SUPPORT TEAM

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Dr. Pearl Wong Abood

LMFT, LMFT-S, Owner

My journey to becoming a counselor started over 20 years ago. Originally from Hong Kong, my family migrated to the east coast to begin living the American dream. Growing up, I learned a great deal about living as a minority in a small southern community which provided a breeding ground of understanding how our differences can join and unite people. It was with this early formation in mind that I became a professor and concurrently started a private practice passionately focused on helping people connect in their relationships. I strongly believe people bring their own skills and can build skills to truly and deeply connect with one another in meaningful ways. I trained as a marriage and family therapist in South Carolina and gained a doctorate in Louisiana. In 2009, I moved home to Charlotte to teach in the newly accredited graduate program in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) at Pfeiffer University. As an Associate Professor, I taught courses for over a decade in courses such as family
therapy theories, assessment and treatment, crisis intervention, research methods and therapeutic alliance; I also supervise clinicians who have a specialization in couples work. My private practice began as a result of learning many lessons from my childhood that I carried into adulthood and still carry today. A saying that resonates in my systemic work is: “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower” (Alexander Den Heijer). My belief is we are all born to be our own unique flower. True connection and bonding develops when we understand our own purpose. Our practice approach focuses on relationships and building each partner and family member to be the best versions of themselves. Our passion is creating a safe place for all people to truly connect. We work with couples  and individuals who are in life transitions (i.e., relationship issues, infidelity, addiction, grief and/or trauma) and those who may need a safe and healing place to nurture their own growth. We are an affirming group who works with LGBTQIA+. Overall, our diverse group of clinicians create a place that provides practical and unique solution-focused strategies for couples, individuals, and families.

 

www.lotuscounselinggroup.com

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Dr. Tommy Bischoff

LMFT, LMFT-S

I believe that every person has the capacity to heal and improve. You are strong and capable, even if you are struggling or hurting. Life can and will be difficult at times, and therapy is a great place to work through, improve, and heal from whatever challenge you may face. With effort and willingness, I firmly believe you can overcome anything and things will always work out. Therapy can be a reminder that you are good enough and assist you in reaching your goals. I am knowledgeable and well – trained in the science and art of helping people. I earned my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northern Illinois University. From there, I went on to pursue my Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Connecticut. I am an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and I currently teach and supervise as an Assistant Professor at Pfeiffer University in their Marriage and Family Therapy program- training students to become therapists. My therapy approach is very collaborative. I believe you are the expert of your life and I will work with you to achieve your goals. Research clearly indicates that having a good relationship between the therapist and client is crucial for positive outcomes to occur. I listen empathically, express compassion, and strive to create a space that feels comfortable for you to express yourself. In a safe environment, together we will explore, process, and learn what can be done differently in order to achieve greater satisfaction and peace. As a Marriage
and Family Therapist and a Certified Grief Specialist, I look at situations from a systemic and relational lens. This means that it is
important to examine one’s self, relationships, and environment and how each of these interact with each other. Each of us influence and are influenced by our relationships and environment. Understanding the process for how you interact with each of these things will bring greater awareness and opportunity for change. My specialty is working with couples and individuals particularly relationship issues. My clinical focus also includes, but is not limited to: anxiety, depression, trauma, infertility, self-esteem, stress-management, family conflict, communication issues, spirituality, and grief and loss. I am also fluent and able to
provide therapy in Spanish.

