ORLANDO COUNSELING TARA RIGGS

Tara Riggs

Marriage and Family Therapist Student Intern

My areas of expertise include working with couples, families, and individuals faced with a variety of relational and internal struggles.

What is your main goal when working with a client?

My main goal in working with clients is to fully attune with my clients, allowing them to feel heard, seen, known, felt, and accepted which in turn frees them from the isolation and judgment which too often invades other relationships. From that place of joining with my clients, I hope to gently expand their understanding by exploring various perspectives and beliefs that have often unknowingly been internalized throughout life in order to make more intentional choices about the life they want to lead.

What is your approach and what methods do you employ?

I take an Emotionally Focused approach, believing that "you have to feel it to heal it." Practically speaking this means that in session there is a focus on the meanings, interpretations, and emotions surrounding the events in our lives in order to understand and transform our conscious awareness of those events. I view people with an attachment lens, believing that we are social, bonding animals who thrive in secure relationships. In working with couples and families, I believe that love and affection are meant to flow naturally and view myself as a process consultant, helping clients to discover and remove the blockages in that natural flow.

What age groups do you most often work with?

I work primarily with couples, parent-child relationships, young adults, and adolescents.

Are you passive or active in the session, what can a client typically expect sessions to be like while working with you?

Clients can expect me to be very active with them in the session, taking the role of a participant with them in their journey rather than an observer of it. I will often gently challenge my clients to view their experiences from a different perspective in order to gain a greater awareness of themselves and foster greater self-compassion.

What is your background and what are your credentials?

Prior to becoming a counselor, I worked as a teacher for 5 years and have worked with teens in a volunteer capacity for over 10 years.

What is the reason you decided to get into counseling?

I chose to go into counseling because it was fit for my personality, passions and gifts. I desire for people to be free from the chains that inhibit them from experiencing the best that life has to offer and believe that this is done most effectively through the therapeutic process.

Tell us about your education.

My undergraduate degree was from Florida Christian College, now Johnson University of Florida, in Christian Ministry with a Specialization in Counseling. I graduated cum laude in 2008. I recently graduated with my Master of Science in Counselor Education at Palm Beach Atlantic University with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy.

2008

Undergraduate Degree in Counseling

Florida Christian College
2013

Certified Professional Teacher

2018

Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator

2018

Trained in Level 1 Gottman Method Couples Therapy

2018

Completed Externship in Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy

2018

Master of Science in Counselor Education

Palm Beach Atlantic University

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