Alicia Cook, MA
Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
Binghamton University, Vestal, NY. Graduated 2011 with Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology.
Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, NY. Graduated 2015 with Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
- Relationship Counseling.
- Individual Psychotherapy.
My journey to becoming a therapist started by the time I was 16 years-old. I knew I wanted to go to college for psychology and become a psychotherapist one day. At a young age I was intrigued by the human mind. I wanted to understand why we think, act, and feel the way that we do.
Right before I graduated high school in 2006, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. At the time I hadn’t heard of this disease, nor had any idea of the ways it would change my life. Initially I felt like a victim. I constantly thought “Why me?” “What did I do to deserve this chronic illness?” “No one is going to love me.” My Ego was full of anger and spite, and I made choices that started my life on a downward spiral that not only affected my academics but my personal relationships as well.
I didn’t realize it at the time but the Universe sent someone into my life from my past that would plant a seed for my self-growth and healing that was to come – my 5th grade school counselor who helped me through my parent’s divorce. She started a private practice years later, and left me with her card. It took almost a year until I finally made that phone call. Looking at my life, I knew I needed some guidance; I was starting to question who I was. The Crohn’s Disease had taken up so much of my identity.
It was during this time that I opened myself up to the flow of the Universe and was able to learn how to put my Ego aside and open my heart up to being as authentic as I can. With the help of not only my therapist, but authors such as Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, and Eckart Tolle I started my journey to connecting with my higher power and discovering my true self.
The most important part of my work was learning to love and accept myself, and all the experiences I brought into my life. Part of this acceptance included how I felt about my disease. I used to feel sad and angry anytime a symptom flared. Today, I may feel disappointed when I am not feeling good physically; however I have come to love my body and the Crohn’s as well. When I finally made this shift, I decided to reach out and help others going through the same struggles. I have been a member of the CCFA (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America for six years now and participate in their Take Steps Walk each year. I have raised thousands of dollars to help fund research for Crohn’s and Colitis over the years. The people I have met who have helped me and those I’ve been able to help has shown me there is a reason for the struggles we experience in life. It may not be easy, but if we work hard enough and stay true to ourselves, we can make a difference in not only our own lives, but others lives as well.
It was months before I graduated from my Master’s program that I was first introduced to Conscious Choices. I was curious about job opportunities in the South West Florida area, and came across a job posting that by the time I finished reading it, I knew I had to apply, despite the fact I wouldn’t qualify until I graduated and became a registered intern. Carol was very welcoming to my email and application and asked that I get in touch with her once I had graduated. Nine months later I did just that, and I have begun my journey at Conscious Choices.
The more blessings I acknowledge, and the more I affirm the good in my life, the better I feel. This to me is the power of love. I believe my own journey is on-going, and I am in a place where I welcome all my experiences with an open heart and mind, knowing each one of them is a new opportunity for me to express my truest self.
As part of my requirements to graduate with my Master’s degree I completed over 1200 hours of clinical internships. During this time I spent a year interning at SalusCare in Fort Myers working primarily with addiction and dual diagnosis. Addiction comes with many other issues that were addressed such as depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, pain management, etc.
I spent another year interning at SWFLA Counseling, a private practice in Fort Myers. Here I worked with a variety of issues in adults, adolescents, and children. Some of these included mood disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, anger management, substance abuse, chronic illness, etc.
My own personal experiences have enhanced my ability to help others facilitate their own self-growth and make important changes. My field experience and education adds to the knowledge I have of utilizing a variety of methods and techniques to work with couples and individuals in reaching their goals. I strongly believe that as human beings we have the ability to create the fullest life we set out to have.
“Each Moment is a New Beginning.”
Email: [email protected]