Ariel M. Shumaker-Hammond, MPH, MSW, LCSW
I see my counseling role as a guide, someone to help you navigate those challenging transitions in life, and come out stronger on the other side. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from clients that they didn’t get much out of previous therapy because they felt like they were doing “all the talking” without much feedback. I offer warmth and compassion, yes, and I'm an excellent and empathetic listener, but I’m also directive in my approach. I love to use humor, and wouldn’t be genuine without it. Sound like we might be a good fit? Let me tell you a little bit more about the work I do.
First of all, I love working with people (teens and adults) who are experiencing life transitions, whether that be leaving or trying to improve a difficult relationship, thinking of changing careers, or adjusting to life as a parent. I specialize in the reproductive, pregnancy (including infertility and pregnancy loss), and postpartum experience, and have been certified by Postpartum Support International. Having gone through my own journey of infertility and loss, and then through the wonderful but terrifying shift of becoming a parent, my resolve to work with those clients strengthened. I think those experiences make me a better therapist, because I understand them on a different level. I love helping that new parent who’s struggling with postpartum anxiety or depression, or with trying to adapt to their new identity, and the new identity of their relationship with their partner. Having a baby, or going through a fertility struggle or loss, can have a huge impact on our relationships. I love being able to help people get back to a place where they feel connected with themselves and their partners.
I also love working with little ones, and their relationships with their caregivers, including foster and adoptive parents. In particular, I have a lot of training and experience working with ages 0-5 who have experienced trauma. The modalities I use most often are the wonderful evidence based practices Reflective Parenting and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), which concentrate on strengthening the relationship between the caregiver and the child. Those practices are rooted in neuroscience, and can be very effective in helping families heal and strengthen their bonds.
Additional modalities I use include Motivational Interviewing, EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and Seeking Safety.
I take pride in having a space that is accepting, non-judgmental, and warm, and invite folks of any race, gender, sexual orientation, and religious/spiritual beliefs. I am very comfortable talking about these pieces of our identities, and welcome those sometimes challenging conversations.
Accepted Insurance Providers: Cigna, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Healthgram
Education, Training & Professional Associations:
Master of Public Health (MPH) & Master of Social Welfare (MSW) from University of California at Los Angeles (2008)
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Spanish & Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Anthropology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2004)
Certified in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders from Postpartum Support International (PSI)
Certified in Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
Trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
Certified in Seeking Safety
Certified in Reflective Parenting
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (#C008032) in North Carolina
Member of National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Board Member of the NC Infant Mental Health Association (NCIMHA)
Co-director of the Perinatal Emotional Health Network of Western North Carolina (PEHN)