We are learning more about trauma informed practice. More schools are even being proactive to offer trauma informed counseling on-site. Statistics have shown that there is a strong link between childhood trauma and mental illness.
Crystal R. Currie is one clinician who is striving to support the ‘adult’ child. She is a nationally certified trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapist who is helping adults navigate through their childhood experiences and trauma. Her goal is to help others achieve balance and self-healing in their adult lives. With over a decade of work experience, Crystal has also earned accreditations that include: Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC), National Certified Counselor (NCC), Nationally Certified Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH).
“My academic career was fine during my undergraduate studies. After that I enrolled into graduate school and I got kicked out in my second semester,” Crystal confessed. “It took me five years to later enroll back into graduate school. I was actually ready at that time. I was healed, more self-aware and more introspective by that time,” she shared.
Crystal also experienced childhood trauma first hand so her approach to helping her clients is very authentic and empathetic. She put in the work towards her own healing in order to serve others as they achieve their healing. Her road to being an acclaimed clinician was also unlikely.
“I always knew that I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know what that looked like at first,” Crystal shared with Been Worthy. “Once I began my healing process, I knew that this was my jam,” she continued.
Crystal endured a lot as a child and young adult. Born to teenage parents she faced many traumatic events such as domestic abuse. She has a connection with her patients in her current field.
“I’ve been through situations where I was stuck and unable to experience happiness. I’ve experienced failure and performing while wearing a mask. I needed help and now that I’m on the other side, those experiences no longer dictate my day to day life.” Crystal’s practice, Compass Life Skills and Counseling is unlike other therapeutic centers. “The helping field is difficult but I help people not just from a professional textbook standpoint but from teachings that actually worked for me,” she expressed.
“I overly communicate with my clients. I reassure them from a human standpoint and bring a connectedness,” she continued. Crystal even started board certified telehealth services before the pandemic even hit. The current unprecedented times did not immediately affect her private practice. She also primarily works with ‘adult’ children – adults who have an unhealthy relationship with their parents.
“It’s important to believe your child. Your child still has emotions and feelings who need support,” she explained. Much of her work centers around the art of forgiveness in relation to past trauma. She penned Intentional Forgiveness as a step by step guide towards learning that forgiveness is for you and not the person who caused the trauma.
“Forgiveness is a process. The first step is being able to identify and label what it is that hurts you. Secondly, identify what emotions are connected to those feelings. Thirdly, identify why you felt those emotions. The fourth step is looking at the expectations from the person or event. The last step is to actually forgive in order to release you of any feelings or expectations.”
Balance is often key in maintaining your adult life if you’ve experienced trauma. Crystal advises everyone to be kind to themselves. Each experience and situation differs. “As an adult, be realistic about your expectations,” she adds. Addressing those expectations in the beginning will make your adult life more manageable. Crystal creates balance in her own life by maintaining her marriage and parenting through her individual therapy sessions, engaging her children in their learning environments and avoiding social media when it’s not necessary.
Crystal is hosting the upcoming Healing the Inner Child retreat in Charlotte, NC. The intimate retreat will provide healing, food and resources for men and women to create a safe space in their lives. Despite everyone coming from different walks of life, the attendees have all experienced trauma in their own way.
Connect with Crystal R. Currie to obtain your retreat tickets today. Follow her brand on Instagram @crystalrcurrie and @compasslifeskills.