Welcome to Orlando Counseling Services!

I believe wholeheartedly that this is your first step towards building a healthier and more fulfilling life.

My counseling services are designed to help people find acceptance, feel understood, and develop hope in the midst of their trials from the first time meeting me to the last.  I will give practical tools and strategies on how to manage life when it becomes unmanageable.  The truth is, life can be difficult. There is no way around that fact.  However, if you choose to come to counseling you will learn how to look at your situation from another perspective that will enable you to manage those difficult challenges successfully. I call it “retraining your brain”. I think it is important to change some of our silent beliefs that keep us locked into negativity. My specialties include relationship issues, family struggles, lack of confidence, PTSD, grief and trauma, Veteran’s issues, and anxiety.

Anger Management​

Anger Management  – You have a right to your feelings. It is the strength of the emotional reaction that hurts you and what you do with that feeling that hurts others. Don’t wait until the courts force you to seek therapy or until your partner walks out on you to get help. We can teach you how to deal with unpleasant feelings and improve control issues in relationships. Learn how to regain a positive perspective in your life and do not allow your anger to ruin it. We will help you to deal with your emotions, communicate your thoughts and feelings without intense conflict, and to relax your emotional ‘muscles’ while feeling good about yourself.

Attention Deficit Disorders​

Attention Deficit Disorders ~ Learn to deal with a myriad of problems associated with ADD or ADHD. If you tend to be restless, fidgety, easily distracted, or have trouble sustaining your concentration during activities or work, you may be suffering from an attention deficit problem. Individuals struggle in relationships and have difficulty with maintaining a positive work environment. There are also tendencies to use drugs or alcohol to cover up the discomfort of not being able to maintain concentration. Learn coping methods to overcome this disorder without causing pain for others who care about you.

Depression and Anxiety​

Depression and Anxiety – Overcome fear and improve your state of mind. Learn about what causes depression and build your coping skills. Develop greater knowledge about what generates fearful responses and how to abolish feeling overwhelmed by these emotions. Find out the difference between healthy and harmful types of fear.

Domestic Violence​

Domestic Violence – Whether you are the person being hurt or the person doing the hurting, we can help. We have years of experience helping people to understand what domestic violence is and how to deal with it. Most batterers do not think of themselves as being a batterer. Excuses are made but the struggle over power in the relationship continues to dictate harm and abuse to the partner or children. Seeking therapy, before it’s too late, will help you to gain a sense of control and dignity in your relationship without losing your marriage or suffering adjudication. If you are being hurt, you must seek help somewhere. If you allow it to continue you are running the risk of being seriously hurt yourself or allowing possible emotional harm to your children. We can help you to gain strength and to problem-solve reasonable solutions to your situation. We provide a safe, nurturing environment with strict privacy and confidentiality.

Grief and Trauma​

Grief and Trauma (Which leads to PTSD) – You don’t have to go to war to experience an emotional breakdown. If you have been involved in an auto accident, have been physically assaulted, or any perceived near-death experiences, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress. Do you have nightmares? Flashbacks of a terribly frightening event? Do you suffer from depression or have high levels of anxiety when you experience similar situations to your traumatic event? Are you easily startled? If so, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress. Our well-trained staff have the education and training to help relieve your symptoms and give you back your sense of safety. Our well-proven cognitive and behavioral techniques can end or alleviate these painful symptoms and let you return to a sense of normalcy.

Parent Child Conflict​

Parent Child Conflict – You really love your kids but they may be driving you “up the wall”. We can help you with parenting skills and we can help your child or teenager learn how to get what they need without tearing the family apart. We provide you with the skills of micro managing, managing, supervising, and advising your children as they develop and grow to adulthood. Learn what to do when your daughter is dating someone you cannot tolerate. Acquire the secret of getting her back on your side. Learn what to do if your adult child wants to move back in with you. Find relief for your family today!

Relationship Problems​

Relationship Problems – Learn how to improve your marriage, relationship with others at home and at work. Enhance your marriage and learn how to improve your parenting skills. If you are single, gain knowledge about Stress-Free Dating. If you find yourself in an addictive relationship, develop a means to break this addiction and learn more about healthy boundaries. Build strong relationship skills and improve self-esteem. The most important relationship you will ever have with anyone, is that which you have with yourself.

Stress Management 

Stress Management – Understand what stress is and how to deal with it in your everyday personal and professional life. Learn the difference between stress and distress. Find out what stress does to your health and your relationships as well as your work performance and how to eliminate unnecessary stress and what to do about unavoidable stresses at home and at work.

