J. A. Spateholts
J. holds an M.Ed. in Clinical Counseling Psychology from THE CITADEL with 24 years of experience in providing mental health counseling services.
J.'s career path:
February 2013 – Present (North Charleston, SC)
Mental Health Counselor providing Individual/Group/Family Therapy in tele-mental health private practice.
April 2012 – February 2013 (Dorchester County, SC)
Provide Mental Health Services to male adolescents with emotional disabilities, i.e. individual therapy/group therapy/treatment planning/case management/crisis intervention etc.
July 1995 – November 2010 (Berkeley/Charleston/Dorchester Counties)
June 1989 – April 1995 (Awendaw, SC)
Provided Individual/Group/Family therapy to youth and families. Held the title of Quality Assurance Manager with responsibilities for maintaining all clinical records to proscribed protocols. Developed and implemented individualized treatment plans including the creation of personalized behavior management systems for the youth served. Trained staff in best clinical practices including the effects of the medicine client's were using to help with their psychological issues. Trained staff in understanding the meaning of a diagnosis and how the diagnosis translated from theory or the written word to actual behaviors. Served as the representative for the Executive Director on state level committees. Served as the agency representative at Foster Care Review Board placement reviews. Held monthly meetings with case workers from referring agencies to staff each client's case in order to provide the best possible care. Represented the agency with Charleston/Dorchester Mental Health. Attended Board of Director's quarterly and annual meetings with the Executive Director to provide clinical information to the Board as related to the client's served. Functioned as the lead therapist (group therapy) in the grant research project conducted by the Governor's Office Continuum of Care on effective methodologies in the treatment of sexually abused children. Spoke on behalf of the agency to raise awareness of the issues of child abuse in the community. Also acted as the guest speaker to the Trident United Way along with other community groups as part of the agencies fundraising efforts.
The Citadel: Graduate with Honors May 1990
J. knows about...
Answers to some random questions posed during training sessions (maybe these will be helpful):
Empathy, respect and stability are at the core of what I bring to the encounters. There is much more in the way of subtleties, yet the calmness and genuineness in my approach create an environment for growth and change.
The use of positive reinforcement is the strongest agent for shaping behavior within interpersonal interactions. Negative reinforcement has its effect when discovered as a natural and logical consequence for a behavioral choice. As an extreme example: one learns better not to touch a hot stove burner as a consequence of having made the unfortunate choice once versus being given a punishment from an authority figure for the mistake.
Strengths and weaknesses exist for us all. Recognizing the strengths builds a bond providing for a good starting point for the work ahead. I had a professor who made the statement that we are all dysfunctional. I disagreed and still do. To tell someone they are dysfunctional is negative, it is far more productive to deal within the varying levels of functioning. No person or unit functions at peak levels all the time. Levels of functioning exist along a spectrum and are ever changing. Awareness and recognition while employing strengths is a means to improving the lower levels of functioning.
Absent special circumstances, neither situation falls within the scope of the professional relationship.
This is a thinking versus reacting scenario. A child in emotional crisis will continue along the path to disruptive behavior if the process of emotional reaction is not interrupted with the need to think. For example: A child is being defiant and verbally abusive heading toward physical aggression. If the interaction (recitation of the rules and the naming of consequences for said behavior) fosters the child to proceed with ingrained responses the result will likely be physical aggression; however, if the process of ingrained responses is interrupted by presenting the child a response (Did you see the interception made by Green in the game yesterday?) requiring thought on the part of the child deescalation begins and the crisis will abate.
Involving the child and family and having them lead the process greatly improves the likelihood of therapeutic success. Nothing is gained by creating goals if the child and family are not invested in working toward the goals.
First rule: Do no harm! Disrupting the family and home without legal cause or clinical cause is best avoided. Family is not a privilege it is a right.
To confront or not to confront: The scenario presented typically lends itself to a personal confrontation. This type of confrontation, though human, is not professional and is less than effective and falls to the side of not to confront. Therapeutic confrontation of the behavior is appropriate. The behavior demonstrated if ignored sends the wrong message. The boundaries of acceptable behavior need to be reinforced. Note: Deescalation of the behavior is the appropriate intervention in this scenario. The therapeutic confrontation can take place at a more appropriate time.
Families are unique. The individuals comprising the families are unique. The dynamics of one family may be similar to the dynamics of another family, yet the issues at the core driving the dynamics may and most likely are all together different.
This is quite simple you treat the individual not the diagnosis.
The neutral environment provides for confidentiality providing the child with the chance to grow while removing variables that may create apprehension for the child.
Every individual develops and grows at there own pace. Applying a time frame is fine if one is building cars, but to apply such time frames to the human condition lacks value.
I agree as this statement refers to the therapeutic process. If the therapist is working harder in the session than the client, then it is time to stop and take stock of the dynamic at work.
This is a boundary issue. Observances of the family interactions at the dinner table can be helpful to the therapeutic process, but to insert oneself into the dynamic changes the dynamic.
Lead by example. Allow your actions to do the majority of the talking per se. Provide the team with the tools to do the job, set the goals and pave the way for the team to succeed.
A good leader is charismatic, knowledgeable, insightful, trustworthy, compassionate, available, thoughtful and stable.
Provide the team with what they need to get the job done and then let them do the job. Be there when they need your support, but empower them to succeed. Promotes trust, builds confidence and fosters creativity. By not micromanaging the team grows stronger and the results are a positive work environment.
Intuitive, thoughtful and perceptive are personality traits that have served me well as a leader.
The twenty plus years experience of success in treating clients with emotional disabilities and the managing of programs designed to help clients, many of said programs designed by me, are the credentials qualifing me to provide the preceeding answers with confidence.