More on Stephanie.
"What I most value about my experience, and believe is now one of my greatest passions, is that I work largely with people who have achieved external success by anyone’s definition, yet their internal experiences represent limitations and challenges most outsiders are likely unaware of."
My developmental years came with its challenges. Life served up some turbulent waves in the form of various family disruptions, loss, neighboring addiction, and health issues that left me with a sense of confusion about the world around me. Art was my primary outlet as I navigated life and with this, my path had always been headed towards a career in the art world. I graduated with my degree in Art History but it didn't lead me to fulfillment. Facing a spiritual "bottom", I had the gut feeling something was missing. I was a fully functional adult on the outside but I still felt the wounds of my past. I lacked what I know now and what I have come to understand as psychological insight; something that can be gained from the guidance of a great therapist. I needed someone to ground me with coping skills, walk with me, challenge my negative core beliefs, and teach me to give myself compassion. Part of my own healing work began by engaging in service work, and a series of events led me to what I now know, without the faintest of doubts, is my calling. I began my masters in Clinical Social Work, which is a program that focuses not only on training for therapy, but for helping communities, advocating for social justice and human rights. I personally know the importance and the challenge of unlearning old messages, roles, beliefs, and ways of coping that hold back the best version of ourselves. I'm impassioned and grateful for my privilege to assist others as a passenger on the journey of their own life process.
Although my focus is always my client and never my own story, the clients I work with often, but not always, have common threads with my story or at least connect to it in some way. Like me, they tend to be high functioning, keeping much of their internal life in private. I’m passionate about helping people who’ve been affected by challenging family dynamics and addiction because I’m familiar with that experience and I want to help people have ownership of their stories and change the family legacy.
Faulty coping mechanisms, addiction or substance use, impulsivity, family of origin impact, codependency, spiritual concerns, shame, perfectionism, anxiety, self-esteem, and various forms of loss (death, divorce, change or major adjustments, etc) are my sweet spots. My clients tend to be in their 30s and older, both male and female about equally, professionally successful (or capable of being so but stunted) and usually intelligent to a fault (hello defense mechanisms!) with unexamined childhood wounds and a powerful inner critic.
I have a Bachelors from the University of Florida and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of West Florida. My graduate training was extensive and thorough with an abundance of experience in helping people of various socio-economic positions and presenting concerns, which challenged me to find a way to support my clients in any circumstance. Upon completion of my degree, I began strengthening my expertise over the next 7 years in working with individuals facing various addictions. I initiated my work at a residential treatment center, Cumberland Heights, in Nashville, Tennessee where I ultimately worked as an intensive outpatient therapist for adolescents, providing individual, family and group therapy.
My husband and I later relocated to Texas where I continued my work with addiction and expanded my focus to include other life concerns. I began working as a therapist at the Center for Recovering Families, a division of the Council on Recovery. Here, I helped with not only addiction and recovery, but also anxiety, depression, compulsive tendencies, divorce, grief and loss, healing from trauma, coping with a loved one’s addiction, relationship issues, stage-of-life concerns, spiritual concerns, stress management, and other aspects of the human experience.
I also have participated in extensive training in experiential therapy and am a Certified Group Psychotherapist. It is no secret that I am passionate about groups. It is one of the most unique and special resources to further self-awareness and explore how you show up in relationships in ways one might not otherwise be able to. I utilize an integrative approach to therapy and view each person I work with as unique, requiring the therapy to be tailored especially for you. My primary theoretical approaches include psychodynamic, family-systems, interpersonal, and experiential models of therapy. If the individual and their therapeutic needs call for it, I have experience and interest in expressive arts as a way to deepen the work.
What I most value about my experience, and believe is now one of my greatest passions, is that I work largely with people who have achieved external success by anyone’s definition, yet their internal experiences represent limitations and challenges most outsiders are likely unaware of. I consider it a great privilege to support a person who wants to achieve success not only in their work-life, but in areas like emotional intimacy and intelligence, empathy, relationship satisfaction and authentic expression of self.
It is not uncommon for me to encourage clients that I truly believe they are the best experts on themselves. I'm there to help facilitate your own discovery and expertise. I do not believe anyone is a problem to be solved. With that, I also hold the belief we are all in a process of growth as long as we’re living, and can be prone to blind spots. I will hold space for your story and your life with care and compassion, with the understanding that trust is earned and relationships must be built. I commit to showing up whole-heartedly and with honesty, wherever and however you are, as a witness, a challenger, and supporter.
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