Samantha Lynn Harbor Willis, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, Registered Play Therapist

2127 14th Ave S

Birmingham, AL 35205

205.679.0943

[email protected]

 

EDUCATION Memorial University of Newfoundland (2018-present)

Master of Gender Studies

Thesis – Transgender and Non-binary Lived Experiences Among Southern Appalachian

Youth: Correlations of Mental Health and Interpersonal Relationship Dynamics Before, During, and After the Coming out Process

 

University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL (December 2015)

Master of Education in Counseling and Guidance, Clinical Mental Health Track 

 

University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL (May 2013)

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Psychology, Minor in Philosophy and Religion

Volunteered at Shelby Emergency Assistance, Special Equestrians, Lakeview Nursing

Home, and Falcon Scholars in Action

 

HONORS AND RESEARCH

  • Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society Vice President (2014-2015)
  • Presented Counseling research on Anger and Play Therapy Techniques at the Alabama Counseling Association (ALCA) conference (2014)
  • Presented Psychology research Sex Differences and Personality Correlates of Attitudes toward National Healthcare at the Troy University Psychology Conference (2012)
  • Presented Psychology research Sex Differences and Personality Correlates of Attitudes toward National Healthcare at the University of Montevallo Undergraduate Research Day (2012)
  • Presented Social Work research video Affordable Care Act at the University of Montevallo Undergraduate Research Day (2012)
  • President’s List (2011-2013)
  • Who’s Who in America (2011-2013)
  • Member of the UM Social Work Program Student Advisory Committee (2012-2013)
  • Irene Staik Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence (Spring 2012)
  • Carmichael Library Book Review Award (Spring 2008)

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS, CERTIFICATIONS, AND LICENSES

  • Member of American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • Member of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • Member of Alabama Counseling Association (ALCA)
  • Member of Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama (ALGBTICAL)
  • LGBTQ Counseling Competencies: College and Career Readiness Certificate
  • Member of the Association for Play Therapy (APT)
  • Member of the University of Montevallo Counseling Program Advisory Council (2016-2018)
  • Certification as a Body-Brain Sand Tray Specialist
  • Certification as Alabama DHR Mandated Reporter
  • Certification in Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV)
  • Certification in Safe Zone 
  • Certification in Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper
  • Certification in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • National Certified Counselor (NCC)
  • Registered Play Therapist
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Alabama
  • Completed North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors Jurisprudence Exam

 

GROUPS AND CLASSES FACILITATED

  • Facilitated Journeys group for transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive clients
  • (May 2018-August 2018)
  • Facilitated Avail LGBTQ+ Affirming Teen Girl group (August 2017-November 2017)
  • Facilitated Creative Counseling Group for master’s level counseling students at the University of Montevallo (May 2017-June 2017)
  • Facilitated Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Feminist Theory class at the University of Montevallo (April 2017)
  • Facilitated Feminism and Coloring Group for master’s level counseling students at the University of Montevallo (October 2016-November 2016)
  • Facilitated Working with the Managed Care System and Consultations and Referrals Clinical Mental Health class at the University of Montevallo (October 2016)
  • Facilitated peer consultation group (2016)
  • Co-Facilitated Survivors group for teen girl survivors of sexual abuse (2015)
  • Co-Facilitated prevention education programs in the Shelby County School System to grades K-3rd (2014-2015)

 

ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

 

Owner/Counselor/Clinical Director, Avail Services, LLC – Birmingham, AL, (2015-present)

  • Counsel individuals, couples, families, and groups
  • Focus on LGBTQ+ issues, transgender issues, women’s issues, kink issues, and trauma
  • Utilize an eclectic framework which includes: Interpersonal Relational, Feminist Theory, Person-Centered Therapy, Multicultural Therapy, Existential Theory, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Provide body-brain sand tray therapy, art therapy, and play therapy
  • Maintain clinical records
  • Provide crisis interventions and assessments to clients as necessary
  • Provide local resources to clients and other clinicians as necessary
  • Write hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and gender confirmation surgery letters for transgender clients as clinically necessary
  • Provide psychoeducation to clients
  • Coordinate client services with allied professionals
  • Consult with other clinicians as needed
  • Write letters for court and correspond with legal representation as necessary
  • Utilize Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant electronic medical record (EMR) program
  • Train licensed counselors and social workers for EMR program and insurance compliance
  • Established and utilize intake, informed consent, notice of privacy practices paperwork, treatment plan, non-discrimination policy, language policy, and sensory impairment policy
  • Maintain practice with over twenty counselors
  • Panel for private insurances as necessary
  • Maintain professional licenses and certifications by completing necessary continuing education
  • Facilitate and run a national continuing education program online platform
  • Facilitate play therapy continuing education workshops
  • Approved provider for continuing education for Association for Play Therapy (APT)
  • Applying to be approved providers for continuing education for National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and Association of Social Work Board’s Approved Continuing Education (ACE)

