Counseling Associates for Well-Being is pleased to welcome our newest associate, Chris Williams, LCSW, He will be based in our Athens location and begin seeing people via telehealth.  Chris has a broad range of experience and treats couples and individuals. His areas of specialty are working with those with anxiety and trauma, and those with spiritual/ faith challenges or trauma . He enjoys doing premarital counseling, and  helping couples with infidelity recovery and  improving communication and connection.  Please reach out to him at Chris@ca4wellbeing.com if you’d like to set up an appointment.  .

Chris Williams, LCSW

We at Counseling Associates for Well-Being would like to wish our colleague the very best as she moves to her new location.   Jennifer Smith, LMFT has moved as of November 1st, 2020.

Jennifer P. Smith, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Chase Park Warehouse
160 Tracy Street
Unit 4, Suite 7
Athens, Georgia 30601
(706)619-1701

We are wishing our colleague Stephine Smith, LCSW all the best in her move to a new location!  Here is her new contact information:

Stephine W. Smith, LLC

stephine.smith.46@gmail.com

Phone: 706-413-8177 – Fax: 706-413-8087

 

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!”

 

 

06 Apr 2020
April 6, 2020

Telemental health

News

Aaron D. Kirkwood, LAMFT discusses telemental health.  Is it right for you?  Watch the video here for more information and then reach out to ask questions or make an appointment.

Aaron D KirkwoodCall or email me for an appointment or to ask questions about online therapy

(706) 534 – 8558

Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

 

13 Mar 2020
March 13, 2020

Online sessions

News

Given the recent developments of community transmission of COVID-19, we encourage our clients to consider online sessions rather than in person.  Online counseling sessions, sometimes referred to as telemental health are a safe and effective way to stay connected to your therapist when you are unable to come in to the office for a session.  These sessions are for established clients who have already had an in-person intake and may not be appropriate for every client.  We use a HIPAA compliant platform that is convenient to use, and sessions may be covered by your insurance provider.  Our therapists are licensed and trained in providing effective counseling services in an online format.  If you are interested in moving your session online, contact your therapist directly.

The most important aspect of coping with a public health crisis is to stay calm, so we also suggest the use of relaxation tools that may help reduce stress and maintain a sense of calm in uncertain times.  One example is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (Stahl & Goldstein), and another example is “Stop, Breath & Think” videos on YouTube.  They are found at https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCkB9zEEqnP9kMIf5VChd99Q.

 

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

27 Jan 2020
January 27, 2020

Wellness Group

News

Taylor will be conducting a weekly wellness group starting Friday February 7th at 12pm.  The group meets weekly and uses a research-based format for improving wellness using Solution Focused Brief Therapy techniques.  Topics include physical, spiritual, emotional, social/relational and cognitive/intellectual wellness.  There are seven sessions, and new members are welcome to join at any time.  The sessions can be repeated as necessary.  Group members will use their personal strengths to set wellness goals, find solutions and explore previous wellness efforts that worked for them, as well as focus on their ideal future wellness to improve functioning across all the domains. The cost is $35 and can be billed to health savings and credit cards.  Insurance is not accepted for this group.  Email taylor@ca4wellbeing.com to join.

.