Meet Barbara Carlin
It is important to convey our values and what makes Horizon Counseling and Consulting distinctive. It is our belief that to the extent we know and understand our values, is the extent that we will impact our profession and our work with clients. Our core values represent a model of best practices and how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis.
Our Mission and Values
Our mission at Horizon Counseling & Consulting is to provide professional, competent counseling, to inspire our clients and offer encouragement and hope.
It is important to convey our values and what makes Horizon Counseling & Consulting distinctive. It is our belief that to the extent we know and understand our values, is the extent that we will impact our profession and our work with clients. Our core values represent a model of best practices, and how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. We are:
Christ Centered – while providing solid, psychological treatment, is implemented with a genuine commitment to Christ and appreciation for the work God is capable of doing in peoples lives.
Morally and Ethnically Bound – guided by the professional codes of ethics from the American Counseling Association, the National Board of Certified Counselors, the rules of the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors and Georgia Law for Professional Counselors.
Directed by Integrity – our commitment to serving clients with their best interest in mind is our highest priority at all times. Privacy and confidentially are protected.
Consistent Pursuit of Excellence – services are provided by a professionally trained Counselor from a fully accredited graduate school, where state licensure, national certification and continued learning are required to provide exceptional and expert therapy that our clients deserve.
Committed to Teamwork – through networking with a select group of professional mental healthcare providers in the Atlanta area, resources to help meet client’s needs are available.
Relational – often times what is remembered by people is not what we did, but how we made them feel. The therapeutic relationship is like none other. Through gentle appreciation and mutual respect, the client and counselor collaborate to uncover obstacles to growth and healing. As they journey together, the client finds healing for the past, wholeness for the present, and a vision for what may be possible for the future.
Balanced – we seek to integrate behavioral sciences and essential truths of Christian faith. Additionally, we embrace, cultural sensitivity, and relevancy.
How We Work
Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-judgmental approach to counseling. It is a powerful method for expressing your thoughts and feelings with a caring and compassionate counselor. The counselor is person centered and sees people as the experts in their own lives, therefore clients are not given advise but is given the opportunity to explore what has meaning for them. Through the narrative process, problems are viewed as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments, and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives.
Internal reflection is an effective way to explore and understand your emotions, beliefs, values and experiences. A philosopher once said “ An unexamined, life is not worth living”. People of faith often spend time in prayer and meditation on scriptures, inviting peace and guidance to come to them. Journaling yields many benefits to improving mental health. Several studies show that people writing about their deepest thoughts and feelings led to fewer depressive symptoms and did not have as many intrusive thoughts. By putting upheavals into words, a person can acknowledge the event, organize it, and often find some kind of meaning for themselves. Different studies show that gratitude, better sleep, increased memory, and improved physical health are often welcomed byproducts of internal reflection. The mental health benefits, along with expert backed ideas for internal reflection can be very advantageous.
Individuals seeking a deeper understanding of who they are, and gaining greater insight to what has meaning for them, will benefit greatly from the creative process. There are multiple creative possibilities to awaken and release fuller expressions of your authentic self. Studies show significant brain activity and positive psychological responses to drawing, painting, music, theater and movement to name a few. Findings in research provide clear evidence that the hippocampus, which serves as our memory bank also supports our ability to imagine and create. So why would that matter for mental health or healing and recovery from suffering? By engaging in the creative process, individuals can regulate their emotions, reducing anxiety and promoting emotional well-being. The act of creative expression activates the reward pathways in the brain, releasing dopamine and promoting positive emotions. Creative expression provides a distraction, a feeling of control, a sense of accomplishment, pleasure, relaxation, relief from stress, physical pain or illness.
Faith and Spirituality
Faith can play an important role in treatment and healing. Spiritual health may mean something different to each of us. For some spiritual health means connecting with God on a daily basis, through slowing down, tuning in, listening, and paying attention to the small still voice of our hearts. Spiritual health is inextricably connected to mental, emotional, social, and even physical health. When our spirit is healthy, our body is healthier, our brain is healthier. Our relationships are healthier. At the core of every trauma is a spiritual wound. When we focus on our spiritual health, we feel emotionally stronger and we begin to heal. When we are able to find healing we are then able to grow personally and spiritually.
