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Support group_ Born to be Kind

November 4, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Children who are being bullied may dread going to school-but more importantly, it can affect their sense of self-esteem and negatively impact mental health. we will have a support group once a week that students can attend and talk about their feelings and their experiences.

Details

Date:
November 4, 2023
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Venue

Texas Family Institute Office
100 Chestnut St., #101 Abilene, TX 79602, United States + Google Map
Phone
+3256768963
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“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, ‘Soften the orange a bit on the right-hand corner.’ I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.” -Carl Rogers

Darian "Kenzie" Gilchrist

LPC Associate

I am passionate about providing compassionate and effective support to individuals facing emotional and psychological challenges. With a strong foundation in psychology and counseling, I am dedicated to helping clients develop healthier coping mechanisms, gain self-awareness, and achieve their personal growth goals. I strive to create a safe and nonjudgmental space where clients can openly express themselves, while actively listening and tailoring therapeutic approaches to their unique needs. I specialize in depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations, psychosis, and grief. My counseling approach is Client Centered, along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and I encourage curiosity, intuition, creativity, humility, empathy, altruism, and being in-charge of your own thoughts and behaviors.

Intake Paperwork

If you have scheduled an initial appointment with Kenzie or plan to do so in the future and would like to save time, please feel free to download her intake paperwork, fill it out, and bring it with you to your appointment.  If you’re not sure how to answer a question, just leave it blank, and either Kenzie or one of our helpful receptionists can instruct you.  We look forward to meeting you soon!

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do.”

 -Brené Brown

Kay Wheeler

LPC

Kay completed her Master’s in Counseling from Texas Woman’s University in 2015 and is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in depression, stress and anxiety, and grief. Kay is a proud member of the Texas Counseling Association.
 
Counseling Approach:
 
I strive to be a healing and helpful presence as you work through owning your story. Your life and your experiences matter, and I hope to provide a safe space for the learning process of healing and coping. I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help reframe any cognitive distortions that muddle your view of yourself and the world, as well as a person-centered approach to provide empathy and unconditional positive regard. I hold a judgment free space for all walks of life.

Intake Paperwork

If you have scheduled an initial appointment with Kay or plan to do so in the future and would like to save time, please feel free to download his intake paperwork, fill it out, and bring it with you to your appointment.  If you’re not sure how to answer a question, just leave it blank, and either Kay or one of our helpful receptionists can instruct you.  We look forward to meeting you soon!

Dennise Polnack, LPC

LPC

Dennise received her Master’s in professional counseling from Grand Canyon University in April of 2018. Previously, Dennise taught for 4 years and also has received her Bachelors of Education in Interdisciplinary Studies from Angelo State University in December of 2010. Dennise is a fully licensed professional counselor (LPC) who holds a strong belief that having a connection with God or a higher power is an important part to one’s recovery process. Dennise uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Person Centered Therapy along with other therapeutic techniques combine to help her clients. She counsels children, adolescents, and adults. If you or someone you know is needing help with hardships that life tends to bring, call today and set up an appointment and Dennise will walk with you through a new journey in life that brings hope and peace. 

Debra Lammons

MSSW, LCSW

After many years as a nurse, a cancer diagnosis led me to change careers mid-life, and as an LCSW, I now assist others in overcoming their own life transitions and obstacles. Major life transitions, such as divorce, loss, moving, retirement, empty nest, debilitating illnesses, and trauma can cause upheaval, grief, and a tremendous amount of stress. I believe that life changes, even the difficult ones, can with intervention result in personal growth, and allow for greater self-discovery and awareness. Helping you to solve your life’s problems and stressors is my goal.

As a cancer survivor, I have personal knowledge and commitment to working with people and families that have been impacted by life-altering conditions and diseases, chronic pain, infertility, depression & anxiety. Additional special interests include grief, survivors of abuse, substance abuse, codependency issues, and anger management.

Specialties

Debra specializes in trauma, anxiety, depression, grief and anger management. 

Amanda Keith

LCSW

Amanda has a BFA from McMurry University in Theatre Arts. Theatre and a drive to support people who have experienced trauma is what led Amanda to social work. She completed her Masters in Social Work at the University of Southern California in 2013. Amanda is now a Liscenced Clinical Social Worker and has experience in domestic violence and sexual assault shelters, working for the State of Texas as a probation counselor, and currently at Serenity House in Abilene as a substance use residential treatment counselor since 2018. Amanda joined the TFI team in 2020, and is grateful to be back in Abilene and serving the community.

Specialties

Amanda specializes in trauma, anxiety, depression, and other mental health and life issues. Amanda enjoys working with individuals, teens, the LGBTQ+ community, and providing group therapy and psychoeducational lectures whenever possible. Amanda has provided professional trainings about trauma, multicultural awareness, and LGBTQ+ issues for multiple nonprofits and organizations including the NASW of Texas and AISD. 

