About Cheryl

profile picIt’s important to know your counselor’s education and work background as well as their areas of training. Knowing what you need and matching with the right therapist helps you make the best choice. Much of this process is personal. Without a trusting, assured connection with your therapist, it’s hard to share what you’re feeling.

I  hold a Master’s Degree from the University of Montevallo in Marriage and Family Counseling ( ’10). I am a licensed professional counselor (LPC #3156 ) through the state of Alabama. I am also a National Certified Counselor.

I am a certified EMDR therapist (see the EMDR page for a full explanation of this amazing modality). Through EMDR I focus on helping clients recover from traumas including sexual abuse, child abuse, traumatic single incidents (such as car accidents), attachment disorders, complicated grief, depression and anxiety. I also use EMDR to help people break the cycle of binge eating along with those struggling with chronic pain.

While my overall approach to counseling includes an integrated mix of theories, I have a particular leaning toward Mindfulness. Learning how to be present is the key to facilitating peace and perspective as well as alleviating anxiety, depression and negative beliefs. I also lead meditation groups at various times in my practice (see the Groups page for upcoming opportunities).

I also believe in the power of healing through creative arts and somatic work. My continuing study of trauma and how it affects the whole self has led me to understand the effects of holding on to negative emotions. Movement, energy work and other forms of expression are part of healing the whole person.

Therapeutic work background:

  • UAB Addictions Recovery Program in Birmingham where I facilitated groups for young adult men, families and spouses of addicts in recovery and led Mindfulness meditation groups.
  • Oasis Counseling for Women and Children in Birmingham as a couple’s, family and individual therapist. I have worked with women and teens struggling with issues of trauma including survivors of sexual abuse, grief, divorce recovery,  women in recovery from co-occurring addictions and eating disorders,  LGBT issues, anxiety/depression, life span considerations and spousal sex-addiction recovery.
  • Community Grief Support Services in Homewood as a group facilitator for loss of adult child, loss of parent/grandparent/sibling, loss of spouse. I have also worked with clients on an individual basis who struggled with first time loss as well as complicated and delayed mourning.
  • Magnolia Creek Center for Eating Disorders in Chelsea as both an individual and family therapist. I worked with individuals struggling with eating disorders ranging from anorexia nervosa to binge eating disorders to bulimia. I also worked with families to help them understand the dynamics behind EDs and co-occurring addictions.
  • Aletheia House’s Women’s Hope Program in Birmingham as a substance abuse counselor for mothers in recovery. I have led various psychoeducational groups, provided individual sessions and conducted assessments to help facilitate recovery.
Internships:
  • Oasis Counseling for Women and Children – 2009-2010
  • Community Grief Support Services – 2010

Nationally known expert trainings:

  • EMDRIA Certified EMDR Therapist – Supervision Kelli Briggs, MA, LPC
  • Level 1 & 2 EMDR – Roy Kiessling, LISW & Deany Lailoitios, Ph.D
  • Using EMDR with Addictions: The DeTUR Protocol – Arnold Popky, Ph.D.
  • Attachment Focused EMDR – Laurell Parnell, Ph.D.
  • Therapeutic Mindfulness – Ron Seigel, Ph.D.
  • Grief Therapy – Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D
  • Narrative Grief Processing – Robert Neimeyer, Ph.D.
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