 

Clinical Therapist Intern, Hill Crest Behavioral Health Services – Birmingham, AL, full-time, (2014-2015)

  • Counseled adolescent patients ages 12-18
  • Facilitated therapeutic groups
  • Maintained clinical records
  • Participated in supervision and group supervision
  • Provided patients with safety planning and risk management skills
  • Provided crisis intervention as necessary

 

Counseling Intern/Counselor, Owen’s House – Columbiana, AL, full-time, (2014-2015)

  • Counseled clients ages 3-18 who were survivors of sexual and/or physical abuse
  • Provided family advocacy
  • Co-facilitated Survivors group for teen survivors of sexual abuse
  • Co-facilitated prevention education programs in the Shelby County School System
  • Participated in monthly multi-disciplinary team meetings with local detectives, police departments, sheriff’s department, child protective services, and local school systems
  • Participated in clinical meetings
  • Participated in supervision
  • Maintained clinical records
  • Completed monthly reports

 

 

Child and Family Advocate, SafeHouse of Shelby County – Columbiana, AL, full-time, (2013)

  • Coordinated childcare program
  • Led daily therapeutic groups and recreational activities
  • Assisted children with safety planning
  • Provided transportation to residents as necessary
  • Led monthly parent meetings and individual parent meetings as needed
  • Completed monthly reports and detailed lesson plans
  • Provided education to children in accordance with lesson plans
  • Served as a liaison with schools to register and meet other needs of child residents
  • Participated in weekly case review, presenting and advocating on behalf of each child in shelter
  • Built relationships with external resources and advocated for the residents appropriately
  • Trained Child and Family Advocates and Falcon Scholars in Action, assuring protocol was met in accordance with SafeHouse policy

 

Clinical Therapist Intern, Hill Crest Behavioral Health Services – Birmingham, AL, full-time, (2012-2013)

  • Counseled adolescent patients ages 12-18
  • Facilitated therapeutic groups
  • Assisted in completion of mid-monthly and monthly reports
  • Participated in bi-monthly treatment team meetings
  • Participated in supervision
  • Provided patients with safety planning and risk management skills

 

Falcon Scholars in Action Intern, SafeHouse of Shelby County – Columbiana, AL, part-time, (2012-2013)

  • Provided support to women and child residents in domestic violence shelter
  • Tutored school-age children and college students
  • Co-led art lessons for school-age children
  • Led recreational groups and activities
  • Wrote grant for tools to enrich the lives of residents

 

 

CONTINUING EDUCATION FACILITATIONS

  • Facilitated Play Therapy with Foster and Adopted Families (December 2019)
  • Facilitated Play Therapy with Teens and Adults who are Emotionally Numb (December 2019)
  • Facilitated Sandtray Play Therapy Procedures (November 2019)
  • Facilitated Chronic Illness and Play Therapy (November 2019)
  • Facilitated How to be an Effective Clinician (October 2019)
  • Facilitated Trauma: The Impact on the Brain, Mind, and Body for Pineapple Summit Seminars, Sponsored by PornHub (October 2019)
  • Facilitated Gender Diverse Affirming Play Therapy: Working with Transgender and Non-Binary Clients and Their Families (July 2019)
  • Facilitated Play Therapy with LGBTQ+ Clients (June 2019)
  • Facilitated Trauma-Informed Play Therapy (June 2019)
  • Facilitated Sandtray Play Therapy Procedures (June 2019)
  • Facilitated Interpersonal Neurobiology of Sandtray Play (June 2019)
  • Facilitated Foundations of Sandtray Play Therapy (June 2019)
  • Facilitated Dissociation and Play Therapy (June 2019)
  • Facilitated Body-Mind Sand Tray Play Therapy (April 2018)
  • Facilitated Introduction to Sand Tray and Sand Play Therapy (April 2018)
  • Facilitated Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Sand Tray Play Therapy (March 2018)