Counseling Approach

Amanda uses a variety of evidence-based and trauma-informed interventions to meet clients where they are at and engage them in their own healing process. Amanda is passionate about providing a safe place for clients to move through their healing process and find reconnection in their lives and relationships.

David E. Stuckey

LCSW

I am a native Texan, born to a small town, Southern Baptist pastor’s family on June 27, 1947. I am also a born counselor and therapist! As a teenager, other teens and even adults came to me to confess, get advice, or simply talk things through. I admit, as a teenager, it was not a happy thing because I was just interested in girls, football, and theater. Oh well!

I went to Hardin-Simmons University and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education: Drama and Speech and became certified to teach the learning disabled. While teaching special education (for six years), I discovered that many of these children came from families that needed help. So I departed Abilene, headed for San Antonio and Our Lady of the Lake University where I earned a Master of Social Work. I came back to Abilene, became the Chief of Alcoholism Services for Abilene Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center. I then became Chief of Mental Health Services and worked for ARMH-MRC for ten years before starting a private practice of psychotherapy in 1988.

In 1992, while maintaining a private psychotherapy practice, I was called into the ministry to minister to those bound by mental challenges and bridge the gap between psychotherapy and faith. My wife and I began a ministry, Fullness of God Ministries, which later became Church of the Fullness of God.

While jogging around the track one morning in 1995, in the best physical shape I had been in many years, I had a medical event that changed my life. I lost my vision, among other unpleasant things, and ended up in the hospital. The final diagnosis was a rare form of cancer for which they had no real treatment for at that time. I ended up having to close my psychotherapy practice in 1998 and was limited in my ability to work. In about 2010, I became one of the thousands called “disabled.”

September 2013 came with me in the hospital – again! However, I was given a new doctor, a new diagnosis, and a new hope. Today, I am working full time – full time! Why did I tell you all of that? To let you know that I know about life and the curve balls it can throw at you.

We all have challenges; and what I have to share, besides all the therapeutic knowledge I have learned, is about living with and through adversity – continuing to hope when it appears that all hope is lost. I do know some things that the knowing of which can make a difference in your life and bring a totally different vision of a future worth living in.

Let me assist you in living this life of possibility that is your life – Today!

My Specialties

Aging Issues | Codependency | Anxiety | Marital Conflict | Adult Survivors of Alcoholic Families | Bi-Polar Issues | Life Coaching | Transformational Workshops | Disability Issues | Eating Disorders | Depression | Trauma Issues | Rapid Trauma Resolution | Alcohol and Drug Dependency | Faith Counseling | Caretakers of Aged and Disabled

My Counseling Approach

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and also am a certified Rapid Trauma Resolution Therapy Practitioner. I am eclectic in my approach. I use many different theories, depending on you and your particular challenges.

Intake Paperwork

If you have scheduled an initial appointment with David or plan to do so in the future and would like to save time, please feel free to download his intake paperwork, fill it out, and bring it with you to your appointment.  If you’re not sure how to answer a question, just leave it blank, and either David or one of our helpful receptionists can instruct you.  We look forward to meeting you soon!

Rebecca McMurray

BA, MA, LMFT

Rebecca has been associated with Texas Family Institute in Abilene, TX since 2004. Her counselor specialty is behavioral problems with children and adolescents. Her general practice areas are individual and family. She favors cognitive behavioral therapy, art and educational therapy.

Intake Paperwork

If you have scheduled an initial appointment with Rebecca (or plan to do so in the future) and would like to save time, please feel free to download her intake paperwork, fill it out, and bring it with you to your appointment.  If you’re not sure how to answer a question, just leave it blank, and either Rebecca or one of our helpful receptionists can instruct you.  We look forward to meeting you soon!

Michael Finley

BS, MS, LMFT

Michael has been associated with Texas Family Institute since 2008. He specializes in the following:

For Adults

Marital Conflict | Depression | Anxiety | Family Conflict | Death and Dying Issues | Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

For Children

Depression | Divorce Recovery | Death of a Family Member | Oppositional Defiant Disorder | Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Credentials

Licensing: Texas Licensed Marriage & Family Therapy

Member: American Association and Texas Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Education: 
Masters of Marriage & Family Therapy, ACU, 2007
Bachelors of Sociology, University of Utah, 2003

Intake Paperwork

If you have scheduled an initial appointment with Michael or plan to do so in the future and would like to save time, please feel free to download his intake paperwork, fill it out, and bring it with you to your appointment.  If you’re not sure how to answer a question, just leave it blank, and either Michael or one of our helpful receptionists can instruct you.  We look forward to meeting you soon!