Refuge.Church recognizes the value in professional counseling. Unfortunately individuals with mental health needs are often stigmatized, especially within the church community, and made to feel that they aren’t strong enough to cope with life’s challenges.
At various times in an individual’s life, counsel is needed. Often times counsel can be provided through the comfort of a listening friend or a spiritual mentor within the church family. However, there are times when the needs prove to be so challenging that a individual could benefit from treatment by a mental health professional. Refuge.Church desires to provide a resource to those who want to seek the help of a therapist as a means to improve his or her mental health. You are not alone!
To schedule an appointment call 239.220.6007 or email Karen Culbertson.
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Professional Qualifications: Licensure & Education
I am licensed by the State of Florida as a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern. My formal education consists of a Master’s of Arts in Professional Counseling from Liberty University, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Interpersonal Communication from The University of Evansville. In addition to the coursework from these institutions, my training included a five-month practicum at Genesis Counseling, and a five-month internship at The Salvation Army Crossroads rehabilitation program. I have also completed continuing education on medical errors prevention, domestic violence, Florida laws and rules of counseling, and a course on HIV and AIDS.
Philosophy and Counseling Approach
It is my belief that each person and situation is unique. For this reason, I do not subscribe to a “one-size fits all” counseling approach. I use an eclectic mix of theories and intervention strategies that best addresses the individual’s wellness, growth, and development. A good therapeutic relationship, in which the client feels valued, respected, heard, and accepted, is essential to the counseling process. This type of supportive environment will be provided as we work to cultivate trust while building a productive therapeutic relationship. Collaboration will be important in identifying issues and concerns. Both the client and the counselor must be active in developing goals and assessing progress.
Although various strategies and treatment plans are utilized, I tend to ascribe to the theory of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy explores how a person’s thoughts and feelings have the potential to affect behaviors. My approach is present focused and oriented toward problem-solving. Many times there will be homework assigned to be completed outside of the counseling hour. This work will be supplemental and helpful to the counseling experience, and will be discussed in the following session.
Most often counseling will occur in a face-to-face environment. When this is not possible, I am able to assist clients through the use of technology via the phone or computer. Services offered are individual, families, and couples counseling. The client will identify issues, as well as the desired outcome of counseling. A treatment plan is then developed through collaboration between the counselor and the client in order to attain the stated goals of the client. In order for counseling to be effective, the client must actively be involved both in session, and through assignments given to be completed outside of session. Areas of special interest include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, conflict resolution, substance abuse, and spirituality.