Each month Gilstrap & Associates will feature one member from our firm. We hope to give you an insight into their personal and professional lives by asking them a few quick questions.
The November, 2017 Featured Counselor of the Month is
Ashely Taylor, M.S.
Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern #15662
Tell us about your education and professional counseling experience.
I received my Bachelor of Science in Ministry with a focus in Counseling from Johnson University and my Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University. I intend to continue my education and achieve certifications to best benefit my clients.
I am a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in the state of Florida. Before joining Gilstrap and Associates, I completed a student internship at The Center for Drug-free Living in 2012, while working with people struggling with substance abuse and relationship issues. In 2015, I began working at Aspire Health Partners as a student intern therapist. My job mainly consisted of working with court mandated clients, substance abuse, severe mental illness, relationships, women’s issues, depression, anxiety, group therapy and other mental health related areas.
What would you say has been the most significant life experience (past or present) that has shaped your counseling direction?
In college, I found that I was often lonely in school, related work, career and other responsibilities because I was very goal oriented. I achieved everything I needed to do, but I didn’t take time to reflect on what I was doing. It was all about getting from point A to B. It was all about accomplishment. When I graduated, I found that I didn’t have many significant relationships and it made me feel lonely and sad. At that moment, I had to learn what was driving me to act in such a manner. I realized it was because I did not love myself and see my value, so I tried to create my worth in what I can do. I remember thinking about Jesus and saying, “He died for me even before I had a name or before I could even achieve anything and He still loved me so much that he made it so that I can have life with Him oppose to death”. I remember asking myself why He would do such a thing for me? At that point, I made a decision to learn how to see myself the way that God sees me and as a result, I learned and to show His love. I learned that God has called me to love Him and others and show His love through counseling.
What can a client expect working with you as their counselor?
Clients can expect me to sit with them in their struggles and empathize with them.
When working with clients, they can expect me to be present with them, listen, empathize and be able to hold their pain and grief while still loving them and seeing them as a person. When we are in dark places, it is easy to lose sight of the end of the tunnel, and to begin to feel hopeless. While working with me, I am able to hold the pains expressed and also bring hope while walking with you in your struggles. I always want my clients to experience a safe place to process, explore, and to grow.
What would you consider your specialties in counseling?
I have worked with a range of clients dealing with substance abuse, depression, anxiety, relationship issues,severe mental health issues and so much more. At the end of the day, my expertise is helping people who are hurting to begin the process of healing and greater awareness as well as to to give them the tools to manage life struggles and to grow.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not counseling?
I enjoy spending time with my family, training for 5k runs, exercising, and spending time on the beach.
For more information about Ashely,
click here to view her bio.