular to assist them as they endeavor to work to help those impacted by the generational tragedy and trauma of  racial injustice.  I encourage you all to read and consider.  Isom in GSCSW 7-20

From : Georgia Society For Clinical Social Work  Volume 43. Issue 25

By Isom E. White, LCSW

 

Mindful Connections with African American Clients
FROM THE EDITOR: “Passionate, powerful, and purposeful. I implore you to read this.”
The question is this: How do you (a non-African American) mindfully engage
with your Black/African American clients on matters of racial injustice
and police brutality?
Given the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the abysmal history of Black/African Americans dying
by the hands of White/European American police officers in the United States, I must use my privilege and platform to help my fellow thera navigate these cyclically tragic and traumatic events—traumatic events that get passed down from generation to generation and become an entire community’s truth. It is a shared truth that must be acknowledged for meaningful healing to take place.
Before I can even begin to help White/European American therapists show up for clients of color in the therapy room, I have to ask some
critical questions. Please, reflect on whether or not you are making your services available to the Black community and other communities
of color. How many Black/African American (or other persons of color) clients are currently on your caseload? Is there one? Five? One percent? Or five percent? Do you accept insurance or private pay only? Do you offer a sliding-fee scale? Do you accept Medicaid? If not, are
you aware that these could be barriers to receiving your services for communities of color? Are you willing to change your practice to be
more accessible to communities of color? Are you willing to accept less money? Are you willing to sacrifice the extra time that it takes to
become paneled by insurance companies?
Can you hold in your awareness and accept that you may have unconsciously constructed these barriers to distance yourself from serving
Blacks and other minority communities? We haven’t even entered the therapy room and there is so much work to be done.

Are you willing to educate yourself on the history of police brutality and systemic racism in the United States and its effects on the Black
community? Furthermore, are you willing to accept this as truth for your Black/African American clients? Are you willing to accept the abhorrent history of White supremacy in America as a part of your truth and understanding? Can you become aware of the resistance or discomfort in doing this extra “work”? Let’s be honest, you already have a full caseload, a family, a partner, and your own issues/trauma in which
to deal. Can you locate the sensation of discomfort in your body? Are you willing to accept that discomfort, breathe into it, and create the
space needed within yourself to provide more compassion towards your Black/African American clients?
A helpful place to start understanding and educating oneself on the effects of White supremacy and systemic racism on the Black/African
American community can be found in literature. I strongly recommend that you read, The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of
Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.

Let me pause and refocus the direction into the therapy room.

As a White/European American clinician sitting across from your Black/African American client you are witness to the recent murders of
their community members, the subsequent televised and demonized grief response, and your current position of power as a healthcare
provider. What do you notice is happening within you as you sit across from them? Are you nervous about them bringing up their trauma
from recent events? Are you uncomfortable processing their own experiences of overt and covert racism? Are you becoming present to
moments when you have acted on your own prejudices? Do you notice feelings of guilt or shame for doing so? Are you insecure about
your ability to sit with their trauma? Are you outraged, disturbed, and traumatized by your witnessing of a VERY public execution? Are you
confused? Do you have questions? Are you able to notice what’s happening in your body as these thoughts cross your mind? Do you notice the urge to approach or avoid the conversation? And can you breathe acceptance into those urges, emotions, and thoughts?
In doing so, even if you are partially successful, you may be able to practice the compassionate stillness it takes to be present to the trauma experienced by the Black community.
Holding all those reflections in a nice and neat little compartment as all therapists are so skillfully trained to do, you can begin the session. And as your client sits across from you, here are a few tips on how to begin.
1. Meet the client where they are. “Where would you like to begin today?” This invites your client of color to broach the topic of
current events or not. Don’t assume that just because it’s happening and they’re Black that they wish to talk about it in
therapy.
2. If the client wishes to process their feelings about their current or past traumatic experiences with racism, ACKNOWLEDGE
your race, privilege as a person of non-color, and your inability to fully understand the Black experience. “I have no idea
what it’s like to be a person of color.”
3. Be mindful of your inner experience when your client is processing. Do you notice urges to avoid their trauma? Do you notice your own insecurities? Do you notice the urge to assuage your own guilt? Try to avoid asking, “How can I help?” Instead, try tip #4.
4. Be mindful and curious of their experience in the therapy. “What is it like to process these feelings with a White /European
American person?” Can you notice shifts in their body language? Breathing? Can you notice if and when transference and
countertransference has entered the therapy room?
Lastly, and most importantly. The best piece of advice I can offer to White/European American clinicians showing up for your Black/
African American clients is to do the RESEARCH on America’s history of systemic racism, so that you can WORK to acknowledge
your PRIVILEGE without prejudice, which will then open space for you to remain present and truly LISTEN and empathize with the experience of being Black in America.

