Hello! My name is Kirsten Cole and I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate and Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist Associate. I am originally from South Florida, but moved to Boone, North Carolina to attend Appalachian State University. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and then went on to receive my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I have recently moved to the Charlotte area with my husband, Charlie and our dog, Baxter.
In my free time, you can find me at the gym lifting weights. I fell in love with fitness after I began a weight loss journey three years ago. I was able to experience firsthand how beneficial physical exercise was for mental health (and vice versa) and I encourage my own clients to be aware of how their physical and mental health are intertwined. When I’m not at the gym, I am home baking sweets or exploring new restaurants with my husband.
I have a fierce passion for helping others. I have worked in the community mental health setting with clients with a broad spectrum of disorders. I wholeheartedly believe in the strength and capacity of my clients and provide loyalty and encouragement as we work together towards a better lifestyle. I understand personally and professionally that growth and change do not happen without adversity. I understand, also, that such adversity is incredibly healing and rewarding for the body and mind.
My counseling work has focused on adolescents and adults with mental health and substance abuse concerns. I identify with a person-centered, and cognitive behavioral theoretical approach with motivational interviewing techniques. This integrative counseling approach strives to balance mindful awareness, a genuine and empathic relationship, and a collaborative effort at identifying what changes a client can make to minimize emotional and behavioral disturbances.
The word “addiction” may sound big and scary, however, it is not a determinant of going on a recovery journey. Recovery takes many shapes and sizes and leads to a path of wellness. I am here to stand beside you in your wellness journey to help identify unhelpful coping mechanisms and behaviors such as shopping, internet/gaming, gambling, and substance use. I also work to support family members of individuals that struggle with the disease of addiction.
My therapeutic approaches are individualized for each client and not one approach is a “one-size fits all.” I will work to adjust approaches if necessary, in order to best serve you as my client. I will also assign homework that is designed to help reinforce the work we are doing in our counseling sessions. As a counselor, my goals are to help individuals understand their lives, cultivate self-awareness, and facilitate growth.