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Meet Jodi Carlton of Helping Hearts Counseling in Carrollton and Dallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jodi Carlton.

Jodi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I like to tell people that God was preparing me for the children that I have and the work that I was going to be doing long before now! Years ago, in my 20’s, I started a career plan to be an occupational therapist, and worked on a rehab unit for a year at Floyd Medical Center in Rome, GA while I went to college, taking the prerequisite undergrad courses. Along the way, I realized I wanted to by a different kind of therapist instead! After obtaining my bachelor’s in psychology, and then a masters in counseling, I discovered a passion for the brain and neuroscience. I worked alongside several neuropsychologists and developed a counseling program for the National Brain Injury Association in Dublin, Ireland while living there for about a year. I developed this specialization here in the U.S, in private practice where I worked with individuals who had traumatic and acquired brain injuries. Eventually, though, my life took another turn, and I became a Mom, but interestingly my professional career had prepared me in a unique way because both of my children have unique brains. My daughter has autism spectrum disorder and my son was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 18 months. Both of them have sensory processing disorder, which means their brains process sensory information inefficiently – this is often very common after a brain injury! I took several years off, professionally, to be a full-time Mom, but am now back to work full force. Although, I do general counseling work, a large percentage of my work is with families who are touched by autism. My perspective is unique because I am living a similar experience to many and because I have a great understanding of the brain, learning, and memory from my background in neuropsychology. My early years learning about occupational therapy have been so valuable to me for my own family, but now in my work with my clients, as well. So much of the work I do is in helping families learn about autism – what it is, what it means, and then helping them find the providers and resources that their children need for ultimate success. I love the work that I do!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh, there have been plenty of bumps in the road! I tried for three years to get into school as an occupational therapist and they kept changing the prerequisite requirements. Ultimately, they decided to require a bachelor’s degree, which is when I decided to get a degree in psychology. Of course I’m very glad I did! Having a child with autism has had so many challenges of its own, of course. She is a unique and amazing young lady – 14 years old, and an advocate for autism who video blogs and speaks to public groups, herself, though. I couldn’t be prouder!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Helping Hearts Counseling story. Tell us more about the business.
I named my business “Helping Hearts Counseling” because my I am a helper at heart. My slogan is “I’ll meet you right where you are.” I am known for working with families who have autism and I am currently involved with the West Georgia Autism Foundation. Although autism is my main specialty, I also work with teen girls and with individual who have experienced trauma, so I don’t limit my work to just autism. I am helper, and I am always happy to see others grow and heal. I don’t claim to do the work, though. I just provide a space and a place.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t attribute much to luck at all. I am a person of faith, and I believe God has been the one that has been at the helm for most of my life. However, I didn’t always realize that. I was agnostic for a 10 years of my adult life until a good friend helped me find my way back to my faith. I’ve realized that God was there all along, though, but my life has gone from black and white to full HD now that I am truly looking to God to guide me.


  • 1 hour session – $100

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