Today we’d like to introduce you to Diane Coll.
Diane, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story begins in childhood when I discovered the power of music. As a shy child, music was my open channel to the world, how I related and understood people, and how I learned to express myself.
As a teenager, my best friend at the time developed early onset schizophrenia and, it was during this time that I discovered a passion for mental health issues. I began to develop a passion for helping those who found themselves marginalized in society; helping those people find their voice in the world. Because of my friend, I became interested in music therapy and pursued a Master’s degree (in music therapy) in her honor.
For 10 years, I worked as a music therapist with children with disabilities, adolescents in the foster care system, and adults with a variety of emotional issues. Although there were challenging days, the reward of helping others transcended those tougher days. Wishing to expand my knowledge and skill base, I then earned a second Masters in professional counseling. The long hours of studies and clinical internships were tough, although again, rewarding.
After many supervised hours working with adolescents in behavioral schools, adolescents in group homes, and adults with developmental disabilities, I earned full LPC licensure in the state of Georgia. I was ready to establish my own private practice, with the vision that therapy can be creative, fun, and energizing.
Creative Therapy Services was established in 2010 in a small one room rented office. As my clientele expanded, I soon moved to a larger rental room. After one year, I was able to put roots down in my own office space. Of course, being a perpetual learner, I earned clinical hypnotherapy credentials, maintained music therapy credentials, and established expertise as an anxiety and trauma specialist.
What I love about working as a therapist in the mental health profession is that the discoveries and learning never end. There is always a new piece of science, something new to learn, and a new way of combining creativity with therapy.
Currently, as I near completion of earning my doctorate in counselor education and supervision, I also have the pleasure of teaching and training new counselors. These new counselors also have their own stories of what led them into this profession and, whenever I get the chance, I ask them. These stories are important roots that keep us nourished and grounded.
Has it been a smooth road?
Therapist training is a bumpy road at best, with lots of detours and dead-end roads. Therapists-in-training are required to complete a 9-month internship, which is unpaid. In addition, populations served during such an internship are typically mandated. This means, we not only work long hours for free but we are also working with clients who do not want to work with us.
This was my experience twice. Once, as a music therapist-in-training and twice as a counselor-in-training. Although these experiences were difficult, they tested me and made me a better clinician. And, I have some of my most difficult clients (who were mandated) to thank for it!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Creative Therapy Services, LLC is a small private practice in Marietta, GA. I am the owner and main therapist. Areas of specialty include anxiety disorders, trauma recovery, couples counseling, depression, self-esteem, and life transitions. Like most therapists who run their own practice, it is a proud moment when that first shingle is hung on the door. It is a long road to full licensure and to get to the point of private practice is very pride-inducing. Although I offer talk therapy, my clinical training and creative background provide a broad, colorful palette to draw from. I incorporate music making, music listening, musically guided visualization, symbols, stories, and yes, humor (sometimes there is nothing a good ol’ fashioned clown nose can’t heal). I believe that people are not flawed, they are just stuck. And, as science illustrates, the best way to become unstuck is through creativity. Creative expression speaks the language of the subconscious mind, which is where we all tend to get stuck.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The Atlanta area tends to be saturated with therapists. On one hand, this is good for networking and peer consultation. You will never feel alone as a therapist in this area, which is important. On the other hand, people can become overwhelmed in their search for a therapist because there are so many of us. There is a lot of competition so stay on your A game!
- Address: Creative Therapy Services, LLC
800 Kennesaw Avenue, Suite 170
Marietta, GA 30060
- Website: www.creativetherapyservices.net
- Phone: 7705484395
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Music quote courtesy of Google images.