Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
Here at Gilstrap & Associates, we delight in featuring counselors from our Orlando office that have gone above and beyond, shown exceptional care and proven why they deserve this honor. We hope to give you an insight into their personal and professional lives by asking them a few quick questions, so you can see just why we're so proud of them.
Tell us a little about your education and professional counseling experience.
I obtained a B.A. in Religious Studies with a Minor in Music from the University of Central Florida, and a M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Asbury Theological Seminary. I completed my Student Internship at Gilstrap and Associates and am currently a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern working towards my licensure. I have had the pleasure of serving on the team here at Gilstrap and Associates for over 2 years. I have received training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).
Why did you decide to become a counselor?
My own life struggles and observing the pain and difficulties of those close to me, propelled me to become a counselor. I have a history of my own traumatic experiences, hurts, wounds, relational struggles, and as a result have experienced the symptoms that come with these life experiences. Having gone through the counseling journey at multiple periods in my life (including now!), I have experienced first-hand the healing and growth that can come from this; this has allowed me to experience life, freedom, and genuine and authentic connection in relationships. My passion and desire is to walk alongside others in their journey so they may experience healing, growth, and freedom in whatever ways they may deem necessary and beneficial for them.
What are your specialties in counseling?
As an open and affirming counselor, I enjoy working with all people. I specialize in working with relationships, helping people to identify their internal and relational patterns we all get stuck in, explore their emotional experiences surrounding these patterns, and working together with my clients to grow their experience of connection with others and themselves.
What are the benefits of counseling?
Counseling provides a safe haven in which individuals, couples, and families are able to connect with the therapist, themselves and each other in such a way that helps us to slow down and navigate our own inner experiences and processes. In doing so, we are able to make sense of our actions and behaviors, foster new ways of connecting with our loved ones and the world around us and experience healing, growth, freedom and love in ways that can impact and change our lives for the better. Regardless of the issues you bring to the table, you are a human being; you are not a problem, your partner is not a problem, your child is not a problem. Counseling can help redirect our attention to the external problem rather than viewing ourselves as the problem.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not counseling?
One of my biggest passions is to connect with my wife and spend time with her (I bet you didn’t see that coming from a relational counselor 😉 ). I enjoy spending time in nature, reading, playing video games, and playing and writing music. Music is my oasis and is one of my favorite ways to process my life experiences and emotions (outside of connecting with my loved ones of course!).