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 August, 2017 Featured Counselor of the Month is
Mental Health Counseling Student Intern
Tell us about your education and professional counseling experience.
I have a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Hospitality, and am in pursuit of my Master’s in Counseling degree at Palm Beach Atlantic University. I will graduate in Spring of 2018 with intention of pursuing my state counseling license. I have worked as a Graduate Student Intern within private practice since the Spring of 2017 and have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of people.
What would you say has been the most significant life experience (past or present) that has shaped your counseling direction?
When I was 23 years old I found myself looking at my life and realizing I had many things going well for me, none of which felt like me. I was struggling with depression and anxiety and just knew there had to be more than what I was living; there had to be more to me. A few months later I met Jesus, I feel like for the first time. I had heard messages of religion most of my life, but something clicked for me that day and I knew that from then on it would be different. It is difficult to put into words what a transformation my life has gone through since that day, but basically I have been on a journey I never expected. Pieces have been messy and difficult as I have faced the deepest and darkest parts of myself, but with every new turn I meet more of who God is. This has been my most significant life event because I would not be here today living in such freedom if it weren’t for Him.
What can a client expect working with you as their counselor?
With me, a client can expect a place of safety and trust, with a few jokes mixed in. I am focused on getting to know my clients from their unique perspective and helping them as they journey to find their way. I will ask questions, provide support, and bring challenge to you with the hope of providing space for new growth.
What would you consider your specialties in counseling?
Areas of specialty would include spiritual identity, gender issues, career guidance, relational struggles, depression, and anxiety.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not counseling?
When I am not counseling get me outside, on the water, with the people I love! My hobbies include surfing, kayaking, hiking, yoga, reading, watching Fixer Upper, and hanging with my dog.
For more information about Lauren,
click here to view her bio.