Edliz "Edi" Wade, APC, NCC, DCC
Hello, my name is Edi Wade, and I'm a mental health counselor at Atlanta Counseling and Coaching!
On Becoming a Counselor
My journey to becoming a counselor started the Summer of 2012 when I experienced a moderate panic attack and got rejected from nursing school all within a couple of days. The day after the panic attack, I drove back to Gainesville, Florida where I attended undergraduate school (GO GATORS!) and began seeking counseling services. Needless to say, I was struggling with anxiety and life transition issues. After several weeks of counseling and changing my major three times in a day (such a millennial move) I landed on studying Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. On my first day back of my junior year of college, the professor of the introductory course for this major discussed what being in the Family, Youth, and Community Sciences meant; having a passion for others and learning how to turn that passion into a career. Between growing exponentially through my own personal counseling journey and being a part of a program dedicated to supporting others, counseling became the natural next step. I applied to graduate programs the following fall and began my graduate studies at Wake Forest University.
Professional Background + Counseling Philosophy
During my internship year of graduate school, I had the privilege of interning at one of the most efficacious treatment facilities in the country, Skyland Trail, where I worked with individuals experiencing severe mental health disorders. I was grateful to work as a cognitive behavioral therapy counselor there after my internship. After that position, I began working in private practice and am so excited about being a counselor at Atlanta Counseling and Coaching.
Working with individuals who experience moderate to severe mental health issues at Skyland allowed me to fully understand the diagnostic processes. It also helped me to find the most effective tools to help those experiencing anxiety, depression, thought disorders, and interpersonal difficulties. This knowledge, in tangent with the fact that the counseling process started for me as a client, has aided in a full comprehensive outlook when it comes to my counseling philosophy. I've been able to build empathy for clients and help them externalize their difficulties and understand the issues they are facing are separate from who they are and what they are seeking in life.
I love seeing the moment of understanding, relief, or acceptance that comes with building insight as well as celebrating with clients when they see positive outcomes of healthy and adaptive behavioral changes. These two components, insight development and behavioral change go hand in hand in my counseling philosophy. When it comes to insight development, it's important for me to help clients find their "why" behind changing their lifestyles or working on certain skills. Otherwise, motivation can dwindle. However, you can still have all the insight in the world, but not know what to do with that insight- that's the behavioral component. To me, good long-lasting work takes place when a client understands their "why" and knows how to express that "why" in day-to-day living.
I value independence and self-motivation, and I check-in with clients regularly and encourage them to verbalize the accomplishments they've made. This satisfies two necessities: 1. They understand they can do things on their own 2. They affirm their congruent and authentic selves.
In my practice, you're going to get honest and direct feedback. However, humor and not taking ourselves too seriously make this feedback gentle and non-judgemental. It's important to establish a good relationship early on, because the sooner we trust each other, the sooner we get to work, and the sooner you feel better.
Clients I See
When clients start therapy with me, I ask them to be open and willing to the types of activities and discussions we'll be having in session. Clients don't have to be right or know all the answers but just try to have open minds to ideas that could be helpful and insights that may have to be made. Most of the clients I see are young adults who are working through transitions in life (i.e. marriage, separation, career, graduation, independence, etc.), or identity formation, as well as individuals who struggle with anxiety, depression, and interpersonal conflict.