Welcome back to the Telewellness Hub podcast! Today we hear from Ashley Williams, Founder and Clinical Director of Cardinal Hope Mental Health Counseling Services. Ashley specializes in working with individuals who have experienced anxiety, as well as couples that anxiety has effected.
She’s a licensed and board certified Mental Health Counselor and LPC. She received her bachelor’s from Morrisville State College, and her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Interdisciplinary Trauma Studies Certification from the State University of New York at Oswego.
Ashley helps her clients quiet the noise of anxious thoughts and often sees results in the areas of more peaceful sleep, and improved communication in relationships. She uses CBT and Gottman Therapy in many of her sessions.
As Ashley began to describe the unique challenges that some of her clients tended to face during the pandemic, and during political unrest, two important questions emerged: how did she make sure she took care of herself while helping others, and what unique considerations might people of color and clients in minority or marginalized groups need?
Ashley shared some great insight about self-care as a therapist, including tuning in to what comes up for her, addressing any anxiety she might be carrying, utilizing resources like a network of therapists she can check in with, and taking moments to rest and unwind. She reads and meditates (but also watches reality TV which we all know is part of the self-care toolbox too).
She stresses the importance of acknowledging and validating her client’s concerns and anxieties when they’re related to social justice and legislation. Ashley also shares how she refrains from being “the expert,” even with clients who share similar cultural or ethnic backgrounds, because every individual has varied experiences in life.
When seeing couples, Ashley initially speaks with them together, but makes sure to spend time with each person individually, to make sure there is space to share openly with her.
We also talk about the importance of breathing, and how she coaches her clients to incorporate breathing and mindfulness into their lives. She also helps her clients find ways to journal or voice memo their feelings and experiences in order to release.
I loved how she described the thought exercise of imagining the worst thing that could happen. This can often disarm worry, and help us realize that we might just be able to handle whatever is ahead after all.
Anxiety is an individualized journey with varying triggers, so I know Ashley’s listening skills and breadth of insight about the topic are an asset to her myriad of clients.
For more information about Ashley, visit: cardinalhopecounseling.com/
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