 

TRAININGS AND EXPERIENCE

  • ACA Demystifying Ethics and Law for Telebehavioral Health by LoriAnn Stretch, Ph.D and Tiffany Rush-Wilson, Ph.D. (December 2019)
  • ACA Counselor Self-Care by Gerald Corey, Ed.D., Michelle Muratori, Ph.D., Jude T. Austin, II, Ph.D., and Julius A. Austin, Ph.D. (November 2019)
  • The Play Therapy Process with Difficult Parents by Lynn Louise Wonders (October 2019)
  • ACA The Efficacy of Interventions Aimed at Reducing Procrastination: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials by John M. Malouff and Nicola S. Schutte (October 2019)
  • ACA Assessment and Intervention with Suicidal Clients by Victor Yalom, Ph.D. and John Sommers-Flanagan, Ph.D. (September 2019)
  • North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors Jurisprudence Course and Exam (August 2019)
  • ACA Expanding Perspectives: Systemic Approaches to College Students Experiencing Depression by Sean Newhart, Graduate Student, Patrick R. Mullen, PhD, and Daniel Gutierrez, PhD (August 2019)
  • ACA Ten Ways to Intentionally Use Group Work to Transform Hate and Enhance Community Building by Lorraine Joyce Guth, PhD, Ana Isabel Puig, PhD, Christian D. Chan, PhD, Anneliese A. Singh, PhD, and Hopeton A. Bailey (July 2019)
  • ACA Ethical Issues Related to the Practice of Online Clinical Supervision by John P. Duggan, EdD, LPC, LCPC and Rachel McCrickard, LMFT (June 2019)
  • CTRI Harm Reduction – A Framework for Change by AnnMarie Churchill, PhD, RSW (May 2019)
  • ACA Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for Substance Misuse by Amy Williams, Ph.D. and Kristin Bruns, Ph.D. (May 2019)
  • CTRI Ethics of Helping – Boundaries and Relationships by: Vicki Enns, MMFT, RMFT (April 2019)
  • ACA A Constructive Approach to Help Counselors Work With Clients Who Express Discriminatory Views (April 2019)
  • ACA Developing Competence in Working With LBGTQI+ Communities: Awareness, Knowledge, Skills, and Action (March 2019)
  • CTRI Addictions and Mental Illness – Working with Co-occurring Disorders (February 2019)
  • ACA “Spirit” from Wellness Counseling in Action: A Holistic Approach to Prevention and Intervention (February 2019)
  • Using Superheroes in Play Therapy to Promote Strengths and Resilience by: Sophia Ansari, LPCC and Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S (December 2018)
  • Addressing Grief & Loss With All Ages Using Play Therapy by: Lynn Louise Wonders, LPC, RPT-S and Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S (December 2018)
  • Sandtray Methods of Treating Grief in a Group Setting by: Rosalind Heiko, PhD, RPT-S and Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S (December 2018)
  • Building a Culture of Kindness in the Classroom Using Play Therapy Groups by: Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S and Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S (December 2018)
  • Anger vs. Rage: Play Therapy Treatment Implications by: David Crenshaw, PhD, RPT-S and Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S (December 2018)
  • Putting Back the Pieces After Community Violence: Using Play Therapy to Mend Broken
    Attachments by: Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S and Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S (December 2018)
  • Examining Social Interaction Styles Using Digital Tools in Play Therapy by Jessica Stone, PhD, RPT-S and Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S (December 2018)
  • Bibliotherapy: The Magic of Bringing Books into the Play Room by Lynn Wonders, LPC, RPT-S, CPCS (December 2018)
  • ACA Dirt Road Counseling: Evidence-Based Interventions for Rural Mental Health Delivery (December 2018)
  • Evidence Based Play Therapy: Research Supported Treatment Planning by Lynn Wonders, LPC, RPT-S, CPCS (December 2018)
  • ACA Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling, Therapeutic Horticulture, and Wilderness/Nature Therapy (November 2018)
  • Play Therapy with Items from Nature by Lynn Wonders, LPC, RPT-S, CPCS (October 2018)
  • Fun and Effective Play Therapy Interventions for Family Sessions by Lynn Wonders, LPC, RPT-S, CPCS (October 2018)
