Mariah Shandri, MSW, LCSW
When I was a young child growing up in Iowa, my parents were actively involved in our church and community, caring deeply for those around us. They served meals to the homeless, spent time with our youth, and provided transportation to church and the grocery store for single mothers and individuals with disabilities. Their example left a deep, lasting impression on me, nourishing my desire to love others as Jesus loves us. My passion to meet the needs of others encourages me to live out my faith in action and have a positive impact on our community. Throughout high school and college, I had the privilege of going on many different service trips across the country, strengthening my desire to love others when they need it most. My husband and I met as undergraduates in college. My years as a wife and mother to a young family have taught me so much personally and professionally regarding the importance of faith, family, work, and relationships. These treasured roles have fostered my ability to join with my clients on this journey of coping with life’s joys and challenges together.
My Education And Approach
My desire to help others took me to Wartburg College, where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2010. Afterward, I advanced to the position of Program Director at a community-based services agency that provided mental health support services to adults with chronic mental illness. In 2013 I graduated with my master’s degree in social work from the University of Northern Iowa. Afterward, I became a Medical Social Worker for the largest home health care provider. Having had the privilege of traveling to other countries, I am very aware of and grateful for my freedoms, which led me to serve our nation’s Veterans. From 2017 – 2021 I worked for the Veterans Health Administration, serving Veterans and their spouses and caregivers. While at the VA, I counseled those living with PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorders and physical disabilities, providing them with patient advocacy, group therapy, individual therapy, and couples’ therapy. I am trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and in the treatment of addictions. I am currently pursuing training and certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), the most effective form of couples’ therapy backed by 20 years of research. There are simple, creative, and spiritually competent interventions that can be tailored to any individual’s or couple’s life stage and value system. As a therapist, I am grateful to come alongside people in their journey for change while applying interventions to support their recovery, restoration, and healing, leading to a better life.
The Role Of Faith In My Practice
Raised in a Christian household laid the foundation of my relationship with Jesus Christ. Still, it was not until college that I truly needed to depend on the Lord for my mental, physical, and spiritual strength and experienced the healing power of His grace. “The most important thing to remember is that relationships improve by Faith working through Love,” Galatians 5:6. Many other Scriptures also point to love as the cornerstone of Christian virtue and the highest calling. This verse reminds me that all relationships with self and others improve through faith and love. Self-love and loving others are navigational tools we can use amidst any storm we face. My hope is that every person I encounter experiences a caring, empathetic, non-judgmental spirit from me, no matter their individual faith background. I welcome all clients from any faith or with no faith background at all.
Who I Help
My passion as a counselor has flourished in my years of experience working with children, adolescents, individuals, and couples. I have much respect and compassion for my clients, especially while they are addressing overwhelming thoughts, emotions, and reactions. My goal is to encourage them by focusing on their strengths while empowering them to build on interventions and coping skills. My warm, attentive approach nurtures genuine support. I encourage mutual feedback, believing this keeps the therapeutic relationship honest and helpful. What do I enjoy most about working with my clients and couples? Watching them grow. It is an honor to be a part of their healing journey. Sometimes reaching out is the hardest part, but the fact that you are reading this indicates you are ready to make a change. I would love to come alongside you in this process. Call me at Family Renewal Counseling at (678) 631-7639 to schedule an initial consultation.