My name is Michelle Christian. I have a BS in Psychology from the University of Georgia and a MA in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University/ Sarasota University. I have over thirty-one years of experience working in the mental health field working with families and children. I have worked in residential settings, and held numerous supervisory positions including Director. I worked as an Independent Living Coordinator for fifteen years teaching/preparing young men to obtain resources in the community and to learn to become productive members of society. I have been a Director of Foster care services where I worked with children to either reunify with biological family, learned to adapt to expectations of foster home, or assisted with children becoming adopted.
In addition to residential and foster care, I have been a Director of Programs to assist individuals with disabilities gain employment in the community. One area developed included a program called Pre- Early Training Services. This program was a partnership between public and private schools. I was responsible for build a program to educate youth on what was needed to gain and maintain employment in the community no matter their disability. Within the first year I was able to build relationships with twenty-five schools and approximately 300 students to start the training. In addition to this program, I monitored a maximum of seven community sites that hired individuals with disabilities.
In 2005, my husband and I developed a track team to work with youth ages 3 to 18. For the past 15 years, we have educated youth on how to show sportsmanship, that sports are not always about winning, and tools learned on the track can be transferred to different settings in the community. We assist with gaining control of one’s emotions, how to become team players and how to cheer for one another rather than tear one down. We also worked with the parents on the expectations of the program, winning/losing and how to learn to show support no matter the progress of their child.
My goal is to make a difference in someone’s life. As described in each of the scenarios, all of the situations evolve changing one’s thought process to become a more productive individual.
Purpose of sessions: The purpose of group sessions is to assist families and children with building positive relationships as well as to help children to become productive members of society. During this time of the pandemic, loss of employment, role changes and education going virtual, these situations can produce undue stressors on families and children. The sessions will provide an outlet to vent their feelings in a positive manner as well as develop tools to address those challenges. Techniques used to develop these tools are from a cognitive behavioral perspective. If one can change the thought process from a negative to a positive, then the behaviors can change as well. These tools can be conducted in different settings to ensure that the relationship is well rounded and not just in one setting. The group sessions can be two hours as a group training or an individual can request individual sessions which is not part of the scope of services with Digital Time Dynamics