Julie Paavola, LMHCA

Have you ever wondered, “What’s wrong with me?” Or have you ever thought, “Why can’t I just be happy?” Most people have struggled with these questions, and many also blame themselves for not knowing the answers. Two things can help: first, we must discover our own worth, and second, that the seeds of happiness are buried deep within us and can be found (with a little help!)

My approach to therapy is rooted in respect for the mystery of each human person and the uniqueness of your journey. My role is to nurture hope and the healing process for each client I have the privilege to work with.

At the root of many problems with thinking, feeling and functioning, lies personal suffering and life circumstances over which we have little control. Working together to establish goals, I support each client to become empowered to take control of their lives and find the seeds of healing within themselves. Greater peace and fulfillment in life follow out of this process and ever greater health and wholeness are possible.

Who I work with: I work with individuals, both youth and adults, as well as couples who are seeking to mend the damage done by harmful words and attitudes.

Art therapy: for clients who are open to the creative arts, I use artistic media to assist clients in finding insight about themselves and their relationships, and as well as to discover relaxation and enjoyment through the healing creative process.

Spanish speaking: I am fully bi-lingual to offer therapy in Spanish for individuals or couples.

Mental health: I have experience with trauma, emotional and physical abuse abuse, sexual assault, anxiety, depression and grief. I also have worked with families to increase healthy communication. I believe in building a strong therapeutic relationship with each client, based on a non-judgmental and compassionate partnership in the healing process.

Prior to my training in psychology, I earned an M.A. in Religious Studies and was trained in pastoral care. I spent many years in ministry settings working with clients on issues of faith and spiritual growth as a spiritual direction counselor. Family Counseling Associates is a wonderful setting for me to continue to work with those clients who may desire to include questions of faith and spirituality in their therapeutic care.

My approach to therapy is existential, emphasizing empowerment of the client to reclaim and re-own their lives (Schneider & Krug, 2010). My first priority in working with a client is to establish a healthy therapeutic relationship, which I believe to be the bedrock of clinical work. Active listening, reflecting back to the client what I have heard, and summarizing help me to get an initial picture of the individual's story. As the therapeutic relationship develops, setting goals and progressing towards meeting those goals, it is important to recognize and affirm the client's efforts and successes in working for change.

Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate (Indiana)
Art Therapist (Working toward Board Certification)

M.A. Art Therapy, IUPUI and Herron School of Art & Design, 2017
M.A. in Religion in Society, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA 1998
Spiritual Direction and Retreat Training, Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA and Los Altos Retreat Center, Los Altos, CA 2007-2010
B.A. in International Relations, Stanford University, 1993