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Mental Health Tip #1
What we focus on the most directly effects how we feel. Here is some advice to keep a more positive mental attitude in the midst of a very negative world: " ...you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not to curse." Philippians 4:8 The Message
Parenting Tip #1
"Parents, do not come down too hard on your children or you'll crush their spirits."
Colossians 3:21. The Message
Rev. R. Michael Lowery, LMHC, MH2864
Rev. R. Michael Lowery, LMHC
Michael has been practicing pastoral counseling since 1980 and was licensed by the State of Florida as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MH 2864) in 1992. He has worked extensively with people struggling with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression as well as other mental health issues. Michael has been a guest lecturer at the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (Kingston, Jamaica) since 1997, presenting Basic Counseling Skills, Ethics, and Advanced Counseling Skills at the graduate level.
Working with the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce, Michael has presented to various groups on keeping the workplace drug-free and how to communicate to your children about drugs and alcohol. He has facilitated many courses on parenting at day cares, schools and churches. Michael was published in the monthly journal of the American Association of Christian Counselors, entitled, "The Aging Marriage," (Christian Counseling Today, 1999, Volume 7, Number 4). Michael is married and has two daughters.
Lindsay V. Gomez, MS, Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern
Lindsay was born and raised in Southwest Florida, and returned to the area after graduating from Southeastern University (Lakeland, FL). She is able to work with many issues surrounding mental health, but can also help individuals (children to adults), couples, and families concerning disability and chronic illness as well as the difficulties that often accompany them. Lindsay enjoys reading, travel, and spending time with friends and family.
Bethaney Hoffacker, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, MH12054
Bethaney was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, and she moved to Southwest Florida in 2006. She obtained her bachelor's degree from Illinois State University, and then received her master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University in Sarasota.  She has gained most of her experience working with various non-profit agencies in Lee County, counseling people who are coping with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.  Bethaney has experience working with both adolescents and adults, and she excels at counseling people who are struggling with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Bethaney is an avid reader, an aspiring gardener, and a perpetual student of her husband's golf instruction.
Diane Munoz, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, MH11753
Diane has been working in the mental health field since 2004. She has experience with a wide range of clients, from adults with severe mental illness and addictions to families with troubled teens. Diane is also currently involved with the SWFL Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Into the Jordan, a ministry dedicated to helping women heal from sexual exploitation. Diane is married and has a newborn baby girl. She loves cooking, water sports, and going on as many cruises as possible.

Purpose and Values
SWFLA Counseling's common sense approach to counseling is to help individuals, couples and families reach a state of wholeness in their lives: spiritually, mentally and emotionally. We seek to equip others to live lives of purpose and meaning and interact with others in healthy way.

SWFLA Counseling values the following: > People matter to God and therefore every person is of great worth.
> People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
> People are best served when they are allowed to explore their true values, question if their values are helping or hindering them and then strengthen the positive ones and change the negative ones to ones that will work.
> Every person goes through problems. Seeking counseling is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom to gain the tools, strength or assurance to face the issues and learn to defeat it or adjust to live with it.
 
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