Healing the Whole Family

Healing the Whole Family

This leads to many questions, most importantly, what about the other family members? Were they affected in any way? Were they unknowingly part of the problem?

Acorn Counseling is there for the whole family. They focus on not only finding the root of the problem, but in helping all members of the family to find their voice, communicate their feelings and heal so that they may once again come together as a family. They have a full staff of therapists, each with her own specialties, and each ready to help all members of the family to begin the healing process.

“If we have a patient with depression, that is a family issue,“ said owner and LPC Counselor Christy Graham. “Yes, we do have people who will work with the person who suffers from depression, but the people around her need support as well to know how to deal with it.”

By working with the family, not only can each member learn how to handle the situation, they learn how to transition back into being a family. Sometimes, the members have unknowingly contributed to the problem and that’s where counseling is not only helpful, it’s vital to keep the issue from recurring.

“A lot of a families go through transitions and stress,” said Graham. “Our job is to help all of the family members connect with each other in a healthier way.”

Acorn Counseling has three fully licensed therapists, two provisionally licensed LPC interns, and one Master’s level student who sees clients under the supervision of other therapists. There is a full playroom ready for play therapy, several counseling rooms, and a large dining table in
the kitchen.

“We’ve found that bonding over food is a great way to share,” said Graham. “We want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible.”

By having a treatment team available, the counselors are able to take a “team” approach to the family. If both siblings need counseling, two counselors may work one on one with them at the same time so they don’t have to come on different days or on different hours. Then the counselors meet to discuss what they have learned and the best path forward for everyone. While Graham is great with moms and kids, Ashley Barkley is great with adolescents. When it comes to marriage counseling, Laura Westbrook is the one with the most experience while Laura Lanier specializes in DBT counseling and eating disorders. Stephanie Mouser is already a school counselor and is great with kids of all ages. Together they work toward the solutions.

“Sometimes we’ll meet and figure out something that we might have missed working individually,” said Graham. “We use that to make our treatment better.”

In addition to their own counseling team, Acorn Counseling also works with an amazing network outside of their own. For example, someone suffering from depression may need to be checked into a facility. Acorn Counseling will work with the family and also with that facility to better understand the patient’s issues and reintegrate that patient into the family. They will also take over the counseling duties once the patient is discharged from the facility.

The team at Acorn Counseling has such varied experience, once a call for help is received, they jump into action. A point of contact with the right counselor is established, and a meeting is set up to decide if it’s a good fit. They don’t just treat families, either. For single people or anyone needing therapy, following a divorce or another traumatic event, they are ready to help.

According to Graham, the single largest thing that binds the clinicians together, aside from a love of helping clients, is Christianity. If the client chooses, a Christian approach may be integrated into any of the sessions.

“As you can see, we are all of different-ages, approaches and backgrounds,” said Graham. “The one thing that binds us is our love of Christ which leads us to serve.”

The counselors agree that every single day is totally different but having the synergy of a team to help their patients heal makes a huge difference.

“It’s great to work with a team that cares so much about all of our clients,” said Graham. “It’s the end result that is the best part of the job.”

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