  • ACA Irvin Yalom and the Art of Psychotherapy (October 2018)
  • ACA Internet Addiction (September 2018)
  • Sandtray Suite Plus by Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT (July 2018-September 2018)
  • Ethics of Care in Play Therapy by Karla Carmichael, Ph.D, LPC (TX), Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor (April 2018)
  • Jung’s Essential Writings on Type and The Meyers Briggs Type Indicator by Stuart A. Potter, Dipl., Analyst (April 2018)
  • Gottman Level 1 Training by John Gottman, Ph.D. and Julie Gottman, Ph.D. (January 2018)
  • Play Therapy on a Shoe String Budget by Heidi Gerard Kaduson, Ph.D., RPT-S (November 2017)
  • Play Therapy with Trichotillomania by Lynn Wonders, LPC, RPT-S, CPCS (November 2017)
  • ACA LGBTQ College and Career Readiness Case Studies (November 2017)
  • ACA Transgender & Gender-Expansive Counseling Issues (October 2017)
  • Play Therapy 101: Foundations and Basic Skills by Lynn Wonders, LPC, RPT-S, CPCS (September 2017)
  • ACA Counseling Competencies: LGBTQ Counseling Preparing for Conversations with LGBTQ Youth (September 2017)
  • Trauma Informed Play Therapy: Beyond Relaxation by Nicole O’Pries, LCSW, CFTP (September 2017)
  • Play Therapy: An Experimental Approach by Ken Schwartzenberger, LCSW, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • Marketing a Play Therapy Private Practice by Joe Sanok, LPC, LLP, NPC (September 2017)
  • Play Therapy and Family Court: How to Navigate Risks and Realities by Lynn Wonders, LPC, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • A Healing Ways of Being with Children in Play Therapy by David Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • Sand Tray Solutions Using the Power of Brain Science by Amy Flaherty, LPE-L, RPT (September 2017)
  • The Neuroscience Behind Aggression in the Playroom by Lisa Dion, LCPC, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • Using EMDR and Play Therapy by Carrie Carr, M.A., LCPC (September 2017)
  • The Build a House Technique: Family Assessment in Play Therapy by Carla Sharp, ARNP (September 2017)
  • An Introduction to Using Water Play Therapy by Yael Livneh, M.A., Ph.D Candidate (September 2017)
  • Enhancing Social Emotional Literacy with Play Therapy and Books by Susan Elswick, Ed.D., LCSW (September 2017)
  • Play Therapy with Sexually Abused Children by Holly Willard, LCSW, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • Play Therapy with Foster Care and Adoption by Theresa Fraser, CCW, CVC-P, M.A., CPT-S (September 2017)
  • Play Therapy with African American Families by Kristy Brumfield, Ph.D., LPC, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • Using AutPlay for Children Diagnosed with Autism by Robert Jason Grant, Ed.D., LPC, NPC, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • The Nurtured Heart approach and Play Therapy by Tammi van Hollander, LCSW, RPT (September 2017)
  • Play Therapy Using Music and Movement by Robyn Gobbel, LCSW (September 2017)
  • Play Therapy and the Culture of Childhood by Jodi Mullen, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC, RPT-S, CCPT-S (September 2017)
  • Integrative Attachment Informed Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy by Angela Cavett, Ph.D., LP, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • Attachment Centered Play Therapy by Claire Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • Are Essential FirstPlay® Experiences in Risk of Extinction?: Cyberbabies by Janet Courtney, Ph.D., LCSW (September 2017)
  • The First Ten Things to Learn About Play Therapy by Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S (September 2017)
  • Exploring Developmental Experiences Through Sandtray Play Level 2, Five Day Training by Rita Grayson, LCSW, RPT-S (August 2017)
  • Creative and Play Therapy Interventions by Lisa Elliott, MA, LPC-S, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, NCC, Certified TF-CBT Therapist, Heather Hardeman, MA, LPC, Registered Play Therapist, TBRI® Practitioner, Certified TF-CBT Therapist, Korinne Babel, Ph.D., LPC, Registered Play Therapist, NCC, James Jackson Jr., Ph.D., LPC-S, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, NCC, Hallie Keel, MA, LPC-S, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, Stephanie Bales, Ed.S., LPC, Registered Play Therapist, NCC (August 2017)
