Meet the Team
Hi I’m Essie Connor-Bent. I’m a Clinical Mental Health Counselor intern. I work with teens, young adults, adults, couples, and the queer population. With a psychoanalytic therapeutic approach, I believe we must understand our past in order to dissect our present. Getting to know where your trauma stems from will allow you to acknowledge mental and emotional obstacles that we all face daily.
My goal is to aid in the dismantling of stigmas attached to therapy in communities of color and advocate the importance of mental health in areas that may lack the resources. Therapy is for all because healing is for all. Providing clarity so that my clients can use it to navigate life with deeper understanding and compassion for themselves is a driving force.
My Journey To Becoming a Clinical Mental Health Intern
Growing up in an impoverished area, I understand the need for mental health advocacy and how the absence can negatively affect an entire community. I grew up in a space where it was taboo to speak of your feelings and strength was idolized which resulted in suppression of pain. Empathizing with the need of processing emotions and having objectivity, led me to committing to a profession in mental health.
Financial, environmental, social, emotional, physical, and mental aspects are all things to consider when getting to know your clients. The need for therapy does not reside within a certain demographic. I struggled with being who I truly was and surviving in an environment that knew little about the promotion of mental health. I want better for anyone who is seeking a form of mental solace through life’s stressors.
My deep interest in intersectionality allows me to understand that we wear many identities in our social scope. It is important to acknowledge these aspects and how they have shaped your life views and experiences. As a counseling intern, I will use these salient identities to better understand my clients. My clients and I will work collaboratively on an aspiring road to healing.
I am dedicated to working through difficult experiences both past and present with my clients by being there with compassion and listening ears. Therapy can work for anyone who is willing to be open and vulnerable and my goal is to create a setting that will make this easy for my clients to achieve.
Our Sessions Are Focused On You
Sessions will be centered around personal growth and healing. Though we will work collaboratively, you (the client) must come ready to put forth effort. I know this can be scary and it may take you out of your comfort zone but you are not alone on this path. By providing a space that is safe and without judgment, I hope to create an environment that allows you ( the client) to speak freely, openly, and effortlessly.
It is very important for me to receive input about your therapeutic journey so that I can provide you with a positive counseling experience that is tailored to your specific needs. In our sessions, your feelings, fears, and frustrations will be validated and listened to with a deep level of empathy.
As a Clinical Mental Health Intern, I Embrace The Following Philosophies
No act of self care can be too big or too small. Seeking therapy is an admirable step and is a form of self care that can open doors to other beneficial practices of self love and improvement. Being a part of your self care regimen is an honor and I take pride in providing you with tools that were always within you and just needed encouragement.
Let’s Discover How I can Help
What is something you would like to get out of your therapeutic journey? Do you feel it is an attainable goal that you and I can achieve together with dedication and openness?
If the answer to the second question is yes, schedule an appointment with me and we can work collaboratively to answer the first question.
Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the illustrious North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, I began my passion for advocacy of mental health with being a part of groups like Active Minds and Psychology Honor Society. During my undergrad career, I worked with racial and ethnic minorities, English language learners, students with disabilities, and students from low-income families with a corporation called Black Child Development. This gave me a chance to be of service through offering resources and educational advocacy.
Advocacy became a deep passion of mine, which led to me pushing and ultimately creating a queer advocacy organization on campus that is still functioning. Post grad I have worked with children with special needs as a program facilitator, teen queer advocacy groups, and as an educational director in preschools in Fairfax County. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Clinical Mental Health at George Mason University with the hopes to continue my journey to become a licensed therapist.