Meet Gina Smith, M.Div., LISW-CP

Believer.  Encourager.  Lifelong learner.

As a therapist, I BELIEVE that anyone is capable of making positive changes in their life and is able to pursue growth.  I also believe that each person, couple, or family I meet is doing the best they can with what they have before them at the present time.  My approach is based on my belief that an accepting and supportive relationship is the most effective vehicle for changes and growth rather than an attempt to “fix”, diagnose, persuade or judge.  Through our relationship, we will address difficult issues, distressing emotions, negative patterns of behavior, and negative interactional patterns in relationships. I believe human experience includes both tremendous joy as well as pain and suffering. It is my desire to join you in this important personal journey, and honor any part of your experience as you courageously share it with me.

As an ENCOURAGER, I am truly glad to see you and glad to be with you. I genuinely enjoy my work as a therapist. I am interested in the stories of each person I meet, and how those stories have unfolded over time to bring a person to the place they are now. For me, connecting with you happens by putting myself in your shoes.  I have been called a “natural therapist” because I find listening, attuning, respecting, and having compassion to come with ease. This quality, along with intuitive ability and skills I have acquired through years of study and experience, make our therapeutic relationship a safe place for you.

As a LIFELONG LEARNER, I am committed to challenge myself to grow in my personal and professional life.  I engage in practices to benefit my personal life and health. Likewise, I grow professionally through participation with a peer consultation group, a learning consortium with exposure to current therapeutic modalities and experts in the field, and through participation in leadership seminars. For the past several years I have completed over 100 hours of training in an attachment based model of therapy called emotionally focused therapy, which greatly influences my therapy approach.  “More curiosity, less judgement” is a motto I follow as I continue learning from my best teachers, my clients.

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Gina is a licensed clinical social worker with over 25 years of experience.  Gina served several state and mental health agencies before beginning Lifeway Counseling to focus specifically on providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families of all backgrounds, faith perspectives, lifestyles, and sexual orientations. Gina is a Christ follower and believes that her faith roots have taught her to be gracious in her work as a therapist, respecting  all persons and all problems.

Specialties

  • Relationship, couple and marital therapy
  • Individual therapy, specializing in the treatment of depression and anxiety
  • Grief, loss, transitions, separation, divorce, and trauma
  • Adolescents and pre-adolescents

Degrees and Professional Affiliations

  • Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, Furman University, Class of 1983
  • Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Class of 1986
  • Masters of Science in Social Work - Children and Families, University of Louisville, Class of 1992
  • Member - National Association of Social Workers, License #5329, State of South Carolina Board of Social Work Examiners
  • Member - the Learning Consortium of the Midlands
  • Member - International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
 
 

Meet Kelli Barnes, MA, NCC, LPC

 
 
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Kelli has a passion for helping others and is excited to join her clients on their journey of healing and self-discovery. She understands that we all have struggles, and sometimes we need guidances to find our return to our healthy, authentic selves. Kelli has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2011 and is currently licensed in both South Carolina and Texas. She recently returned to South Carolina as a military spouse, and for that reason has compassion and understanding for the specific struggles that military families face.

Kelli has experience working in state and regional mental health agencies, and through those experiences has helped individuals address various issues including: relationship stress, boundaries/communication issues, depression, anxiety, mood instability, trauma, family discord and parenting issues, grief, addiction, and loss. She is certified in Cognitive Processing Therapy for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and has years of experience with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy among other therapy modalities. One of Kelli's primary interests is trauma work, which she believes to be a crucial focus due to the number of people she has encountered that have been affected by trauma directly and indirectly.

Another of Kelli's specialties is working with children. She has completed the Play Therapy Certificate program and is working to complete the requirements needed to obtain the Registered Play Therapist designation, as she has the desire to help children gain healthy coping skills and attachments that will benefit them throughout life.

Degrees and Professional Affiliations

  • Master of Arts in Professional Psychology, Argosy University, Class of 2007.
  • Play Therapy Certificate, Capella University (currently working with children ages 5 and up)