Heather Barbatsis profile image

Heather Barbatsis

Heather Barbatsis

(she/her)

LCSW
19 years of experience
Virtual

Hello, I'm Heather, a seasoned counselor dedicated to providing compassionate support to individuals navigating life's challenges. With over 20 years of experience in Social Work and Counseling, including service as a Navy Veteran, I bring a wealth of expertise and understanding to my practice. As an Author, I've authored books aimed at simplifying complex medical and mental health issues, such as Hospice, Home Health, and Palliative Care. My commitment to enhancing accessibility and understanding in these areas underscores my passion for empowering individuals to take charge of their well-being. In my counseling approach, I prioritize active listening and client-centered care. Your growth and goals are at the forefront of our sessions, as I work collaboratively with you to navigate the path toward healing and personal fulfillment. In addition to individual counseling, I specialize in couples therapy, helping partners navigate complex issues like communication breakdowns, conflict resolution, and rebuilding trust. Through tailored interventions and empathetic support, I assist couples in cultivating deeper understanding, connection, and resilience within their relationships. I also offer individual counseling for personal growth, healing, and support, providing a safe and nurturing space for clients to explore their innermost thoughts and emotions on their journey towards greater well-being and fulfillment. Insight and progress can often be achieved in just one session, though the benefits of ongoing therapy are profound. Whether you're stepping into counseling for the first time or continuing your therapeutic journey, my objective remains the same: to provide you with the compassionate support and guidance you deserve. Your willingness to engage in therapy is deeply appreciated, and I am here to walk alongside you every step of the way.

What can clients expect to take away from sessions with you?

In their first session with me, clients can expect a warm and welcoming environment where they will feel safe, heard, and respected. I understand that starting therapy can be an unfamiliar and sometimes daunting experience, so I aim to create a space that is comfortable and conducive to open communication. During the initial session, I will take the time to get to know the client and gain a comprehensive understanding of their unique concerns, background, and goals for therapy. This may involve asking questions about their current symptoms, life circumstances, past experiences, and what they hope to achieve through counseling. I will also provide an overview of the counseling process, including discussing confidentiality, the therapeutic approach I use, and what clients can expect in future sessions. It's important for clients to feel informed and empowered throughout the therapeutic journey, so I encourage questions and feedback at any point during our time together. Additionally, I aim to establish a collaborative and trusting relationship with clients from the very beginning. I value the client's expertise about their own experiences and perspectives, and I see therapy as a partnership where we work together towards their desired outcomes. By the end of the first session, clients can expect to have a clearer understanding of the therapeutic process and feel supported in taking the next steps towards healing, growth, and positive change. They will leave with a sense of hope and empowerment, knowing that they have a dedicated ally on their journey towards greater well-being.

Explain to clients what areas you feel are your biggest strengths.

As a provider, I believe my greatest strengths lie in my ability to cultivate authentic connections with clients, my diverse range of skills and expertise, and my unwavering commitment to client-centered care. First and foremost, I prioritize building trusting and supportive relationships with clients. I strive to create a safe and nonjudgmental space where clients feel comfortable expressing themselves and exploring their deepest thoughts and emotions. My empathetic and compassionate approach allows me to meet clients where they are, validating their experiences and empowering them to embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth. Secondly, my diverse background in counseling, social work, and authorship equips me with a broad toolkit of therapeutic techniques and interventions. Whether it's drawing from cognitive-behavioral strategies, mindfulness practices, or existential exploration, I tailor my approach to meet the unique needs and preferences of each client. This flexibility allows me to address a wide range of issues and support clients in achieving their goals. Finally, my unwavering commitment to client-centered care drives everything I do as a provider. I believe that each client is the expert of their own life and deserves to have their voice heard and respected in the therapeutic process. By actively involving clients in decision-making and collaboratively setting goals, I empower them to take ownership of their healing journey and work towards positive change. Overall, I am deeply passionate about supporting clients in overcoming obstacles, finding meaning and fulfillment, and ultimately leading more fulfilling lives. My greatest strengths as a provider lie in my ability to forge genuine connections, leverage a diverse range of skills, and prioritize the needs and goals of each individual client.

Describe the client(s) you are best positioned to serve.

