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ARIELLA CARTER

MA, LPCC

Specialties

  • anxiety
  • church hurt
  • depression
  • communication issues
  • life transitions
  • trauma
  • women’s issues
  • sexual issues
  • identity issues
  • LGBTQIA+
  • attachment
  • play therapy
  • SYMBIS (save your marriage before it starts)
  • EMDR-trained

EXPERIENCE LEVEL

Client focus

Age

  • toddlers
  • children
  • preteens/tweens
  • teenagers 
  • adults (18+)
  • Seniors (65+)

counseling type

  • individuals  
  • premarital
  • family
Philosophy and Therapeutic Approach

I tend to draw from trauma-informed models like AIP (Adaptive Information Processing, which EMDR is based off), IFS (Internal Family Systems) and Attachment Theory. Our brain is constantly adapting, studying past experiences, and learning from them as it updates its memory network systems. However, sometimes traumatic memories and emotionally charged experiences act as obstacles to this updating process.

These disturbing experiences create difficult emotions and sensations and are often stored and verbalized as negative cognitions. These stored memories and negative cognitions often contribute to mental health challenges. Through various therapy interventions we can access the neural network in the subcortex (responsible for memory and emotions) and process, then properly update those distortions to the adaptive present (positive cognition/resilience theme).

While that may have seemed like a lot of fancy terms and brain talk, I believe that our brain was designed to adapt and to heal. This healing is catalyzed through connection to the Lord, who is always at the center of healing, and to others (ie: a therapeutic relationship, friends, family). I love integrating Christian spirituality into therapy, if (and only if) that is something you are looking for.

As for children, their language is their play. Being given the space to freely to process emotions and experiences is such a crucial step in a child’s development. I combine a child’s play interests (movement, art, sand tray, toys, games, imagination etc.) with Synergetic Play Therapy techniques to help them process their challenging circumstances and thoughts. This process is done while working closely with parents and caregivers.

What to Expect in Therapy

Going to therapy can be intimidating and challenging. My goal is to relieve some of the pressure by creating a warm, authentic, and welcoming environment where you feel safe to be vulnerable. Everything we do is entirely voluntary, and I want you to feel comfortable sharing about your life, thoughts, and beliefs with me.

Personal Qualifications and Experience

I hold a MA degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University. I have been trained in EMDR and am working towards additional trainings and certifications to specialize in play therapy and other trauma-informed interventions with children and adults.

Before moving into a career as a counselor, I spent over five years as a wilderness guide with an outdoor ministry called Summit Adventure. I led backpacking, mountaineering, skiing and rock-climbing expeditions with children, teens, adults, and families. It was in that time of my life I realized that I wanted to be better equipped to help others through the various personal and mental health challenges. That brought me to where I am today—getting the opportunity to sit with you and be a part of your story and your healing journey, and that is the greatest privilege I imagine.

Personal Interests

If you can’t tell yet, I love the outdoors! I enjoy learning about the nuances of God’s creation. In my free time I love to mountain bike, rock climb and ski. I also love traveling and exploring new places (especially where there are mountains).

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3: 20-21

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. – (Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV).

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Cornerstone accepts CCHA Medicaid but does not bill other insurances. We do provide superbills for potential reimbursement.