 

Isom E. White, LCSW, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Kennesaw State University in 2011, and with a Master of Social Work
from the University of Georgia in 2015. He enjoys working with a variety of populations: late-adolescents, young adults and adults, LGBTQ+, and executive
professionals who are dealing with anxiety, depression, anger, grief & loss, trauma, and life-transitional issues. Isom also embraces working with men’s
issues, high achievers/perfectionists, and healthcare providers. As an African American therapist, he holds a strong commitment to enhancing the quality
of life and empowering people of African ancestry through advocacy, human services delivery, and research. Isom incorporates mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral interventions including Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Dialectical Behavioral
Therapy (DBT) to enhance the therapeutic process by cultivating non-judgmental awareness, compassion, and purpose. You can find Isom E. White at
Counseling Associates for Well-Being at 3050 Atlanta Rd, Smyrna, GA 30080. You can reach him at 706-389-1708.

Counseling Associates for Well-Being is pleased to announce that Jennifer Boone, LCSW will be joining us  July 1st, 2020. She will be serving clients out of our Athens office. She has a wealth of experience and has worked in the Athens community after getting her MSW at UGA in 2000. Her specialties include  anxiety, depression,  caregiver stress and life transitions.  Please reach out to her at JenniferBoone@ca4wellbeing.com to see if she would be a fit for you.

More from Jennifer Boone:

“In my 20 plus years of experience, I have had the privilege of helping individuals and families in a variety of settings.  I strive to provide a place of acceptance in which clients can explore the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with the goal of changing negative thought patterns to facilitate lasting change.

My approach to therapy is to focus on the inherent strengths and worth of each individual, while fostering a therapeutic relationship of respect and collaboration.  Truthfully, I learn so much from my clients in this process. My personality and style are both positive and warm. My hope is that I convey to my clients the authentic joy that I find in my work.

My areas of specialty include: assisting women in various life transitions; helping individuals integrate self-care practices while balancing the demands of life; assisting caregivers with stress; assisting young adult and college age students as they navigate early adulthood; and assisting individuals suffering with stress, anxiety, and depression.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and kids, swimming, going on bike rides, and going to the beach as often as possible!”

 

 

We at Counseling Associates for Well-Being would like to wish the very best to our former colleague Janet Beasley as she moves to her new location. As of March 1st, 2020 Janet can now be found here:

New Resilience Counseling
1551 Jennings Mill Road Suite 3200A
Watkinsville, GA 30677
office 706-257-3004
fax 706-257-3001
www.resilicounseling.com
janet@resilicounseling.com

Yoga is now scientifically verified as an effective treatment for depression and anxiety.  Most people think of yoga as physical fitness, often imagining difficult physical poses requiring strength and flexibility.  Yoga is much more than this-what most people think of as yoga is actually Asana or the physical poses which are only one part of the system of Yoga. The 8 limb system also includes philosophy, breathing and meditation practices which lessen suffering and enhance peace of mind.

Slower, body sensing yoga practices are more effective for anxiety, depression and trauma.  In addition, pranayama (breathing practices) and simple seated postures and mudras (hand positions) are powerful methods to calm the nervous system, enhance or calm mood, as well as increase self-compassion.  These ancient practices are powerful proven tools to combat emotional imbalance and negative thinking patterns.  Please see this news article that summarizes some of the recent findings https://www.newsweek.com/yoga-therapy-mental-health-mental-illness-depression-anxiety-eating-disorders-666220 .

