I grew up in Ovilla, TX, which is a small town right outside of Dallas. My parents took a leap of faith and moved us there from central Arkansas, where they had spent their entire lives. As the oldest of three, I always thought of myself as older than I was, which probably drove my siblings crazy. I was a deep thinker and avid reader, and was always thinking about people’s stories and how I could make a difference in the world.
I went to the University of Arkansas for my undergrad, and while I was there I met my husband, Parker. We absolutely loved Fayetteville, and it was there that I fell in love with being outdoors in the mountains. We got married a year
after we graduated, and I started my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Texas, where I specialized in play therapy. After I graduated, we felt like God was leading us to move to Denver, where Parker’s company was opening a new location. We moved here with our pup, Milo, and have absolutely loved it!
What are some of your favorite hobbies? What do you like to do for fun?
I absolutely love to read and write. My favorite books are fiction stories and memoirs. I enjoy going on walks at the park with my dog, Milo, and Parker and I try to go hiking and camping as often as we can. I also love trying out new coffee shops with friends.
Tell us about a ministry moment that was deeply impactful!
In college, I had a strong desire to work with women who had been in sex trafficking and to share Christ with them. The summer after my junior year I had an opportunity to go to Thailand on my own and work with girls living in a safe house. I lived at a nearby orphanage for 5 weeks, right down the road from the safe house, and right beside the local church that ran both of them. I got to know the pastor and his wife, who were both Thai, as well as their son, Gift. Gift was in college, and wanted to become a counselor, but in Thailand there are basically no resources or jobs for aspiring counselors. Getting to know him, I realized that as a Thai native, he would be so much more effective in reaching the Thai people than I could ever be. I felt like God was showing me that He wanted me to follow my passion for leading people towards healing, but that I would personally be more effective doing that in America. Simultaneously, I felt like He showed me that I could partner with the people in Thailand by supporting people like Gift- whether financially or by sharing the multitude of counseling resources we have here. That experienced expanded my view of what it means to be on mission, and has helped give me a bigger and broader view of how I can love the people in front of me while still being a part of something meaningful in another part of the world.
When did you become interested in being a counselor?
My interest in counseling started because of my interest in doing missions and working with women who had experienced trauma. That evolved overtime, as I went to counseling myself, and realized how helpful counseling can be for just about anyone. I love being able to connect with people and to understand their stories, so counseling just felt like a natural fit for me. I always assumed I’d want to work with adults, but when I started my Master’s program, and took my first play therapy class, I realized how much I enjoyed working with kids. Play therapy completely captivated me. It’s an entirely new way of communicating. I love being a part of moving a child towards their best self– towards healing from trauma and past hurts—instead of them having to wait until they are adults to begin to heal.
Have you ever been in counseling yourself? What was that experience like for you?
I went to counseling for the first time my junior year of college, and went again to the same counselor my senior year. For me, counseling was a very freeing experience. It was amazing how helpful it was to process through the difficult things I’d experienced with a person who was safe, caring, and nonjudgmental. My counselor was able to help me make connections between things I’d never connected before. She helped me understand how my past was affecting me in the present, and how my emotions and physical sensations were connected.
By the time I finished counseling, the anxiety I had been experiencing before was almost completely gone. My counselor was also a Christian, and I really appreciated that she always let me decide how much I wanted to include my faith in sessions. When we did talk about faith, she knew the right questions to ask, and I always left feeling encouraged knowing she was praying for me. My experience with her was instrumental in my belief that counseling matters and that it works, and that helped keep me going when I was in the process of becoming a counselor myself.
If you’re interested in setting up an appointment with Casey at our Centennial location, please email us at [email protected], or give us a call at 303-902-3068! Some of Casey’s specialties include: play therapy, work with children and teens, issues around parenting/adoption, identity development and sexuality, spiritual issues (doubt and exploration), stress/anxiety/depression, childhood trauma and/or abuse.