Christie M. Poole, MS, LMFT
As far back as I can remember, I have wondered what makes people who they are. Even as a kid, I was convinced that our emotions and well-being had something to do with our families – the people we connect with. I was equally convinced that if the connections in our lives were shaky, or worse, threatening or absent in some way, this too impacted our sense of security in this world. The more I explored, the more convinced I became of the great power our relationships hold in shaping us. My desire to unlock this mystery took me to Auburn University where I obtained my degree and specialization in marriage and family therapy.
My personal experiences and early career also informed my work as a therapist. I worked as a Program Coordinator for a non-profit for teens, have provided therapy in a church setting and have established a private practice. I have taught college courses, led Bible studies and organized other church programs. I also spent many years raising a family—being a wife, homeschooling three children, and experiencing the joys and sorrows that accompany this life. These experiences have reaffirmed my belief in the importance of relationships, family, and faith to personal fulfillment.
My Education and Approach
I hold a master’s degree and a license in Marriage and Family Therapy and am a Clinical Fellow and Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). I am a member of the Georgia Association of Marriage and Family (GAMFT), the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) and the Atlanta Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (ACEFT). I am a Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator, a Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist (EFT), and an EFT Supervisor-in-Training with ICEEFT, allowing me to work effectively with individuals, couples and families in a highly specialized and effective way. Designed to restore intimacy, not just stop the fighting, EFT is considered the No. 1 form of couple’s therapy backed by more than 20 years of research. According to the ICEEFT, “Research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements.” Originally designed for couples, its use has since been extended to families and individuals experiencing a wide variety of symptoms including depression, anxiety and emotional pain. As a therapist, I have seen EFT succeed where other methods have failed. The training is extensive, but because of its efficacy, I have devoted myself to it.
The Role of Faith in My Practice
Although my professional education was secular, it is not lost on me that as spiritual beings made in the image of God, our primary relationship is with Him. I also recognize that faith plays a major role in our ability to heal, forgive, and find peace. So, even though my training is secular, my Christian faith is a major influence on how I see the world. As such, it is an import factor in how I approach the therapy process.
I have worked successfully with people from a variety of faiths–Jewish, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Agnostic, and Atheist. I have also worked with many people in the process of deconstruction or leaving their faith. It is especially important to me to come alongside those who are struggling spiritually. I understand the frustration, the fear, and the shame that often come when what we once believed no longer makes sense in light of our current circumstances. It is my desire to provide a place where you can grapple with life’s toughest issues without judgment.
Who I Help
Since opening Family Renewal Counseling, LLC, I have worked with women, men, teens, families and couples. I work with both couples and individuals, all with the shared goal of getting better.
I work regularly with individuals whose depression, anxiety, and grief have settled in like a dark cloud in their hearts. My own experience with chronic illness equips me in ways of “getting it” where others don’t understand. Has your body betrayed you in other ways – miscarriage, infertility or a menopause that seems to have robbed you of yourself? I get that, too. Even life transition issues labeled “normal” like empty nest, caregiving, and family conflict can feel overwhelming and isolating. Abortion recovery and spiritual hurt by those we trusted are specific pains that are close to my heart, as are the people who’ve experienced them. A particular joy is working with couples who are searching for a way back to connection. Does arguing about the same things again and again sound familiar? Do loneliness, or betrayal threaten the fabric of your relationship? And with couples who are growing apart, does the thought of finding intimacy again sound hopeless? Maybe a little scary? My training in EFT gives me special insight into relationships that are teetering (or plunging) into disconnect and hurt.
I’ve been blessed to work with people from all walks of life, from stay-at-home moms to part-time workers to CEOs and busy entrepreneurs. I’ve worked with health care providers (doctors, nurses, and other therapists), educators, church ministers, politicians, professional athletes, and those in the entertainment industry. I’ve also worked with first responders and military personnel and their families. In other words, people just like you.
I care deeply for every client and will come alongside you to help you heal. Please feel free to call me at 678-631-7639 to set up an appointment.