In my own life, I have found yoga practices to be an anchor in moving through difficult life transitions and a reliable set of skills that lead to more peace and happiness on a daily basis. If you are interested in joining an upcoming group “Yoga Skills For Emotional Balance” with Suzanne Morgan or would like more information about therapy and yoga, please contact me at suzanne@ca4wellbeing.com.

We are so happy to announce that on May 1st, 2019  Isom E. White LCSW will be opening his new office in Smyrna / Vinings Georgia.    We will be sad to see him leave the Athens area, but he will be a tremendous addition to the Atlanta area. Isom sees a variety of clients. He is excellent with the young adult, college age group, and also has experience with professionals struggling with high pressure careers, or those in life transitions.   Isom is in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kaiser and Medicare, and he can also file with other insurance plans for out of network benefits if needed. He is ready to schedule you an appointment, whenever you are.  Call him at 706-425-8900 or email him at Isom@ca4wellbeing.com

Isom E. White, LCSW

We here at Counseling Associates for Well-Being are so excited to announce that Stephine W. Smith, LCSW, CADC II is joining us in our Athens office.  She is going to start seeing clients in our Athens office starting April 1st.  Stephine  has most recently been serving clients at The Samaritan Center for Counseling and Wellness, and we are thrilled to have her make her new professional home with us.  Here is a little bit about Stephine that she  wrote about herself so you can get to know her:

Stephine W. Smith,
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a history of working with individuals and families with Co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.  I discovered my calling while visiting my sister in the hospital after she had been burned in an auto accident.  The therapist who prepared us to support her on her journey of healing was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and that wonderful experience enabled us to know how to support her and my family.   For this reason, I believe one of the most important aspect of therapy, is the relationship between a client and therapist.

I’ve had the privilege of working with a diverse population of individuals and families on their journey of discovery and healing for over 20 years.   I’ve gained knowledge, experience and wisdom working in the field of behavioral health and substance use disorders.  My career started at Phoebe Putney Health System/Behavioral Health in Albany Ga, which was my first introduction to direct care for those living with and managing mental health and substance use related concerns.  I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask for help and accepting help can be a sign of strength, which is sometimes the most powerful thing one can do to heal.

My holistic approach to therapy centers on the connections of mind, body and spirit, and equal attention to these areas are important in the healing process.    My client centered approach strives to provide a safe, compassionate, relaxing, non-judgmental environment in which individuals, couples and families find the opportunity to grow and heal.   I believe my role is to help clients identify their strengths and encourages each person to live their best, authentic life as defined by themselves.

I utilize techniques such as CBT, ACT, REBT, Solution-Focused Therapy, Systems Theory and Meditation. My integrative, complementary approach strives to provide a personalized approach, tailored to each client. Areas of interest and specialty include: Depression and Anxiety, Addiction & Recovery, Stress Management, Conflict Resolution, Emotional Management, Trauma, LGBTQIA affirming and Career Counseling.

You can contact Stephine W. Smith to make an appointment at 706-425-8900 ext 720 or email her at Stephine@ca4wellbeing.com

We are so excited to welcome Isom E. White, LCSW to Counseling Associates for Well-Being here in our Athens office!  He is a  very thoughtful, skilled, and warm clinician who enjoys working with older adolescents, young adults, and adults through the lifespan.  He has some rich experience working with  people to help them  heal from trauma as well as  helping them navigate life transitions. He enjoys helping people with relationship struggles, anxiety and depression.  He is available to schedule new clients in our Athens location. Isom is offering a limited number of reduced fee openings for those that cannot pay regular fees.  Please contact him at 706.425.8900 ext 719 or by email at Isom@ca4wellbeing.com to set up a time to get started.

From Isom about himself:

“My passion centers around guiding clients throughout the journey of life while assisting them in the cultivation of their dreams, ambitions, and goals. My approach to treatment begins through a compassionate lens of the “person-in-environment”, the idea that an individual, couple, or family cannot be understood fully without respect for the various aspects of their social, familial, temporal, spiritual, economic, and physical environments.

