My name is Debi. I am a qualified Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Board Certified Telemental Health Provider for the State of Florida. I am also an Associate Licensed Clinical & Counseling Psychologist for the country of Jamaica.
Welcome to my world.
I want to share with you how I got here and my journey to helping others turn their lives around.
I grew up in Jamaica with my mother, my father and four other siblings. In 1996, I stood by my father’s death bed in the hospital. Heart-broken, I watched the last tears fall from his eyes. But somehow, in that moment I knew my life was destined for a higher purpose. I felt in my heart God was going to use me in a powerful way. At the time I didn’t know how I’d be of service, but I certainly know now.
In Jamaica, I had been working for the previous 7 years as a brand manager for one of the largest conglomerate companies on the island. After the death of my father, I made the decision to move to Spain to further my education.
I felt the time had come to broaden my horizons, to travel and to experience other cultures. My journey towards understanding the purpose of my life seemed to start here. My adventures ultimately lead to where I am today. I discovered that I love people, traveling, culture and diversity. These are the essential aspects of our lives.
I knew that living in Spain would give me the opportunity to absorb another culture, and become fluent in Spanish. I’d also earn my Bachelor degree in hospitality and leisure tourism.
Living in Spain was one of the best experiences in my life. I attended European University where I met so many people from different parts of the world. Many of them are still dear friends to me. I bonded with people from Norway, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Romania, Greece, India, and England.
I’d already learned to speak Spanish before I left, because I’d attended the Language Training Center in Jamaica. I studied there for three years learning Spanish grammar and all that good stuff.
But being immersed in Spain itself, took my understanding and knowledge of the language to a whole other level. The culture and the wonderful people of Spain allowed me to learn Castellano (Spanish language) quickly. I lived for three years with a caring woman from Barcelona. She didn’t speak a word of English. This meant I had no other choice, thankfully, but to learn the awesome and sensual language of Spain.
I lived in Barcelona where they speak mainly Catalan. However, my dear friend, Cristina, was gracious enough to speak with me mostly in Castellano. Cristina also taught me some words in Catalan like bon dia, bona tarda, bona nit, adeu and molt ve.
Cristina also prepared the best and most authentic local food. Including pan con tomate, los mejores ensaladas con olivas, pimientos y comidas tapas. She took me to a corner store that made the best tasting chicken ever, called pollo a la grasa. We often walked there to pick up the most delicious Sunday evening meals. By the way, all my family and friends know that I just absolutely love good food.
I later moved to Florida to join my sister and help take care of my nephews. It was at this point, I started to actualize the direction my life would go. I was now ready to be used as an agent of change in the lives of others. At my church, I volunteered with the convalescent ministry and visited elders at the Westchester of Sunrise Nursing Home for three years.
I will never forget when a friend of mine Winston encouraged me to go into a caring profession.
It is a blessing when it takes others to see your gift, leading you straight into a calling. It is also one of the reasons I love to work with people. I enjoy guiding my clients towards the attainment of goals. I love witnessing their self-actualization and self-growth. Support in these endeavours certainly goes a long way.
So, with all the right confirmations and with God directing my path, I went to Trinity International University to pursue my Masters of Art in Counseling Psychology. What an amazing experience I had at Trinity. I met other like minded colleagues and together, we studied human behavior from both Biblical and psychological perspectives. The degree was eye-opening and totally rewarding.
I consider myself to be a Christian Counselor who loves serving all people. Bringing joy to others has been my life purpose from as far back as I can remember. My Biblical worldview means that from my point of view, the Bible is the infallible Word of God. The Bible can be used to guide our emotions, thoughts, behaviors, actions and decisions in life.
I do understand that not everyone shares my belief in Christianity. But this understanding allows me to culturally embrace others, whoever they are without compromising my own beliefs. My primary goal is to meet clients where they are today in order to help them achieve what they seek from counseling. Working with a wide range of people further enables my own spirituality and understanding. I provide unconditional positive regard and genuine empathy.
I have the best of both worlds. If a client desires Christian counseling, we will do therapy with Christianity as the primary focus. If a client wants their counseling to be focused on psychotherapy, with other modalities or both; then I am equally able to do one or the other, or both.
It’s About Inclusivity And Belonging
My personal worldview is that everyone has a right to a sense of belonging, to live peacefully, cherish relationships, overcome challenges and have a chance at life’s opportunities. Everyone is however responsible for their own choices and actions. We must all find our own purpose so that we can live passionately.
This is my dream and my passion. I can’t envisage myself doing anything else but serving and helping others to overcome difficult and painful life experiences.
Ten years later, I am right where I am supposed to be. Helping others to find peace with their past, joy in their present circumstances, and confidence in their future.