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Get to know Samantha Merrill, Licensed Associate Professional Counselor (pending)

We are thrilled to introduce a new member of our Steady Hope team today! We had the opportunity to sit down with Samantha Merrill to learn more about what inspires her and fosters a strong connection with her clients. In her roles as a trauma therapist and maternal mental health therapist, she provides compassionate support to clients navigating life transitions. Welcome, Samantha!


Smiling trauma therapist providing services in Decatur, GA and virtually


What got you into the counseling field?

I spent the beginning of my working life around children and families, and I quickly realized that I was passionate about creating spaces of safety and connection. As I continued to learn about the healthy development of children and families, I realized that a core need and desire of all human being is to be seen, heard, and known.

I also came to understand, through work and life experiences, that we are interconnected beings, and that mental and emotional health was a critical piece of wholeness.

I also personally experienced the life change of sitting with a counselor who witnessed and heard my own life stories and walked with me towards hope and healing. I knew that I wanted to hold these spaces of hope and healing for others in the context of clinical mental health, too, and then pursued the avenues to be more equipped to do so!


What is the biggest myth you have heard about counseling?

“Therapy is only for those with serious problems.” How untrue! First, I would argue that “serious problems” is subjective – while therapy is an integral part of treating a clinical mental health diagnosis, therapy is for any and every level of concern. YOU determine what is significant to you! Therapy can also serve as a space for growth and recognizing strengths! Second, I would argue that anyone and everyone can benefit from a therapeutic space. As mentioned above, I believe we are all wired to be seen, heard, and known. Some of us might not have ever experienced that, and some of us may have incredible support systems…but either way, every person deserves to know that their experiences matter. A trusted relationship with a good therapist opens up new avenues for healing and growth for any human being.


What types of clients do you work with?

I enjoy working with people who are encountering life change, who have experienced trauma, grief, or loss, and who are working through relational issues, especially in their family of origin. I work with individuals ages 14 and beyond, and couples who are seeking to strengthen their relationship. I also have a passion for supporting mothers at any stage in their motherhood journey, from pregnancy to parenting.


What’s your favorite tool/book/recommendation you give to almost all of your clients?

My favorite tool to use is the Window of Tolerance. This tool helps identify those contexts where we are most “ourselves” (calm, engaged, in control) and where we “go offline” towards hyper arousal (amped up, driven by emotions, unable to choose our actions) or hypo arousal (down, disconnected, disassociated). Having curiosity about this window and the triggers that send us outside of it can lead to awareness, power, and choice to respond differently across life. This also helps bridge the body-mind connection, from which I draw other tools and interventions to help bring about relief and change.


What does free time look like for you?

In this season of my life, the majority of my free time is spent with my family! I am a mom of a little one, so that keeps me moving constantly. We enjoy being outside, having friends around our table, and listening to music together.


What is your favorite thing about the work that you do?

It is such a privilege to do this work. While holding space for some of the darkest parts of someone’s story can be heavy, I get the honor of witnessing and celebrating the resilience, strength, and life change of those same stories. Holding hope with and for clients always returns to me hope and joy for my own life!


What is your go-to coffee order?

Lately it has been a simple iced coffee with a hint of sweet cream!


 

If you're interested in scheduling a free consultation with Samantha be sure to click the link here to get started!

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