Women’s Issues​

Women’s Issues – Our culture sometimes makes it very difficult to be a woman. Females have many obstacles to overcome because of our once male dominated society. This is gradually changing but women still have to learn to cope with poor choices of marital partners, dealing with harassment in the workplace, struggling with sexual predators, and finding empowerment in their home and work. We provide the environment for women to overcome these hurdles and teach them how to be strong yet promote their comfort with their femininity. Build self-esteem, develop assertiveness, acquire inner strength and gain more effective relationship skills.

Work Related Stress​

Work Related Stress – Can’t stand your boss? That co-worker driving you bonkers? Work can be very stressful if you do not know how to deal with difficult people, have ineffective communication skills, have chosen the wrong career, or just feel like you hate your job. We can teach you highly effective stress management techniques reducing your frustrations and giving you a sense of peace in your life. Let us guide you in dealing with depression and anxiety from not coping well in your work environment.     

Online Therapy / Telehealth

It may be difficult for you to make it in to a therapist’s office. Traffic, childcare, distance, and work schedules all take from our limited time in the day. Due to these realities, Orlando Counseling Services offers video-based therapy for those who need it. We use secure, HIPAA compliant programs to provide therapy services directly to you. We never want the above circumstances to prevent someone from pursuing counseling. Contact us today and we can discuss if Telehealth is right for you!

Best Results: What kind of results should I expect from counseling?

  • Increased awareness of what is causing the problem

  • Increased awareness of how to fix the problem

  • Tools and resources on how to fix the problem

  • Goals and objectives identified to make necessary changes

  • Hope for a better future

  • Control and power to make changes

The benefits of counseling can be vast. Working on personal problems in therapy can help bring added meaning to your life, help you to learn excellent conflict resolution skills, and improve your marriage. You can be taught techniques to relieve stress and overcome depression and anxiety, as well as improve your self-esteem.

What Others Say

This year has been a tough one for my family and for millions of others who are struggling to survive. I know life will get better eventually and that we all must be patient before this will finally end. I just wanted to say thank you for all the time you have put into my mental health and well-being. You have been my conscience and my guide. You have helped me on the road to becoming a better father than I am, even though I know that the journey is not over with. You have never faltered as a positive presence in my life that has always been there to remind me that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel, but there is also light within the darkness itself. Thank you Debbie. The lost souls that cross your path are in good hands.

Anguish engulfed me. I wasn’t sleeping well and I cried deeply for hours. Intruding and often obsessive thoughts plagued my mind. Neither music nor art brought calm. I felt abandoned and detached from everyone. I even questioned if I loved anyone, yet I was a full time Christian worker and had dedicated the past 30 years intensely investing in the lives of others. I was caught off guard by the anguish. I knew I was in trouble and so I sought help. Professional help. After all, when I am sick, I don’t think twice about going to a doctor. Yet sadly, I was aware of the stigma that is often associated with seeking help from a professional counselor. If I admitted I struggled emotionally, would others think God wasn’t enough? Some would say the answer to my struggle lay in memorizing more scriptures, or praying harder! Couldn’t I find relief by talking things out with some of my close friends? Actually,  I feared my anguish would overwhelm them.

These hesitations were quickly resolved when I remembered my earlier years of learning how to play the piano. The first piano teacher taught piano as a hobby and I learned well. But, once I began to go to a professional Piano Guild teacher my understanding of music soared and my love for music grew. So, a professionally trained counselor could best help me sort through my thoughts and uncover the deep roots of some unresolved conflicts. Through God’s unique grace, Debbie showed deep compassion for my story and has helped me fine tune my value and purpose in life. What triggered this anguish and what was it’s root cause would be discovered on this painful path. But, the lessons I learned on this journey has certainly enriched my life far more than I could ever ask or think and I can better serve others.

Over a year ago, I started to go to counseling, and all I can say is that I wish I had started going much sooner.

A year before my mother died, I started doing a Bible study with my daughter about the adjustments that are often required of 3rd culture kids. Once a week we would skype and talk about the chapter we read. I think I cried through every chapter, as feelings from my childhood rushed back into my memory. The grief from long ago was so very real, I almost felt like I was living my childhood all over again. At the same time, the problems my husband and I had all through our marriage were finally coming to a head. Actually, all my poor husband had to do was walk into the room and I was angry with him. During this same year, my daughter left to go overseas,a friend of 20 years died, my dog of 15 years died, and then, the very day I took my mom to the hospital for the last 12 days of her life, my son told me he was gay and no longer believed in God.

There are two ways people respond to depression. Most withdrawal and experience degrees of great pain, and a few, like myself, just get really angry. I was not functioning well, even though I was spending extended time with God. I was crying all the time, and I had obsessive and intrusive thoughts I couldn’t make sense of. I did not know what to do, but I knew I needed to do something quickly. I no longer cared that it might appear that I was admitting weakness to go and talk to someone about my personal life. I no longer cared if it seemed I lost credibility if word got out I was seeking help. I just did not care if people thought I was “unspiritual” because I needed to get professional help. The reality was I was desperate, and the time with Debbie was a gracious gift from God.

