I am a licensed clinical social worker providing psychotherapy, stress reduction, and mindfulness training in a safe, supportive & non-judgmental setting. My practice philosophy is to start wherever you are and to walk alongside you on your path of personal growth, towards greater well-being & peace. I believe in every person’s unique wisdom and ability to formulate solutions when warmly supported to recognize their strengths.
I am also the co-owner of The Neighborhood Counseling
Center in downtown Kirkwood in Atlanta, Georgia, where
I share space and community with several other
Please read about my offerings & services & do not
hesitate to contact me with questions or for a free phone
** I strongly affirm that my practice is a safe and welcoming place for people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, people of all abilities, religious minorities, women, and all who desire constructive help or change, whether focused on personal, relational, familial or societal transformation. **
My practice philosophy is to start wherever you are and to walk alongside you in your path of personal growth, towards greater well-being & peace. I believe in every person’s unique wisdom and ability to formulate solutions when warmly supported to recognize their strengths.
Though I am keenly aware of the power of thoughts & emotions to cause suffering, I also know that you are NOT your thoughts & emotions but something much greater – and that it is possible to find freedom from that suffering. I believe that with support & guidance, we can all tap into the deep reservoir of calm awareness that exists underneath the layers of stress, planning, worrying, thinking, questioning ourselves, and all the other ways we can cause ourselves distress. I also believe strongly in the power of the present moment. I will invite you to open up to the strength and calm that can come from attending to the always unfolding present moment, one breath at a time.
I know that deep wounds can be created in unhealthy family, romantic, and other relationships, both in childhood and across the lifespan. But the flip side to that—which gives me great hope & encouragement!—is that healthy relationships in the present moment can help heal those wounds and move you towards greater wellness and even, eventually, to joy! I am a student of neurobiology, and I know (both from academic learning & personal experience) that the brain is constantly adapting and changing. This is wonderful news because it means that we can choose to positively impact the way in which our brain re-wires! I am here to offer guidance, support, and specific strategies so that you can identify steps needed to re-wire your brain for greater wellness & well-being.
I also believe that self-care and self-compassion are among the greatest gifts we can give ourselves on our path to healing. In our busy, over-stressed, Western society, we all too often beat ourselves up, fill our heads with self-doubt, and run ourselves ragged. (I know– I have done this too!) I will support you to develop a plan for self-care in order to combat some of these insidious forces in our world – so that you can carve out some space and time to just BE. I also help you shine light on those unhelpful, self-critical parts of yourself that may have been telling you stories for so long that you really believe they’re true. Together, we can pull some of those parts of self out of the darkness and truly see them for the creations that they are. Opening your heart to feel compassion for yourself and your own suffering is a critical piece to being able to feel kindness, warmth, and compassion for others. And when you are able to feel those feelings towards others, a joyous life becomes possible.
Sometimes I work with people to solve specific, time-sensitive problems, and I use solutions-focused strategies and techniques to help them develop plans of action. Sometimes I help people manage particular symptoms that are causing distress, teaching skills for coping. Sometimes I offer strategies and practices for stress reduction. Sometimes I help people really dig into their histories and their deeper wounds, diving in together to a longer term healing and self-care process. When needed, I refer people to participate in other activities, groups, or communities to get their needs met – whether this means going to yoga, seeing a doctor, meeting with a nutritionist, or joining a spiritual community. Always, I work from each individual’s unique context & attend to his or her emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to witness the growth and transformation that can arise within the context of a safe, supportive, & non-judgmental therapeutic relationship. Thank you so much for embarking on this journey with me.
History & Training
I have strong roots in the South, having grown up in Montgomery, Alabama, but my life path carried me through different parts of the country and world before settling back in Atlanta in 2010. When I was 18, I moved from Alabama to snowy New Hampshire to attend Dartmouth College, earning a degree in Psychological & Brain Sciences. After college, I spent 15 months living in Tanzania and working with street children at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Following that life-changing experience, I worked for two years in New York City at an organization that advocated for reforms to the child welfare system. These combined experiences affirmed my passion & commitment to spend my life working to help others, and I moved to California to pursue a graduate degree in social work at UC Berkeley.
In graduate school & beyond, I served families in the child welfare system and was at times overwhelmed by the enormity of the suffering facing human beings. Early on during this period, searching for strategies to help me stay in balance, I was introduced to mindfulness meditation. Since 2007, I have cultivated a meditation practice that has helped me be grounded, present and open-hearted, even in the face of great suffering. Mindfulness practices were a natural complement to yoga, which has also been a precious source of balance in my life since I began practicing in 2001.
After two years of post-graduate work in California, I resettled in the South & now happily call Atlanta home. My first four years in Atlanta, I worked at an agency that provides community-based psychotherapy to children, adolescents, adults and families. In all my years of providing “in the trenches” therapeutic support to families & children, from Africa to California to Georgia, I have learned invaluable lessons about human resilience & the power of compassionate presence and empathy. I am deeply honored to earn the trust of my clients and to walk alongside them towards wholeness, well-being, and peace.
I am a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in the state of Georgia, a member of the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work, and a member of the National Association of Social Workers. I am a certified Mindfulness Mediation Teacher, having completed a two-year-long training program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, through their Awareness Training Institute. I was honored to be part of the inaugural group of 300+ students from 17 different countries who gathered in California for three intensive training retreats in 2017. I am on the faculty of the Atlanta Mindfulness Institute and am a member of the teaching circle of the Atlanta Insight Meditation Community. Together with my dear friend and colleague, Jessi Heneghan, I also teach workshops for integrating mindfulness practices into families, through our partnership, Mindful Family Life.
Additionally, I have taken courses in Jon-Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), in Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) through Emory University’s Emory-Tibet Partnership, and in Mindful Self-Compassion. I have completed a year-long course in mindfulness principles called “Awakening Joy," have been trained in Trauma-Informed Yoga for Youth by the organization “Street Yoga,” and have been trained in Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy.
Offerings & Services
I offer individual therapy sessions for adults wishing to reduce stress, improve their quality of life, repair relationships, or awaken to greater joy & well-being in their lives. Please read more about my practice philosophy here.
Whether you are curious to learn more about meditation, need support in revitalizing old mindfulness practices, or simply want to be more present in your daily life, I can help. I am an experienced meditation practitioner and teacher. I offer one-one-one mindfulness support, teach mindfulness workshops for adults, and teach mindfulness workshops for families and children.
I have years of experience working with adolescents, including those who have severe emotional and behavioral challenges. Children tell me they feel safe, supported, understood and cared for in our sessions. At the same time, parents have reported significant shifts in their children’s behaviors and attitudes.
I enjoy creating safe & supportive space for families to come together to explore these habitual patterns and develop solutions for accessing greater peace & ease within the family structure. My clients tell me that their relationships have been greatly enhanced from the insights gained in family therapy sessions.
I have significant experience working with parents seeking support for the extraordinary challenges of raising children. In particular, I have assisted many parents who are struggling to manage behavior problems, including those that are severe.
Connect with me
I would love to hear from you and would be glad to answer any questions you may have. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to help you determine if I may be a good fit for you. Please feel free to call me at 404-432-0404. If you're ready to get started, you can also schedule a session using my online calendar.
My office is moving in the summer of 2019!
2033 Hosea L Williams Dr, Suite 2
Atlanta, GA 30317