I enjoy working with a variety of populations: late-adolescents, college students, adults, LGBTQIA, couples, and families dealing with anxiety, depression, anger, grief and loss, trauma, and life-transitional issues. I also embrace working with men’s issues and athletes with performance issues. As an African-American therapist I hold a strong commitment to enhancing the quality of life and empowering people of African ancestry through advocacy, human services delivery, and research.

In  both my personal and professional life, I am cultivating a mindfulness practice. Practicing mindfulness has allowed me to intimately connect with the present moment thereby enhancing my relationship between mind-body, with loved ones, and with nature. I find incorporating mindfulness-based Cognitive behavioral interventions including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) enhance the therapeutic process by cultivating non-judgemental awareness, compassion, and purpose. I apply these principles to the therapeutic relationship by cultivating a warm, non-judgmental environment, allowing clients to feel safe in connecting with the most intimate parts of themselves so that they may begin the healing process.

My therapeutic philosophy incorporates trauma-informed approaches to therapy. Often times out of necessity, survivors of trauma need to disconnect from themselves (mind & body) to survive the most difficult and horrific experiences of their lives. Using a trauma-informed lens, my hope is to assist clients in healing the fractures of trauma by re-establishing the connection between their mind and bodies. I find the use of the evidence-based trauma treatment “Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing” (EMDR) assists individuals in the healing process by making links between unhelpful aspects of traumatic memories and present day problems.In my personal life I am a husband, brother, and devoted dog-parent to my, pitbull-boxer mix, Maple. Georgia has been my home for over 15 years now but I still consider myself a native Chicagoan. During my spare time, hobbies I enjoy include: coaching & playing lacrosse, video games, weightlifting, and caring for my Bonsai tree collection.”

 

 

We are so very happy to announce the latest associate with Counseling Associates for Well-Being. Leslie Sessley, LCSW has a fabulous new office in Decatur. This is another location to add to our already existing locations in Athens, Madison, and Alpharetta, Georgia.  She is available to see clients in Decatur and surrounding areas. Leslie accepts Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield  insurance plans.

She is a skilled family and individual therapist who has some valuable experience helping those who are stressed by the tasks of caregiving or having aging parents as well as other complicated family dynamics. Leslie has training and expertise on neurodegenerative conditions and does peer training  on these topics. She has completed training  in mediation.  She is warm and friendly and super smart. We couldn’t recommend her more.
Please check here for more about her.
https://ca4wellbeing.com/about/leslie-sessley/

Leslie_Sessley_Associates_Page

IMG_4170

Many individuals have experienced some form of trauma in their lives, ranging from mild to catastrophic.  The good news is the recovery from a traumatic event is more than possible, it is a true probability.  Evidence based treatment methods, to include EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Memory Reconsolidation Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Yoga, and relaxation/meditation techniques are instrumental in providing relief and recovery for some of the debilitating symptoms of a past traumatic experience. Evidence based treatment methods used in counseling have proven time and again to work as well as, and sometimes better than, psychiatric medications which are typically used to treat depression and anxiety.

The interesting thing about traumatic experiences are the varying degrees with which individuals perceive the same experience.  For instance, a car accident could potentially prevent someone from riding in a car for as much as the following year.  Another person may have the same type of accident but experience it much differently with different effects.  Maybe the second person is okay to hop in the driver’s seat the next day after a major accident.  We are all unique and experience this world in various ways.  No matter what the outcome, it is possible to rise above the despair and fear, no matter how great or small, and to overcome any distress or symptom which may linger.

The loud sound of a crowd, horns beeping in traffic, sudden noises, particular places, certain smells, or any trigger which leads to the memory or response of the trauma can lead to extreme discomfort, to say the least.  Don’t give up hope.  Help is just around the corner and counseling can have significant results in alleviating your symptoms!  If you would like to speak with me regarding the techniques, please do not hesitate to call me at (706) 425-8900 ext. 717 or email me at janet@ca4wellbeing.com.

Janet W. Beasley, LPC

Janet W Beasley