Sixteen very painful months later my season with Debbie  is over. From the first day to the last, I experienced so much grace, despite my sins. I realized that finding a good counselor was actually the answer to my deepest prayers for relief and healing. She was a gift from God. With Debbie’s help, I learned about the issues behind the issues  and I learned ways to cope with the long suppressed feelings.  My faith grew. For years, I played the “spiritual” game of thinking I could just pray away my problems, or study the Bible a bit more and they would all disappear.  I habitually had meaningful quiet times and I was growing spiritually, despite the crisis that was coming. I did find great comfort in God’s Word.  But, I just never realized how angry I was deep inside. I had stuffed my feelings for so long, it was just second nature, and I was not longer aware of what feelings I had. I actually wondered sometimes if I really loved anyone in my life. I never really experienced God’s great grace and love so fully until I realized just how broken I was. It was not until I felt this anguish in my spirit that I could appreciate how God used these circumstances from my past and present to draw me closer to Him.

In addition, finally allowing myself to feel my pain fully and discovering God in the center of that pain, created great compassion toward others, including my son and his hurtful behavior. My love for him and my family grew, despite our problems and times of crisis. Now, although my circumstances have not really changed, I am the one that is different. The biggest discovery I made was that God was not just waiting for me on the other side of the pit I crawled through. He was at the very bottom of the pit, crawling through the mire with me, holding onto me all the way, through the darkest and dirtiest parts, and finally I was convinced He would be with me as I climbed up the other side. I’m on the other side of that pit now and I am so thankful I went all the way through it, without giving up. I am so thankful for my son and the privilege I have of being his mom, praying for him as he traverses his own treacherous trench. Because of my own journey, I am so much more convinced of God’s great love for him, and I know God is with him every inch of the way, just like He was with me.

I feel like it’s been forever since EMDR and it will be forever until my next appointment so I felt compelled to give you an update. I feel amazing!! I’m sure the Zoloft is helping tremendously at this point, but it seems like ever since EMDR I have felt better.

I reached 4 weeks on Zoloft this Tuesday so it should be pretty well kicked in to my system. I saw the psychiatrist at UCF and she said I should stay on it about 4-6 months and then make the choice to continue or stop. I really want to stop after 4-6 months, but I don’t want this feeling to stop. I still have stress, I still get anxious over all the things on my plate, but it’s nowhere near as bad. I am playing catch-up with CPA but I am just not stressed over it, I’m laid back and relaxed.

This makes it easier to study. When my boyfriend makes a comment that would usually send me over the edge into anger and anxiety, I find that I laugh a lot and say “okay.” I don’t dwell on a lot of things that I normally would or analyze conversations repeatedly as much as I have. I feel my boyfriend and I are fighting less and having better days together. I feel myself smiling more, excited more, laughing more. My confidence is through the roof! I am excited every day when I wake up in the morning. At night my mind still races but I’ve been using the relaxation exercise I learned through EMDR to relax and I almost immediately fall asleep. It is working so well I can’t remember falling asleep at all the next morning, I just remember starting the exercise.

Anyway, I guess I was just excited on how well the Zoloft is helping me utilize my tools from counseling and how much progress I am seeing. I see things more clearly I think and I hope I can carry this feeling and strategies past the Zoloft when I stop taking it!

I have been meeting with Debbie for over two years, and I believe meeting her was a Divine appointment. God brought Debbie into my life just at the right time, she has been a source of strength, a voice of wisdom, and a gentle but strong and honest counselor. I have seen God use Debbie to guide me through the toughest time in my life, as well as to speak the truth of His unconditional love and grace when I’ve needed to hear it the most! I sought out Debbie’s counsel in every area of my life…from career decisions, relationship matters, and overall discovery of who I am and where I am heading. When I meet with Debbie I feel safe. She has taken the time to know who I am, where I come from, and what has shaped me. She understands my struggles, and sees my potential! There is no judgment, but much grace and encouragement! Debbie is passionate about her work as a counselor, and I would recommend her to anyone…she would be a blessing to anyone that chooses to seek her counsel.

Debbie, I really appreciate you taking on the challenge of being my counselor. Your professional knowledge and having a heart directed towards helping others really made a difference in my life. I wanted to share some of the methods you used that helped me overcome anxiety.

  • Identifying the root cause of my issues and helping me see and understand what they were.
  • Teaching me several methods to use to get through difficult periods that I was unable to handle on my own.
  • Helping me change to think positive and understand truth.
  • Learning to accept myself and any situation around me was very helpful.

The mental recovery gave me the confidence to ramp up my fitness routine and I continue to improve every day. Thanks again Debbie for all of your help, I will likely use the things I learned for a lifetime. I believe that my experience will also allow me to help someone else one day.