VoyageATL Interview of Candace Donaldson-Scott from Sunny Wellness of Honey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Candace Donaldson-Scott, EdS, LPC, NCC.

Hi Candace, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My journey toward becoming a therapist began when I was a child. I had a natural desire to help others and would often carry around a first aid kit in case someone needed medical attention. I also had a “detective agency” in elementary school, where I would help my classmates find missing items.

This desire to help others led me to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, then a Masters in Professional Counseling. I followed up with a specialist degree in trauma. While completing my studies in the Master’s program, I started my career by working in domestic violence, providing support and counseling to survivors of abuse. This work was challenging but also incredibly rewarding. I felt like I was making a real difference in people’s lives.

From there, I moved into facility-based care, where I worked with adolescents who had severe mental illnesses. This was a very different experience from my previous work, but it was also incredibly fulfilling. I learned a lot about the unique challenges that young people with mental illness face and was able to provide them with the support and care they needed to thrive. I then moved to work in a recovery house for people with substance use disorders. This work has been some of the most challenging of my career, as addiction is a complex issue that requires a lot of patience and understanding. However, it was fulfilling and to see people make progress in their recovery and start to rebuild their lives. Throughout my career, I have assessed and treated people with chronic mental health issues and substance use issues.

My journey in this field continued in the corporate mental health arena, where I gained valuable experience working with individuals, groups, and organizations to promote mental health and wellness.

While I found this work to be gratifying in many ways, I eventually realized that my true calling lay in providing one-on-one counseling services to clients seeking support for a range of personal and interpersonal challenges. I was drawn to the idea of building deep and meaningful relationships with clients and of working collaboratively with them to identify their strengths, challenges, and goals and to develop personalized treatment plans that addressed their unique needs and preferences.

Since then, I have devoted myself to honing my skills as a mental health therapist, drawing on a range of theoretical orientations and modalities to help clients achieve their therapeutic goals. Whether working with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, or relationship issues, I am committed to providing a safe, compassionate, and nonjudgmental space where clients can explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences and develop the skills and strategies they need to navigate life’s challenges with greater ease and resilience.

Overall, I believe that everyone has the capacity to heal and grow and that with the right support and guidance, each person can achieve their full potential. As a mental health therapist, I am honored to be a part of my client’s journeys toward greater self-awareness, insight, and empowerment, and I look forward to continuing to serve this vital and rewarding profession for many years to come.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been a smooth road as mental health in itself is not a smooth road. It is a challenging and often demanding journey that requires a great deal of dedication, perseverance, and self-reflection. Becoming a mental health therapist also required me to confront my own personal issues and biases and to engage in ongoing self-reflection and growth. As therapists, we are called upon to provide compassionate and nonjudgmental support to individuals from all walks of life and to be attuned to our own emotional reactions and responses. This can be difficult work and requires a great deal of humility, empathy, and self-awareness.

Despite these challenges, however, I have found the journey to becoming a mental health therapist to be incredibly rewarding. Through my education, training, and clinical experience, I have developed a deep appreciation for the resilience and strength of the human spirit and a commitment to helping others achieve greater health and well-being. Every day, I am inspired by the courage and vulnerability of my clients and honored to be a part of their journeys toward healing and growth.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
At Sunny Wellness of Honey, LLC, I offer a range of services to individuals seeking support and guidance for a variety of issues. While my specialty is trauma work, I also work with clients who are struggling with depression, anxiety, career concerns, women’s issues, college issues, and life transitions.

What sets my mental health practice apart from others is my ability to offer personalized and individualized treatment for each client. I understand that no two clients are the same and that each person’s experience is unique. That’s why I take a personalized approach to treatment, tailoring my therapeutic techniques and interventions to meet the specific needs and goals of each client, regardless of the issue they are facing.

In my practice, I draw on a range of evidence-based techniques and modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness-based approaches, and more. I work collaboratively with clients to identify their strengths and challenges and to develop a treatment plan that is both effective and achievable.

Beyond the specific techniques and interventions I use, what truly sets my mental health practice apart is my commitment to creating a supportive and validating environment for my clients. I understand that seeking therapy can be a difficult and vulnerable process, and I work hard to create a space where clients feel heard, validated, and supported. I prioritize building a trusting and collaborative relationship with each client, and I strive to help my clients achieve greater health and well-being in all areas of their lives.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
I have learned many valuable lessons throughout my career. However, one of the most important lessons I have learned is the importance of flexibility and openness.

In my early years as a therapist, I believed that there was a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. I assumed that if I followed a certain set of techniques or interventions, then my clients would experience positive outcomes. However, over time, I came to realize that this was not always the case.

Through my work with a diverse range of clients, I learned that each person’s experience is unique and that what works for one person may not work for another. As a result, I began to adopt a more flexible and open approach to therapy, tailoring my techniques and interventions to meet the specific needs and goals of each client.

I also came to understand the importance of being open to feedback and willing to adjust my approach if something wasn’t working. Rather than sticking rigidly to a certain plan or set of techniques, I became more adaptable, responsive, and creative in my approach to therapy.

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