Supervised by Elizabeth Grady, LCMHCS
Get to know Christopher
Chris is from Coastal North Carolina and has lived in North Carolina all his life. While he has a diverse background of experiences, the common thread is showing up in service to others. In college, he coached fencing. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor’s in English Literature, Chris taught capoeira, a Brazilian martial involving dance, music, and movement. He went to college on a teaching scholarship, and when he ended up in IT work, his role was to help people accomplish what they needed to do. He has always shown great patience and the ability to meet people where they are and help them get where they want to go. Moving into counseling feels like the next step in the natural progression of his calling in life.
While teaching Capoeira, Chris watched people push their bodies too much and end up hurt. He wanted to change that pattern and pursued licensure in massage and bodywork to learn how to help people care for their bodies. Helping work brought an awareness of how people connected to their stories and struggles through movement. Out of a desire to work with more of the whole of people, Chris began a Master’s in Counseling in 2020 at North Carolina Central University. Somatic attachment therapy was a natural orientation after so much time teaching movement. This orientation means that he recognizes the reciprocal relationship between the mind and body in promoting optimal health and the importance of how we interact with ourselves and those around us.
Chris believes that wellness means coming to a compassionate understanding of ourselves that can not only help us manage what we might label as dysfunction but can also help us to thrive. Everything makes sense if we know enough. By accepting this, we can understand what looks like dysfunction is how we have adapted to survive in the world. If it no longer serves us in our values and goals, then we work on changing those behaviors that no longer serve us so that we can continue to grow beyond just being okay.
Chris is interested in working with anxiety, depression, managing stress, and resolving trauma. He enjoys working with self-understanding around non-mainstream identities, such as gender identity, sexual identity, and alternative family structures like polyamory. He works with helping people connect to their emotional bodies, becoming fully present for the range of emotions. Learning to give all feelings space to be expressed and understood gives us access to our whole being.
While primarily grounded in Somatic Attachment Therapy, Chris employs aspects of various theories when working with individuals or groups, including Yalom’s group therapy approaches, Existential Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, and Internal Family Systems. He believes that everyone is doing the best they can and that most dysfunctions are adaptive behavioral strategies developed over a person’s lifetime of experiences. We do not always need to know the reason for a given strategy, but we can have compassion and understanding that there is a reason and, from there, work on changes supporting clients’ needs and goals. Creating a safe and judgment-free environment is the best way to move forward.
Chris’s other interests include homesteading on his 45 acres of land, creating art, and learning to sing and play guitar.