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Ashley Brown

MA, LCMHCA, NCC

Finding the right therapist can be stressful and even scary when searching for someone to disclose the most vulnerable parts of ourselves. Knowing this, I take on a very person-centered approach, as sessions are yours to steer, ensuring that clients feel safe when discussing certain vulnerabilities, difficult thoughts, emotions, or experiences. I also believe that part of self-discovery may include exploring our attachments and relationships with others in our lives, relative to current struggles. Within sessions we may unpack thoughts, emotions, and experiences relating to differing attachments, both positive and negative, to gain a better perspective and understanding about the self and how we relate to others in the here and now. Coming from a Puerto Rican background, I also know it is important to explore cultural aspects within our lives and ensure a safe space to discuss and explore those avenues as well. I always aim to create an environment that is collaborative in nature while utilizing research-based interventions from various therapy methodologies such as, but not limited to: Psychodynamic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Experiential Mindfulness Practices. Within my own trauma healing journey towards positive mental health and well-being, I have learned first-hand of how important it is to have a safe space to explore difficult thoughts, emotions, and the self. Through those personal experiences and my studies with counseling, it has ignited my passion for providing that safe environment for others while processing or navigating through their own personal healing journeys. I aim to encourage and empower others to see and embody the strength, that they already possess, in order to move towards their most authentic selves and a positive lifestyle of their own making. Being a trauma survivor myself and coming from a Military family of Marines, I thoroughly enjoy working with Veterans and Sexual Assault survivors. I also enjoy working with members of the LGBTQ community and being a part of their counseling passage. I firmly believe that regardless of background, cultural differences, or lifestyle everyone deserves the opportunity to take steps towards positive mental health and over well-being. I am also very passionate about working with individuals and families affected by Autism and ADHD.I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate through the North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (LCMHCA- #A15504). I am also recognized as a National Certified Counselor (#1373484). I have a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Kutztown University and earned my Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. Since 2013 I have provided therapeutic and behavioral services in various work settings within both Pennsylvania and North Carolina. For the past 2 years I have provided counseling services for children, adolescent, and adult individuals, couples, and families. I like to have fun and move within sessions, so some days may not be the typical sit and talk for an hour type of session. Through my own healing journey and life experiences, I know it can be difficult and sometimes intimidating to sit and disclose vulnerabilities for an hour; which is why my ultimate goal within sessions is to make you feel comfortable and safe to be yourself while utilizing interventions that gets us both up, moving, and getting creative! Specifically, I utilize experiential techniques of Walk-Talk and other Mindful Movement activities. Art and nature are also other factors I try to incorporate within sessions. With my love for the outdoors and extensive knowledge on the mental health benefits of the combination of movement, talk-therapy approaches, and the biochemicals of nature, we may engage in this experiential therapeutic adventure together! Overall, I aim to bring my most authentic self into sessions with the hopes that clients will feel safe and comfortable to share their most authentic selves as well. Together we can collaborate in untangling what, at first, may seem daunting and impossible to reach a point of peace , acceptance and appreciation. Outside of my passion for counseling others, I love getting outside, going for a good run, engaging in yoga practices, enjoying anything Harry Potter related and being able to spend some quality time with my husband, two Pitbull rescues and my cat!

 
 
 
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Jessie Penner

MA, LMFTA

Life will always present challenges, and we will always be pushed to adapt; but this does not mean we have to do it alone. Whether you are simply looking for someone in whom to confide or a helping hand, I want to offer you a judgment-free space of support. I strongly believe that having a place to be present with your emotions can make all the difference. I have always trusted that the human brain is innately programmed to be resilient and powerful. And your mind is nothing short of incredible. Nonetheless, we all have our own struggles that make us feel as though we are not resilient and not powerful. My goal is to help you recognize that you are both. I am passionate about guiding others to self-identify and appreciate the many traits that make them uniquely wonderful. During our time together, we will explore your strengths, coping mechanisms, and support systems to foster resilience during your challenging time. I practice psychotherapy with the desire to create a personalized experience for each and every client. Therapy sessions are flexible and multifaceted through the use of different theoretical approaches and modalities. Your therapeutic goals will determine our course of treatment. I became deeply interested in a therapy career ever since I began my undergraduate psychology studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I have immersed myself into the field ever since then by finding jobs that would broaden my understanding of people as well as my experience as a clinician. My involvement in a trauma and resilience lab, my role as a court advocate for victims of domestic violence, and my position as a rape crisis companion all led me to want to pursue my passion for therapy. I then received my Masters at Pfeiffer University in Marriage and Family Therapy. I specifically chose to be a Marriage and Family Therapist because I had become blatantly aware of how crucial everyone’s support system is in their path to healing. In addition to my interests in psychology and people, I enjoy being active, cooking or baking and trying new recipes, as well as being outside on a sunny day by the water!

 

“ The beach isn’t always a place. Sometimes it’s a feeling.” -Unknown