“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
These two quotes sum up my goals as a person and as a therapist. I am far from having reached them but strive towards them each and every day. My desire is to come alongside my clients, valuing all the lovely, admirable and excellent things about them, while helping them to grow and become all they long to be. My greatest hope is that they will come to personally understand the depth of God’s love, grace, and acceptance and to see themselves as beautifully and wonderfully made by our Creator. I want to infuse our time together with play, laughter, enthusiasm, and joy even as we grapple with life’s difficult issues.
These are the things that have brought joy and meaning to my life, and I want to pay it forward, particularly to children and their families. I was blessed to grow up in a loving, supportive and nurturing family, but even the closest of families has challenges! For me, one of my biggest challenges was that we lived in seven different cities all over the United States before we moved to Memphis when I was in middle school. While my brother and sister seemed to thrive in the midst of the moves, I was an introverted child who had some difficulty adjusting to new cities, schools and friends. I guess it’s little wonder that I always said that I wanted to be a teacher or a counselor so I could help kids like me!
I graduated from Briarcrest High School. I then went to Baylor University (Sic ‘Em Bears!) and received an undergraduate degree in religion and psychology. I moved back to Memphis and earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Memphis. At the same time, I completed the teacher education program at Rhodes College. I later returned to the University of Memphis to earn a doctoral degree specializing in both education and school psychology.
I have worked for almost 40 years combining my passion for education, counseling, and assessment. I have provided counseling in a variety of settings – community mental health, church-based counseling center, schools (both K-12 and university) and private practice. I also have extensive experience in education having worked as a teacher, educational therapist, learning services director, disability support services director, professor, educational consultant and head of early childhood and lower school. I have consulted with universities across the United States regarding disability support services, as well as the Educational Testing Service. I am an emeritus board member of the National Board of Certified Counselors, having had the amazing opportunity of traveling to Africa and Turkey to help develop counseling centers there.
My credentials include the following: Licensed Professional Counselor- MHSP- Supervisor, Senior Psychological Examiner- HSP, Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor, Certified EMDR provider, and Certified EMDR Child Specialist. I am a consultant in training for EMDR. I have also been a certified teacher with specialization in reading, psychology, sociology, and Bible. I have also been a certified Educational Therapist.
I love working with children and use a diagnostic prescriptive approach to determine the best modality for working with each child. I integrate play therapy, sand tray therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) and cognitive behavioral therapy to meet the needs of the child and the family. I am passionate about working with children (infants through 16) and their families in the areas of trauma, anxiety, depression, behavior and emotional dysregulation, and other difficulties at home or school. I provide psychoeducational assessments for learning disabilities/differences, attention deficit disorder, giftedness, and psychological disabilities, as well as developmental assessments for early childhood. I also enjoy mentoring new clinicians in counseling, play therapy and EMDR and consulting with schools.
About the author:
Cyndi works with children and their families as a licensed professional counselor, senior psychological examiner, registered play therapist (supervisor status), and certified in EMDR and EMDR for children. Outside of work, Cyndi enjoys being with her family, friends, and her dog Mackie. She loves her Christian faith, exploring new adventures, music (even though she claims she has no musical aptitude!), playing, laughing, being with children, learning new things, and reading.