407-522-9919

info@gnorlando.com

7601 Conroy-Windermere Rd.

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What are your areas of expertise?

My areas of expertise include trauma focused interventions, as well as crisis informed care aimed at addressing various cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders. I am also trained to work with individuals and families dealing with grief and loss, divorce, blended families, adoption and abuse.

What is your main goal when working with a client?

My main goal when working with a client is to enter their world and their experience as they are living it. By being fully present and engaged in this process alongside the client, they feel heard, understood, and safe to share what they may be struggling with. This journey toward self-awareness, growth, and healing is life-changing and a continual process.

What is your approach and what methods do you employ?

My approach is integrative, combining art therapy, play therapy, and mindfulness techniques to help my clients process pain, trauma, and abuse in a safe and therapeutic environment. I value the client-therapist relationship as a key part of the change process, and truly believe in the healing nature of kindness, empathy, trust, and honest emotional expression.

What age groups do you most often work with?

The age groups I most often work with are children, adolescents, and teenagers ranging from 4-18. I have recently started to work with couples, parents, and grandparents which I have loved and look forward to doing more often.

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

I tend to take on a more active role in a counseling session, but not necessarily directive. For example, I am always actively engaged with each client in session whether it be through listening, sharing stories, through creating art, or during play. I am not directing the client in what they should or should not be doing or saying, as I truly believe they are fully capable of making their own choices. They simply may be stuck and in need of someone to help guide them toward better self-awareness, insight, and confidence in themselves and their abilities. A client can expect to have a true partner in the therapeutic process when working with me.

What is your background and what are your credentials?

Before working in this field as a mental health counselor, I worked in various professional industries including business marketing, health insurance, and sales. The one thing that remained constant was the importance of placing the customer first. My ability to connect with people in person, in email, and on the phones, served me well in whichever career I was working in because I was genuine and authentic in my approach. This is the same approach I take now that I am a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern (RHMCI) working toward licensure in the state of Florida.

What is the reason you decided to get into counseling?

There is a definite connection between my family of origin experiences as a child, my life experiences as a teenager and young adult, and what has brought me to this junction in my journey today. Each experience, whether positive or negative, has been an opportunity for me to learn, to grow, to change, and to heal from. I am finally becoming what God has always intended for me to become, and while that is exciting and liberating, it also means that I must let go of my past hurts and embrace who I am in Him today. I have been blessed beyond compare, and know that my pain and suffering throughout the years has not gone unnoticed and will be used for great purposes. This is the reason why I have chosen the counseling profession today. I appreciate the opportunity to share myself with others and to help them learn how to share themselves with me. We are each on our own journey and must make choices each day about whether we allow ourselves to be hindered or helped by our past and what we choose to learn from our experiences. By no means am I minimizing the pain of abuse, neglect, or broken relationships, but I am suggesting that we all have hope for a better future if we are willing to work through our “stuff.” This is the message I give my clients, so I must be willing to do the same myself!

Tell us about your education.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. I am trained and received certification as an Adoption-Competent therapist, and I recently completed training and certification for Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). For more information about ART please click here.


If you would like more information about Abby please call 407-522-9919 or email her directly at awirick@gnorlando.com.