Stacey D. Tays MA, LPC
So, you’re considering counseling…maybe for the first time or maybe you’ve tried it off and on for years. Let me see if I can guess a few of your thoughts and questions: Is this going to work? Do I really want to tell my story (or tell it again) to a new counselor? What if they’re weird? What if they think I’m weird? Will they judge me? My trust issues make it hard to be vulnerable. Am I/we too broken to be fixed? I’ve had a bad experience with counseling and don’t know why this time would be different.
Does any of that sound familiar?
Well, let me just say I’ve had all those thoughts and questions at some point in my own therapeutic journey. That’s perfectly normal! I am a professional counselor, but I am also a client and I truly believe in the therapeutic process both professionally and personally. The felt experience of being on your side of the couch is one of the greatest assets I bring to our counseling relationship. Education, training and experience are certainly important factors when selecting a counselor, but it’s just as important that you feel comfort, connection and trust during our time together. Those are must haves for a successful experience and they are my primary goal and standard for every session.
Humans are hardwired for connection and through that modeled experience in our sessions, you will learn how the relationships in your life (including with yourself) are impacted by your emotions and attachment style. When you feel something, what is the story you tell yourself that makes that feeling make sense? How do you know that story is true? What if it’s not? How are your feelings informing your behavioral response to a particular situation, person or experience? This process is the basis for Emotionally Focused Therapy and is the approach I primarily utilize. It applies across all types of relationships and is such a powerful tool for clients to use whether they’re in individual or couples counseling, a family system or even a professional relationship. In addition to being emotion-based, my sessions are client-centered and solution-focused. I want you to leave feeling empowered to take charge of your own life and equipped with tools and strategies that you can immediately implement.
As for those questions: yes, counseling absolutely works if you work at it. You will always get 100% from me, but the personal benefit is going to be greatest when you fully commit to the process. A compassionate counselor will actively work to build rapport and trust so that you feel safe to be vulnerable with your feelings and emotions. You will never be judged. Don’t stress about feeling weird or thinking you’re broken in some way. Most people are hardest on themselves and while you might think that would drive positive change, the guilt and shame we carry often becomes a barrier to change. As you come to understand the moves you make and why you make them, growth comes much more authentically and has a much longer lasting and positive impact in your life and relationships. A greater sense of self allows you to live in the fullness of who God created you to be and I am honored and humbled to walk alongside you on your journey.
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Fun Facts About Stacey
I am very, VERY afraid of frogs.
My bucket list includes delivering a baby and learning to play guitar.
I write with my right hand but do everything else left-handed.
I do not like wearing shoes.
I was struck by lightning my junior year at A&M but thunderstorms are still my favorite type of weather!