Kristy Helmsderfer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker; she is also a Certified Addiction Counselor Level II. She attended four years at Augusta State University (now, AU), and received two Bachelors degrees – one in Psychology and in Anthropology. She then went on to pursue her Masters Degree in Social Work at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
Upon completion of grad school, Kristy went directly into the United States Army where she served for four years. While on Active duty, she treated many individuals with mental health disorders including combat stress and Post Traumatic Stress disorders, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders, often symptomatic of PTSD. Kristy also specializes in treating marital issues that result from combat deployments, and in general, military life. Being on Active duty has made her well-rounded, able to identify with military life and the challenges that military personnel face on a daily basis, and the many effects on the family.
Kristy has been a practicing LCSW for 16 years, predominately in outpatient settings; brief experiences in inpatient settings. Kristy is well versed in the use of the DSM V and recognizing, diagnosing, and treating behavioral health disorders. Kristy has worked with domestic violence victims and offenders, victims of childhood and adult trauma, mood disorders, personality disorders, grief and loss, and struggles with general life transitions. Her primary treatment technique (although many styles are used in a session), are Motivational Enhancement Therapy to help the client see that it truly is their desire to change, not the therapist’s. Cognitive Behavioral therapy is also a primary treatment modality because most internal conflict – unhappiness, anger, sadness, etc – are created by one’s perception of what is happening in their lives, not the specific event/situation that activates the feeling.
Finally, Kristy also believes in a Systems Approach to therapy because no man is an island! People are influenced by culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomics, impoverishment, etc. In order to holistically treat a client, all of these factors must be considered, and if clinically appropriate, must be factored into a client’s treatment.