As a counselor with a diverse background and extensive experience spanning various domains, I am best positioned to serve clients who seek a compassionate and understanding guide through life's challenges. My expertise in counseling, social work, and authorship uniquely equips me to support individuals facing a wide range of issues, including mental health concerns, life transitions, relationship difficulties, and existential questions. I specialize in providing support to clients who may be navigating complex medical or mental health issues, as well as those dealing with the unique challenges of military service. Additionally, I am adept at working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, including veterans, caregivers, and those in blended families. My client-centered approach emphasizes active listening, empathy, and collaboration, ensuring that each client's unique needs and goals are prioritized in the therapeutic process. Whether it's supporting individuals in finding meaning and purpose in their lives, helping couples strengthen their relationships, or guiding individuals through personal growth and healing, I am committed to providing a safe and supportive space for all clients to explore, heal, and thrive.

About Heather Barbatsis

Identifies as

Licensed in

Appointments

Virtual

My treatment methods

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)

One fundamental aspect of CBT involves identifying cognitive distortions, which are patterns of thinking that contribute to negative emotions and behaviors. These distortions often involve irrational beliefs or misinterpretations of situations. Through collaborative exploration with clients, I assist them in recognizing and challenging these distortions. Once cognitive distortions are identified, the next step involves cognitive restructuring. This process entails examining and reshaping maladaptive thought patterns into more realistic and balanced perspectives. I guide clients through techniques such as examining evidence for and against their beliefs, considering alternative explanations, and reframing negative self-talk. Mindfulness practices are also integrated into CBT to enhance awareness and acceptance of present-moment experiences. By cultivating mindfulness, individuals can better observe their cognitive patterns and choose more adaptive responses. In my experience as a counselor, I've witnessed the transformative effects of CBT on clients struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, and various other mental health concerns. Through structured sessions and practice of homework assignments, clients learn practical skills to manage their symptoms and improve their overall well-being. Moreover, CBT empowers clients by fostering a sense of agency and self-efficacy. By actively participating in the therapeutic process and applying CBT techniques in their daily lives, clients develop greater confidence in their ability to navigate challenges effectively. Overall, CBT serves as a versatile and powerful tool in my counseling practice, enabling me to collaborate with clients in addressing cognitive distortions, promoting cognitive restructuring, cultivating mindfulness, and ultimately facilitating meaningful and lasting change.

Mindfulness-Based Therapy

Mindfulness Therapy is an approach grounded in the cultivation of present-moment awareness and acceptance. As a counselor, I integrate mindfulness techniques into my practice to help clients develop a non-judgmental stance towards their thoughts, emotions, and experiences, ultimately promoting greater well-being and resilience. Central to mindfulness therapy is the practice of being present. Clients are encouraged to bring their attention to the present moment, fully engaging with their immediate sensory experiences without getting caught up in past regrets or future worries. By cultivating present-moment awareness, clients can develop a deeper connection to themselves and their surroundings, fostering a sense of groundedness and peace. Moreover, mindfulness therapy fosters a sense of self-compassion and kindness towards oneself. Clients learn to treat themselves with greater gentleness and understanding, recognizing that self-criticism and self-judgment only perpetuate suffering. By cultivating self-compassion, clients can break free from negative thought patterns and develop a more nurturing relationship with themselves. Overall, mindfulness therapy serves as a powerful and accessible approach to counseling, enabling clients to cultivate present-moment awareness, acceptance, and self-compassion in their lives. As a therapist that utilizes mindfulness in my practice, I am deeply committed to integrating these techniques into my practice to support clients on their journey towards greater well-being, resilience, and inner peace.

Couples Counseling

Couples therapy is a specialized form of counseling aimed at addressing various challenges and conflicts within romantic relationships. As a counselor, I help partners navigate issues such as anger, communication breakdowns, infidelity, blended-family problems, parenting conflicts, transition strains, and life-changing events. In my practice, I create a safe and supportive environment where couples can openly express their feelings and concerns. I employ evidence-based techniques to improve communication skills, facilitate empathy and understanding, and promote conflict resolution. Through structured sessions and homework assignments, I guide couples in exploring the underlying issues contributing to their relationship difficulties. Whether it's addressing unresolved anger, rebuilding trust after infidelity, or navigating the complexities of blended-family dynamics, I tailor the therapy process to meet the unique needs and goals of each couple. My experience with couples therapy has taught me the importance of fostering mutual respect, empathy, and cooperation between partners. By helping couples develop effective communication strategies and cultivate a deeper understanding of each other's perspectives, I empower them to build stronger, more resilient relationships capable of weathering life's challenges together.