A Conversation with our Newest Counselor, Gaye Butler

by J. Michael Blackston, M.A.

Gaye Butler, M.A. joined our team of counselors this summer after graduating with her Master’s of Arts in Counseling degree from Reformed Theological Seminary. I recently had a chance to ask her some questions regarding her experience as a student and about her life overall. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with Gaye at our Winter Springs office, call our office at (407) 405-7677.

Michael: You entered the counseling field after raising your 7 children. What inspired you to go back to school?

Gaye: Over the years I had many opportunities to come alongside people in their personal struggles but there was often a point at which I realized that I was limited in my ability to help them by my lack of knowledge and training. My family and I have benefited greatly from our own counseling experiences and over time a desire grew in me to be able to offer that kind of compassion and assistance to others. After a decade of waiting for the timing to be right, I was able to go back to school. It is an incredibly satisfying feeling, in this next season of life, to be able to see that desire fulfilled.

M: What are a few lessons you are taking away from your time during graduate school?

G: It was a challenge to re-enter school after such a long time and one essential lesson I learned in the process is the importance of taking care of yourself, especially when it is difficult to find time to do so. Sometimes that meant releasing myself from the need to perform perfectly on a test, sometimes it meant eating a thoughtful, healthy meal, and sometimes it meant prioritizing time with my own counselor. This lesson has been a hard one for me to learn as someone who has been a caregiver to others for many years but it has greatly increased my ability to better care for others.

One beautiful lesson that lingers with me is that God has a big heart for those who are struggling. He longs for us to experience peace and wholeness and He understands that life on earth is difficult and sometimes confusing and painful. Struggling is not a disqualification for God’s affection and grace. That means so much to me as a struggling child of God.

M: What is your hope for the clients you see at the conclusion of a therapy session?

G: Each client is a unique individual and my hopes for each client are different. However, there are a few things I hope for every person I serve in counseling. I hope that they feel heard, understood, and highly valued. In addition to those essential elements, it is my heart’s desire that a client benefits from our time together, be it an insight, a safe place to discuss their thoughts and feelings, or progress toward their original goal for coming to see me.

M: What are some tips you would give someone who is in counseling in order to increase the odds of successful treatment outcomes?

G: The best way I know to increase success in counseling is to make it a priority. Consider it a potential investment in healthier relationships with others and yourself and/or a greater sense of peace and hope for the future. I’m not going to lie; it can be hard work to go to counseling. In my life I have found that hard work worthwhile, and I pray that is true for my clients, too.

M: Tell us how you relax and rejuvenate.

G: I am at my most relaxed when I am in the company of good friends or family. The pleasure of good conversation and laughter is enough to rejuvenate me from even the most stressful of days. I love watching independent films, trying out different restaurants, and any time I can be at sea on a cruise ship.

Categories News | Tags: | Posted on July 24, 2017

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