COUNSELING WITH DR. EMILY

To me, this is much more than a job or even a career. This is my life’s calling, and on some level I knew it at a young age. My parents kept this picture of me when I was four years old, sitting in a chair with my legs crossed and a clipboard in my lap while looking intently at the dolls and stuffed animals on my bed.

Dr. Emily at age 4, in the middle of a Psychological Evaluation with Raggedy Ann (Diagnostic Conclusions unknown)

More seriously, I simply cannot imagine anything in life more rewarding than seeing you live into the fullness of who you were created to be. It is a wonderful feeling to have a part in helping you uncover and rediscover all the wonderful traits and talents that make you uniquely you, and to walk with you as you celebrate a new freedom that comes with discovering just how terrific you are. I love people, and I love the whole beautiful variety of people. I am so honored and feel privileged indeed when people open their hearts to share their life journey with me, and allow me to help them write their stories and heal from their pain.

I am often inspired by the resilience of the human spirit, and I specialize in helping to foster resilience from a variety of traumatic experiences. I have experience helping people recover from a wide range of traumatic events including sexual assault/abuse, physical abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, neglect, domestic violence, combat, and other traumas.

I have over twelve years’ experience counseling trauma survivors with Cognitive Processing Therapy, an evidence-based treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  You can read more about it here  or click here for a brief video explaining CPT.  I also train other mental health providers in this treatment.  Several randomized clinical trials and effectiveness studies have provided evidence for CPT significantly reducing symptoms of PTSD and depression among survivors of various trauma including combat, sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence.

In addition to helping trauma survivors, I am experienced in working with anxiety, depression, Bipolar Disorder and other mood disorders, thought disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and a number of adjustment/life transition issues.  People who work with me consistently report improved confidence, a feeling of “freedom,” more clear self-image, a sense of hope, increased awareness of their strengths, more insight, decreased worry, and improved self-worth. I often hear relief expressed by clients who learn to make connections and insights into why they do what they do. It is not uncommon for me to hear that they used to think that what they were experiencing wasn’t “normal” or that things couldn’t improve, and now they have hope and are even excited for their futures. Few things bring me more joy than to hear that I have had some part in helping someone be more connected with their loved ones, better assert their needs, and be able to be more focused and present with the people and work that they value.

I also am regularly given feedback that I make the process comfortable, and people feel heard and cared for. I see your strengths when you feel burned out and at the end of your rope, and I work hard to help you see yourself the way I do. I make every effort to encourage you to care for and love yourself, to make time for the things that are important to you, and to find a way to discover what brings you fulfillment, purpose, and meaning in your life. I recognize the courage that seeking help requires, and it is truly my honor to be a part of your healing journey.

Read more about Dr. Emily

WHY COUNSELING?

Columbia Psychology Healing Center LLC is an association of independent mental health providers offering individual and group psychological services to children, adolescents, adults, and families.  Each provider utilizes evidence-based practices, and has their own unique and diverse professional background.  Read more about each of our providers here.

COUNSELING WITH DR. EMILY

I believe that everyone benefits from some counseling/therapy at some point in life.  We are not meant to get through this life without help from one another.  The mind and the body are connected in our overall health and well-being, so it is just as important to take care of our mind as it is to take care of our body.  At different times in life, we might go to physical therapy to strengthen some muscles.  I like to think of counseling as a kind of mind therapy that helps us build and strengthen the “muscles” of mindfulness, distress tolerance, focus, and values-based living (to name just a few of the many ways a therapist can help coach you in life).  Most of us haven’t learned coping skills to help us deal with difficult life circumstances and intense emotions.  You are not expected to have learned this; after all, this stuff still isn’t taught in most schools, and so if you didn’t learn it at home, now is the time.  Why not get some “continuing education” to increase your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and be the best you?  Let go of shame; you are not expected to have it all figured out, and you are certainly not expected to go it alone!  When you strengthen your muscles, you will find yourself having more and more “full circle moments” when you are able to help build others up with the same skills you have learned.

Seeking help is a very courageous thing to do, because it means that we are invested in being the best people we can be, and we are committed to living a life of meaning and value.  Seeking out counseling requires a vulnerability, which makes it all the more commendable-you are wise to risk feeling vulnerable so that you can move forward into your full life purpose.  It is an honor for me to walk alongside you in your journey, and I promise to listen to you without judging you.  You deserve to have a safe place to share your hurt and struggles.  Please know today that it is possible to heal from past pain, wounds, hurt, and trauma, and I am here to help you do just that.

“Other people are going to find healing in your wounds.  Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” -Rick Warren

Read more about How Counseling Works

THE PROCESS WITH DR. EMILY

Ideally, I begin my counseling with a comprehensive psychological evaluation, and I incorporate strengths-based assessment approaches throughout the counseling process, because I believe in having data that guides the most efficient and helpful treatment for you.  My approach is person-centered, which means that I collaborate with you and encourage you to discover and build on your inner resources and strengths.  I incorporate evidence-based approaches including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Cognitive Processing Therapy. I wholeheartedly believe that every person has a unique and important purpose, and I am passionate about helping you discover yours.  I am a genuine, authentic, and compassionate person who can also be direct with you if you need a little challenge; yet, my style is gentle enough that you may not even realize you are being challenged!  I am often told that people feel very comfortable and at ease with me, and that I am skilled at asking questions that really help them understand themselves, gain insight, and accurately evaluate life direction, values, strengths, and purpose.

Learn what is Right, Fix what is Left

Discover your Strengths at Columbia Psychology Healing Center LLC

FAQS

If this is an emergency, please contact 911 or your local emergency room.  If you are in crisis, please call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or NAMI at 1-800-950-6264. You are not alone, and help is available for you!