  • NBCC Job Analysis Incentive Reading and Post Test (August 2017) 
  • ACA LGBTQ Youth and Young Adults in School, College, Careers (August 2017)
  • Sandplay Course 201 by Barbara Turner, Ph.D. (August 2017)
  • Sandplay Course 102 by Barbara Turner, Ph.D. (August 2017)
  • Sandplay Demonstration by Barbara Turner, Ph.D. (July 2017)
  • ACA Multiculturalism and Social Justice: A Revolutionary Force in Counseling and Psychology (July 2017)
  • Playful CBT Interventions for Children with Anxiety by Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW, CPT-S (June 2017)
  • Sand and Play with Body-Brain in Mind Level 1, Five Day Training by Rita Grayson, LCSW, RPT-S (June 2017)
  • ACA Introductory Competencies for LGBTQ-Affirmative Counseling (June 2017)
  • Children’s Hospital Annual Mental Health Conference (May 2017)
  • ACA So, What is Play Therapy and Why Should We Care? (May 2017)
  • Ethics A to Z: What Every Child Clinician Should Know by Mistie Barnes, Ed.D., LPC-S, Registered Play Therapist- Supervisor (April 2017)
  • SCDHR Resource Fair (April 2017)
  • Sandplay Course 101 by Barbara Turner, Ph.D. (April 2017)
  • ACA Developmental Approaches in Treating Addiction (April 2017)
  • ACA Unique Ethical Challenges Facing New Faculty (March 2017)
  • TF-CBT Consultation Calls by David Hong, Psy.D. (February 2017-September 2017)
  • TF-CBT Two Day Basic Training by David Hong, Psy.D. (February 2017)
  • ABA Client Counseling Regional Competition Judge at Samford’s Cumberland School of Law (February 2017)
  • Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts and Play Therapy with Children and Families by Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPAT, LPCC, ATR-BC, REAT (January 2017)
  • University of Montevallo Counseling Program Advisory Council Meeting (December 2016)
  • ACA DSM-5 Structural, Philosophical, and Major Diagnostic Changes (December 2016)
  • ALCA Conference (November 2016)
  • UAB Ethics Workshop (June 2016)
  • Children’s Hospital Annual Mental Health Conference (May 2016)
  • SCDHR Resource Fair (March 2016)
  • Led Peer Consultation Group (2016)
  • ALC Supervision under James L. Jackson, Jr, Ph.D., LPC-S, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, NCC (2016-2017)
  • DHR Mandated Reporter Training and Certification (2015)
  • Graduate supervision under Charlotte Daughhetee, Ph.D., LPC-S, LMFT, NCC (2014)
  • ALCA Conference: Facilitator of Expressing Anger through Creativity (November 2014)
  • Attended Trauma in the Lives of Children Training Facilitated by Cassie Hornbeck Maxwell (October 2014)
  • TF-CBT Training and Certification (October 2014)
  • United Way Shelby County Kickoff (September 2014)
  • Monthly Shelby County Multi-Disciplinary Team Meetings (2014)
  • Shelby County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) Peer Review (2014)
  • QPR Gatekeeper Training and Certification (2014)
  • ACADV bi-monthly Child Advocate Meetings (2014)
  • Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV) Training and Certification (2013)
  • Safe Zone Training and Certification (2013)
  • AL/MS Social Work Education Conference (2013)
  • UM Advocacy Day, Social Work Day (2012 and 2013)
  • Safe Zone Training (2013)
  • Social Work Licensure Workshop (2013)
  • University of Montevallo Social Work Student Advisory Committee Meeting (2012-2013)
  • Impact of Trauma Informed Care Conference (2013)
  • NAME Conference (2013)
  • NASW Advocacy Day (2013)
  • Monthly Clinical Conferences at Hillcrest Behavioral Health Services (2012-2013)
  • Troy University Psychology Conference: Co-facilitator of Sex Differences and Personality Correlates of Attitudes toward National Healthcare (2012)
  • University of Montevallo Undergraduate Research Day: Co-facilitator of Sex Differences and Personality Correlates of Attitudes toward National Healthcare (2012)
  • University of Montevallo Undergraduate Research Day: Facilitator of Affordable Care Act (2012)
  • Shelby County Round Table Meeting (2009)