Meet Amy Ray
In counseling, I get the opportunity to understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes: to understand their experiences, their struggles, their thoughts, and feelings. Yet, as a counselor I am also a third party on the outside looking in. This perspective helps me communicate to clients other variables they may not see due to their close proximity to the situation. Combining insight with education can facilitate personal growth. I believe it is a privilege for someone to share their experiences with me and allow me to become part of helping them achieve their goals for personal growth.
I realized a career in counseling would be a great fit for me while pursuing my undergraduate degree. I received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2001. I graduated with a Master of Education in Agency Counseling from the University of Montevallo in 2004. Currently, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a National Certified Counselor (NCC), and a Registered Play Therapist.
My passion has been providing counseling to children, adolescents, adults, and families who were interested in improving issues related to communication, depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, self-esteem, stress management, parenting, and transitional stages in life. I began working in mental health in 1999, while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree. I volunteered at an agency providing emotional support and assistance to survivors of sexual assault when they presented at local emergency departments for treatment. I was later hired by the agency to provide guidance to volunteers helping survivors of sexual assault in local emergency departments, as well as volunteers assisting children, adolescents, and adults who called a crisis line.
In 2002, I started working as an Intake Coordinator at a hospital that provided psychiatric treatment. I began graduate school while working at the hospital and moved into the position of Therapist after completing my degree. In my position as a Therapist, I provided group, individual, and family sessions to adolescents in both residential and acute inpatient care and group and individual sessions to adults in an acute inpatient setting. My career path then led me to work at a pediatric hospital providing counseling services to children and adults at an outpatient office for more than seven years. In addition to providing counseling services, I wrote six books printed by the hospital, which are being used as educational resources for families. I have presented to other professionals and to the community on a variety of topics including child abuse prevention, play therapy, and dynamics of bullying.
While I bring my experience in different settings into my counseling practice, I view each client and situation uniquely. I believe it is essential to work collaboratively with my clients in the counseling processing. My goal is to help clients gain the insight needed to make positive changes in their lives.