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.

Aaron Kirkwood, marriage and family therapist with Counseling Associates for Well-Being in Athens, GA talks about a practice you might try to improve your relationships and your mental well-being during this trying time.  See the video here.

If you would like to schedule an appointment call (706) 534 – 8558 or e-mail: Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

Aaron D. Kirkwood, LAMFT, will be starting a group for couples entitled Collaborative Relationship Enhancement Group and is seeking feedback from couples in committed relationship.  If you are in a committed relationship and would like to respond please follow the link below to take this very brief survey.  Your feedback will help to shape the group so that it is useful for couples looking to improve their relationships.  This is an informal information gathering survey for the purpose of ensuring that the group is useful for couples who might attend.  If you have questions or comments please fill free to reach out to Aaron at (706) 534 – 8558 or Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

The survey can be found at this link.

 

Check out Aaron’s latest vlog about romance in long-term relationships/marriages.

If you’re interested in setting up on appointment to work on your relationship please contact Aaron:Aaron D Kirkwood

(706) 534 – 8558

Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

Aaron Kirkwood, LAMFT, discusses what couples have found helpful about coming to couples counseling.

 

If you would like to learn more about making an appointment for couples counseling Aaron can be reached at:

Aaron D Kirkwood(706) 534 – 8558
Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

Aaron Kirkwood, LAMFT, with Counseling Associates for Well-Being in Athens, GA talks about the importance of checking in with your stress level throughout the holiday season and why you might not want to skip self-care.

Aaron D KirkwoodIf you would like to set up an appointment do discuss how to manage stress, deal with family, or other relationships during the holiday season please reach out today.

(706) 534 – 8558

Aaron@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.”

 

 

I wanted to take a moment to welcome any new college students to Athens or say “welcome back” to those who are coming back again.  I once read that college is one of the most stressful periods in many people’s lives.  This stress is both affected by and has an effect on our relationships.  I discuss why you might want to visit with a therapist who specializes in relationships in my newest YouTube video which you can watch here.

Good luck this semester, and break a pencil!

Aaron D KirkwoodIf you are interested in scheduling an initial appointment give me a call today at (706) 534 – 8558 or e-mail me Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com.

I would like to invite you to consider the difference between discussions and arguments in the latest video on our YouTube channel.  You can watch it here.

Aaron D KirkwoodIf you would like to work on improving your communication either individually or as a couple please call or e-mail to set up an appointment.

Phone: (706) 534 – 8558

E-mail: Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com