What makes Joy unique?
I firmly believe that counseling is my calling and my gift. There’s something special about sitting down with someone, hearing their story, and helping them make progress towards their goal. I believe that everyone has their own unique story, and my story has uniquely shaped me to help better serve everyone who sits across from me.
I have experience working with many different groups of people in many different places. I worked for a year in a group home, where I engaged with teenage boys in the foster care system with behavioral problems. I have worked with adolescents in a wide variety of settings, including camp, non-profits, and different size churches. I have worked with adults in poverty through my job at a non-profit, building relationships and writing curriculum to teach stress management and communication skills. I have also trained adults in workplace skills as a Corporate Trainer.
I have helped people of all ages grow personally by pushing themselves and as a team in challenges such as team building initiatives, high ropes course, and zip line as a Challenge Course Facilitator. As a counselor, I operate from a wide variety of modalities based on what works for the client, but tend to gravitate towards Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Strengths-Based therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Gottman techniques for marriage therapy. My specialization at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary was trauma. I have completed training in the Gottman technique.
Joy’s approach to counseling
I believe that each and every person is uniquely and wonderfully made. If people aren’t one size fits all, why should our approach to helping them be? When a client first comes in, we sit down together and create goals that are important to the client. From there, I create a unique treatment plan for the client. This treatment plan is based on what the client needs and what is best to help them reach their goals. Together, the client and I work towards these goals. We are in no rush- this is based on the client’s needs.
Life is not a destination but a journey- and the journey that has shaped me life is different than I expected. But it has been amazing, as it has shaped me and made me into who I am.
I started working with preteens when I was a teenager myself, volunteering at a school outreach program with Youth for Christ. Throughout college, I volunteered at multiple churches, worked as a camp counselor, and started my own chapter at a new school for Youth for Christ. I graduated from Olivet Nazarene University with a double major in Youth Ministry and Philosophy of Religion. Soon, I married my wonderful husband, and we moved to Kansas. After that, I worked as a Corporate Trainer for a customer service company and as an office manager for a piano studio.
My life changed when I worked for a group home with teenage boys with behavioral problems in foster care. I realized that my relationships with these students mattered, and I felt the clear calling to help them in a different a different way- by being their counselor. From there, I moved to Michigan to start my counseling degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and to be the Director of Youth and Education from Evanston Avenue Baptist Church. Along the way, I started working with Love INC of Muskegon County as their Transformational Ministries Assistant.
I currently am a member with the ACA and have my Limited Licensed Professional Counseling license. My husband and I are proud Muskegon residents with our cat Bitsy. We enjoy watching Marvel movies, playing music, and swing dancing.