Most spiritual tools and practices are supported by research. Practicing meditation, mindfulness, prayer, and even being in nature, have all been shown to improve health and wellness in the scientific literature.
Somatic psychotherapy is an umbrella term for the therapies that center on the mind-body connection. The term “somatic” means “relating to the body”. The Somatic approach explores how the body expresses deeply painful experiences, applying mind-body healing to aid with anxiety, trauma recovery, depression, among other mental and emotional challenges. A variety of somatic techniques help clients heal from emotional distress by addressing physical sensations and experiences associated with it.
We often think of our minds, bodies, and spirits as separate entities. However, the truth is that they are all interconnected. When one is out of balance it can have a ripple effect on the others.That is why it is important to nurture all three aspects of ourselves. Fortunately, there are many ways to do so. At Horizon Counseling we are sensitive to the uniqueness of each individual and explore ways that are best suited for every person. Our approach is holistic and is not one size fits all.
Compassionate Based Cognitive Therapy
CBCT aims to develop compassionate motivation, sympathy, sensitivity, and distress tolerance through the use of specific training and guided exercises designed to help individuals further develop non-judging, and non-condemning attributes. The Bible teaches us that “as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is”. A key concept in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is how we think, precipitates how we feel, and how we feel dictates how we behave and the decisions we make. If our thoughts or emotions are negative, this chain reaction sets in motion, a sympathetic nervous system response, sending the body into a fight, flight or freeze reaction. Being mindfully present with both mind and body allows the parasympathetic system to engage; lending more cognitive clarity, connection, calm in our lives, and provides more spiritual meaning, and experiences of belonging.
Psychodynamic therapy focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in the client’s present behavior. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are client self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior. In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from early childhood and past dysfunctional relationships. These inner conflicts often manifest in negative thought patterns and behaviors that do not serve the client well. Raising the unconscious to a conscious awareness, aids clients in making more congruent choices that are aligned with the clients values, beliefs and current realities, resulting in happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
About Barbara Carlin
Barbara Carlin is owner of Horizon Counseling and Consulting LLC, located in the Metro Atlanta area. As a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Board Certified Counselor, she takes satisfaction in working with individuals, groups, and conducting workshops. She often is invited to speak on a multitude of topics related to mental health and personal well-being. She is a RYT 200 with Yoga Alliance and has a passion for mind-body-spirit practices from a Christian perspective.
Barbara received her BA in Education and Fine Arts from Upsala College – a small private liberal arts college outside of New York City. For 30 years, she involved herself as an educator, writer, and teacher of women’s studies. She earned her MA in Counseling Psychology, with an added specialization in Spiritual Integration, at Richmont Graduate University. Additionally, Barbara is a certified Trauma Resolution Therapist. Her training and experience are extensive, as she proclaims to be a life-long learner and values continuing education.
Barbara is a member of the American Counseling Association, American Association of Christian Counselors, Christian Association of Psychological Studies and Licensed Professional Counselors of Georgia.
Barbara shares her life with Robert, her best friend and husband. They have a grown son who is also happily married to their daughter-in–love, with two amazing grandchildren! She has an ardent love for the arts, nature, yoga, reading, and cooking for people who consider themselves “Foodies”. Most of all she is eternally grateful for the love relationship she has with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Barbara is a highly gifted therapist. I have been to several counselors since I was a teenager. None have helped me as much as Barbara. She encouraged me to consider my strengths and readiness for growth and healing. I look forward to our sessions because I know she will listen to me and validate my feelings and thoughts.
Counseling has allowed me the time to slow down and to consider the deeper issues that have accumulated over time. I no longer feel overwhelmed when life transitions and relationships get complicated. I have learned coping skills to calm my anxiety and tools to help me navigate challenges when they arise.
My counselor helped me see some of my distorted thinking and false beliefs that did not serve me well. With her help I was able to let go of negative self talk and address my behavioral concerns. I am grateful for her professionalism and wisdom.
Barbara has been a great resource to help me through difficult times in my life. She provides a safe place that is loving and non-judgmental. Her recall of my past events and history make our sessions more valuable. She listens and offers wise counsel without being dictatorial. I highly recommend her and have done so for several of my closest friends.
I am thankful for the years Barbara has been my therapist. Her grace and encouragement were a balm to my hurting soul. She is the best and I am sure will be helping the healing for so many more people