Description of Angela’s Counseling Approach
What is Mindfulness?
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Angela McLean grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and in 2008 returned with her family to the Raleigh area from Nashville, Tennessee. As a trained Marriage and Family Therapist, Angela operates from a holistic perspective and concerns herself with the overall, long-term well-being of clients and their families. By forming a strong partnership with clients that focuses on finding a solution that will work for each individual, Angela has seen success in the lives of people who came to her having experienced a wide range of problems. Her approach of combining marriage and family therapy and mindfulness approaches allows her to serve individuals, couples, and families effectively.
Angela has over 20 years of experience working in the mental health and social service fields, and has provided counseling services to children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families in a variety of settings. Angela has provided individual and family therapy for adults, children, and adolescents in intensive in-home, residential, and outpatient settings. She also worked exclusively with adults struggling with substance abuse for two years and children with developmental disabilities for one year. Her private practice, in both Nashville and Raleigh, has focused in large part on individual and couples therapy for adults.
Education and Training
Angela received both her degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University which is located in Nashville, TN. She first completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work in 1999 and then received a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2005. While working towards her Master’s degree, Angela received extensive training in the use of the Multi-systemic Therapy treatment model. She also participated in extensive training in Family Systems models during her work to complete licensure requirements. Other additional trainings she has attended include those in crisis management, treatment of children with developmental disabilities, gestalt therapy, internet addiction, treatment of anxiety, and chronic pain management. For the past 7 years, Angela has focused on intensive training and study in order to incorporate Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy into her practice. Additionally, Angela has recently added a focus on the use of Neuroscience and brain anatomy and function to her work. This includes teaching practical applications for brain fitness and wellness based on recent research and discoveries about the brain.
Angela and her husband have been married for over 20 years and have a daughter and a son. Angela enjoys oil painting and crafts of all kinds whether creating them herself or seeing the work of others. She also enjoys yoga, reading, and travel. Angela’s personal journey with mindfulness meditation began in 2006. She now maintains regular meditation practice and enjoys teaching the concepts of mindfulness and meditation to others in her counseling practice.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction was originally developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. This approach is designed to enhance your body’s ability to heal itself and maintain the balance needed for overall health and well being. Mindfulness is about being fully aware of whatever is happening in the present moment, without the filters or lens of judgment. Simply put, mindfulness consists of cultivating awareness of the mind and body and living in the here and now. While historically rooted in Buddhist meditation traditions and also found in all the other major world religions, it has expanded beyond its spiritual roots and is used in psychology and prescribed by physicians for stress, pain, and a variety of illness.
Participants in mindfulness training programs increase their awareness of their own thoughts and feelings that occupy our minds as we rush through our days on autopilot. When approaching yourself as a scientist and attempting to objectively observe your own inner state – your thoughts, emotions, sensations, and mental processes – you are likely to be surprised at what you find. Many marvel at the amount of time they spend rehearsing their future or rehashing their past. When you begin to practice living moment by moment, you will start to sleep better, cope with stressful situations more effectively, and find more peace and enthusiasm for life.
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT’s) are trained members of the mental health profession that operate from a holistic perspective and concern themselves with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families. Clients come to MFT’s with a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety, marital problems, difficulty managing stress, individual psychological problems, and child-parent problems.
Marriage and family therapists broaden the approach of traditional therapy that focuses on the individual by looking at family patterns that influence individuals. By working with the set of relationships in which a client is imbedded – even if only a single individual is present – positive change is supported by those close to the identified client. Often interaction and communication in key relationships improve allowing people to learn to solve their own problems and maintain the improvements together.
MFT’s tend to practice therapy that is focused on solutions with specific, attainable goals. Generally therapy is more short term and ends when the client’s presenting issue is resolved with the option of returning at any time if needed.
According to research, marriage and family therapy is as effective as traditional or individual therapy. For some mental health problems such as drug abuse, child conduct disorders, marital distress, mood disorders, and childhood autism, marriage and family therapy has been found to be more effective than traditional treatments.
For more information about Marriage and Family Therapists, visit the website of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists at www.aamft.org.