Crystal Hamling completed her Master's of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
She earned her Bachelor's of Business Administration in Finance from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
She is currently practicing as a Resident in Counseling under the supervision of Sharon Watson, LPC, LMFT, LSATP, NCC, ACS & Dr. Sherry Todd, LPC.
I am passionate about counseling and the freedoms it can bring to my clients. As a result, I am part of several professional associations and counseling-related groups that keep me current in the field and help me to learn new and effective ways to practice.
American Counseling Association (ACA), member
American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), member
Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors (NVLPC), member
Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), professional counselors honor society, member
Rock Recovery, eating disorder non-profit, current volunteer counselor & previous Bridge to Life Program Lead
Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity (ISSI), research team member (previously; 2015-2018)
Cross-cultural supervision -- provided counseling training and supervision to students in Ukraine (previously; 2017-2018)
Areas of Interest and Proficiency
As a clinical mental health counselor, I am able to work with you on just about any challenge you may be experiencing, from depression and anxiety, to substance abuse and relationship issues, to eating disorders and body image/self-esteem issues. I welcome clients from all walks of life and with all types of goals.
Some areas I have experience in or am especially interested in include:
Cognitive behavior therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy
Logotherapy (finding meaning in one's life)
Christian-oriented therapy/faith-based counseling (if desired)
Eating disorders/body image concerns
Military life, military families, and related issues
Post-traumatic stress (PTSD), complex trauma, and other trauma
Substance abuse/other addictions
Borderline personality disorder
Anxiety, including social anxiety
Grief and loss
Sexuality, including same-sex attraction (wanted or unwanted)
Highly sensitive people (HSPs)
Cultural religious issues/internal religious conflict (all faiths)
My Approach to Counseling
In my counseling office, you are the most important person in the room. My knowledge and training are certainly helpful, but applying these things in the best way so that they are tailored for you, and help you to meet your goals, is what is most important.
In the counseling office, I try to get a holistic idea about your life and whatever problems you are going through. My number one goal is to listen well and to help you feel understood. Our counseling relationship is also a space where you will be free from judgment -- you can tell me about that "off-the-wall" thing that you do on Tuesday nights, and I will understand that this behavior makes sense to you. No shame attached.
Finally, while you are the most important person in the room, you are also going to be the hardest-working. Ultimately, counselors do not change clients; clients change clients. Thus, I will be a support to you through your issues and help you to understand your own feelings and responses to events, and offer research-based ideas on how you might be able to change your feelings, situations, and circumstances. However, you will have to be the one to do the actual work of self-reflection, self-understanding, self-compassion, and revised behavior. While this work can be heavy at times, I absolutely think it is one of the most worthwhile pursuits you can make. It's a journey that can impact your entire life, not just the weekly hour that we spend together.
In short, I'm excited for you and sincerely look forward to meeting you!
What does it mean to be a Resident in Counseling, supervised by a Licensed Professional Counselor?
Resident in Counseling is a title given to me by the Virginia Board of Counseling. It means that I have completed my master's degree in clinical mental health counseling and am now permitted to practice as a counselor under supervision. (This is as opposed to Licensed Professional Counselors, or LPCs, who are able to practice independently and without being supervised.) My supervisors are Sharon Watson, LPC, LMFT, LSATP, NCC, ACS & Dr. Sherry Todd, LPC. I meet with my supervisors for at least 1 hour for every 40 hours of counseling work that I do and they provide me feedback on how to work ethically, legally, and within Board regulations, and how to give my clients the most benefit from my time with them. Once I complete 4,000 hours of supervised counseling work, I will become an LPC myself. (I already passed the licensure test, the NCMHCE, so all I've got left to finish are these pesky hours!:) Thus, I do not practice independently or autonomously, but rather under the supervision of Sharon and Sherry…I hired them both so as to give me varied perspectives during my time a a resident!
I do not consider myself a foreign language counselor only because I do not consider myself adequately adept at any foreign language to do my clients professional justice in a psychotherapy setting. However, I do speak and understand several languages. I have listed my proficiency in each of the languages I have studied below. You are welcome to express yourself in any of these languages, as it is often beneficial for clients to express themselves in their native tongue. However, please understand that my comprehension may be slightly slower (i.e., I may need to repeat in English what you said to make sure I understood you correctly) and I may need to respond in English.
Language – Proficiency
English – native speaker
Italian – high intermediate
Spanish – low intermediate
German – only very basic
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