What is your main goal when working with a client?
My main goal when working with a client is to partner with them and to provide a space to explore their life story. Through the exploration of their story, it is my hope that clients will be able to experience growth, healing and empowerment.
What is your approach and what methods do you employ?
My approach to counseling is client-centered. I believe in the power of the therapeutic relationship as the basis of the therapeutic process and I meet my clients with authenticity, empathy, and a focus on the client’s needs in the moment. We explore the coping skills that are being used and explore different ways to cope with difficult emotions as needed. I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and expressive art techniques in session as well as Internal Family Systems (IFS) and strength-based approaches to explore and improve coping skills and to understand the client’s relationship with themselves and others.
What age groups do you most often work with?
I typically work with clients between 10-35 years old.
Are you passive or active in the session, what can a client typically expect sessions to be like while working with you?
Typically, I am active in session, interacting and working with the client to achieve their goals and learn and practice skills; but each session varies depending on the client’s unique needs in each session. A client can expect sessions to be a safe place where they explore their lived experience, daily stressors, and past hurts. My clients receive empathy, encouragement, and support in session, as well as healthy challenge and accountability when needed.
What is your background and what are your credentials?
Throughout my counseling career I’ve worked in many settings, including residential mental health hospital settings and various private schools in Central Florida. I have been at Gilstrap & Associates since 2018 and have loved working with children, teens, and adults! I am trained in Prepare & Enrich for couples counseling, Sand Tray Therapy from the Institute of Playful Healing, and most recently completed Level 1 Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training in January 2020. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
What is the reason you decided to get into counseling?
I love to sit with others and create relationships with my clients and create a safe place where they can take a break from the stress of the world and have time dedicated to their needs. I truly want every person to have a place where they can explore their emotions and lived experience with the support of a counselor to work through the difficulties of life. It is an honor to work with clients and help them achieve their goals and be a part of their life story.
Tell us about your education.
I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. After graduating, I moved to Florida to attend Stetson University where I earned my Master’s degree in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling.