Authored by: Lee Dorsey
I have worked as a therapist for almost 35 years and for about 33 of them I have primarily served children/youth who are in the custody of the State of Alabama – foster children – as well as youth who have been involved with the juvenile justice system and their families (biological, foster, adoptive, etc.). Most recently, I worked at St. Mary’s Home as a residential therapist for children/youth who could not live in a regular foster home due to the need for treatment and behavioral interventions.
When St. Mary’s closed abruptly in September 2020, I spoke with Father Heard about the possibility of using the former Thee Store space to open a private practice. Father Heard took my request to the vestry and they graciously approved. Since that time Kristen Turner and I have worked hard (with the help of friends) to renovate the space and create an office that will be a safe healing place for people in need. I am proud and excited to announce that the renovations are finished, and the office is open and ready to serve anyone in need of counseling. I am an approved Medicaid provider as well as an approved Mobile County DHR provider. I will work with anyone who has a need regardless of ability to pay regular fees, as part of the outreach of St. John’s Episcopal Church.
My work and experience span all age groups and a variety of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, issues of attachment and addictions. I have worked with all age groups and have conducted sessions for individuals, groups, families, and couples. I have also provided training and education to groups such as childcare workers, foster families, and counselors/therapists. I spent many years working with pre-adoptive families who were adopting children with attachment disorders in order to better ensure the adoptions would create a lifelong family. Regardless of age, my preference is to work with individuals who otherwise might not have access to the services they need.
I believe that being a counselor/therapist is a calling and I cannot imagine not doing what I do. I have seen a little bit of everything in my years of working in this vocation and more often than not, under the problematic behaviors is a person who is hurting and in need of help.
I am thankful to St. John’s and my church family for allowing me the opportunity to continue doing this work in a place I associate with loving and giving as well as healing and growth. I hope and pray that Tree of Life Counseling will grow and that the outreach of this parish will help to heal many who would otherwise not have access to these services. Please visit my website at www.tree-of-life-counseling.org. If you know anyone who might benefit from my services, please give them my telephone number (251-422-6592) and I’ll do my best to accommodate their needs.