Ally Padilla, MA, Resident in Counseling
As a native to the Shenandoah Valley and an official “townie,” I cannot imagine a world without college students. College is such a unique and often overwhelming time for students, they are faced with so many questions like: Who am I? What do I want to do? And where do I belong?
As a former campus staff with Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, for three years at George Mason University, I witnessed first-hand the crushing blows that anxiety, depression, and trauma can have on a student’s emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. During my own freshman year, I realized that I had a lot of pain and trauma that I did not know how to deal with in a healthy way. So, I battled with anxiety, depression, and bursts of anger that I did not know how to control. Often with trauma and pain, feelings of guilt, shame, and fear prevent sufferers from finding healing in and victory in their brokenness.
This life is not promised to be easy nor designed to be walked alone. God utilized his body to bring hope and healing into my life; He has created community to be an arm of shalom in the midst of brokenness. Through my own struggles, I learned that pain needs to be heard and validated before it can be healed. Jesus heard me and His presence never wavered; The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18, ESV). Now, I long to unite the truth and freedom of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the necessary tools and skills to affect desired change in people’s lives. Counseling is a vessel to bring Shalom to God’s people.
I earned my Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Graduate Studies Certificate in Trauma Counseling from Regent University in 2019. I have truly been blessed to receive counseling training in a program that openly integrated faith and clinical excellence. I am also trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychological First Aid.
Previously, I held the positions as a counseling intern with Judith Weaver Counseling in Harrisonburg and Luray, VA and a group facilitator for the Batterers Intervention Program (2018-2019). I also served as a Community Based Counselor with National Counseling Group (2018-2019).
I am passionate about and enjoy working with adolescents, college students, individuals, and groups facing a variety of clinical issues such as trauma, domestic violence, abuse, grief, gender issues, attachment issues, anxiety, depression, and anger management. In counseling, I take a holistic trauma-informed approach with the hope to encourage you to live a more authentic and meaningful life and provide you with the proper tools to do so.