Cheryl Emery, MS, CAP
"Working Together toward Wellness"
Pain, whether physical or psychological, can hold you back and keep you from fulfilling goals. It also keeps you from truly connecting with others and experiencing love: loving others and most importantly, loving yourself.
The origin of this damaging pain can come from a myriad of places, and identifying them can be a challenging journey. However, with focus and diligence it is possible to release what has been hurting and prompted the action you are taking today in seeking help.
In my fifteen plus years of working in the field of mental health, I have counseled adults, young adults, and families who sought to resolve problems and pain. I have had the honor of working with those who suffer from trauma and its manifestations often in the self-sabotaging behaviors of addiction, self-harm, eating disorders, anxiety, depression and family dysfunction. My ability to ‘hold space’, listen, and guide, while using all my training and experience, enables me to help people identify goals, develop strategies and discover their own capacity to resolve painful issues and create the life they have dreamed of.
My practice will offer you a safe place where you will have a non-judgmental advocate as you begin the work of healing. You will be heard, valued, supported and guided. I will help you to discover and identify what is at the root of your presenting problems and assist you in learning new perspectives and behaviors free from those burdens.
You have courageously already taken your first step step toward healing in reading this page. It is that courage that we will nurture together as you take the next step toward wellness and fulfillment by setting up your first session. I invite you to give me a call and we can continue together what you have now begun.
I look forward to hearing from you, listening to you, and having a conversation about your desires and expectations from the therapeutic process.
I am an addiction & recovery specialist working in the field since 2003. I provide individual therapy as well as family therapy and group therapy. I am also a Clinical Interventionist and consult with families on preparing and guiding them through the process of intervention and family recovery. I lead interventions and provide a continuum of care to families through case management and structured family recovery long term.
The Love First approach, as the name suggests, prioritizes using the power of love within the family as the single most important factor in breaking down the defenses of denial and reaching the addict/alcoholic on an emotional level. The loving and compassionate way in which I conduct interventions provides a safe and nurturing environment for a family to confront and heal as a team.
My approach to individual and group therapy is based on the analytical theory of Carl Gustav Jung, which includes strategies such as sandtray therapy, dream analysis, active imagination and creative techniques including art and music therapy. I use poetry, fairytales and film in therapy.
I believe creativity and imagination are our greatest tools in exploring unconscious material that interferes with our ability to feel at peace and happy. My focus is on helping clients become as fully authentic as possible and to live a soulful life!
As a child and adolescent, I was always aware of classmates who sat alone and/or in some way seemed left out. That awareness made me sad and I would reach out to those students in some way, just to be kind. The reaction to my kindness from those outcast classmates simply put, made me feel good. In the process, I became aware that being noticed and heard was important to everyone. While I lacked the skills at that age to make a big difference for those who were left out, I did become aware that my empathy could provide relief.
After exploring Journalism, Psychology and Drama as potential majors in college, I focused on Drama. I thoroughly enjoyed my course work, the experience of performing onstage and learning about the integral responsibilities of directors and crew. It is a collaborative effort with those onstage, in the wings and the orchestra pit, depending on and trusting one another.
After college, I moved to New York and studied at the New Actors Workshop and then to Los Angeles where I worked with a private coach. I enjoyed the work, learning the trade and exploring insights into the characters I was expected to portray. Something was missing, I felt restless and unfulfilled. I was more interested in the creative process and less in becoming famous so I decided to return to the south and worked for 7 Stages theater in Atlanta, Georgia with some extraordinary talent both acting and assistant directing productions.
I was also in the process of deep reflection to discover my true calling. I was at a crossroads and at the time was an avid member of the Jung Society of Atlanta which I attended “for fun.” It was then that I applied for a job at Ridgeview Institute and enrolled at Georgia State University, quickly earned a second Bachelor’s degree, followed by my MS, both in Psychology. My exposure to CG Jung was a point of profound inspiration for me and I knew I had found my life’s work.
My own process of self-discovery and healing was a creative one. I have always painted, written poetry, played and appreciated music, all of which have played a significant role in the healing process and creating soul in my life. I have been able to return to my most authentic self. It was the child in me who first began the process of empathizing with and empowering others. Helping and caring for others is a calling, a sacred art, and one that could not be denied in my life! As far as I am concerned I have a “Rockstar job” which is both energizing and rewarding. And yes, I am excited to go to work everyday.
While I began my professional life as an actor, I found my calling in counseling psychology. I graduated with both a BS and MS in Psychology, both with honors from Georgia State University, which at the time was considered the top Counseling Psychology program in the country. It was around this time that I was invited to be a board member of the Jung Society of Atlanta and serve as their media librarian, an experience that continues to inform so much of my therapeutic work today.
While in graduate school, I worked at Ridgeview Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, a long respected psychiatric and addiction treatment center as a Clinical Assistant working with all patient populations [children and adolescents, seniors, adults and young adults as well as the dual diagnosis women's program]. Upon graduation from the Masters program, I was hired as a primary therapist, family therapist, as well as the multi-family group leader at the young adult program. I gained invaluable experience and support from other professional staff at Ridgeview and built relationships that continue to this day.
I have lived and worked in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas for the past five years. I have functioned as a primary therapist in both psychiatric and addiction treatment centers, counseling clients individually, in group therapy and family therapy settings.
I formed my private practice Phoenix Counseling LLC in Fort Lauderdale. This has been a particularly rewarding step in my professional growth and I am very excited to now be working with my colleagues while located at Bayview Therapy. In addition to the individual therapy I do in private practice, I am also a clinical Interventionist. I trained extensively with Jeff and Debra Jay at the Love First Institute and was hired soon after as a member of the Love First team. I consider intervention to be an extremely advanced skill, as do my mentors and colleagues at Love First, and I am deeply passionate about cultivating a level of clinical acumen and integrity within this dimension of the field.
My interests are varied and have been discovered, stumbled upon and taken shape over my lifetime.
I care deeply for animals and I am a supporter of farm animal sanctuaries, animal rights organizations and adoption and rescue initiatives. I also decided six years ago to eliminate meat from my diet in an effort to potentially save animals destined for the dinner table. Not only am I healthier as a result, I also feel it lends much to my sense of personal integrity, congruent with my love of all animals.
I enjoy going to see live music, hockey, basketball, horse shows and polo. I have had the fortune of meeting extraordinary friends in the recovery community and spend much of my time getting together with friends.
I love modern and neo-expressionistic art, small galleries as well as museums, traveling alone and my endearing and often hilarious family, in particular our Thanksgiving Book Club!
Why work with me?
I recognize the courage it has taken you to reach the point of seeking help at this juncture of your life. I appreciate your effort, but realize that there may still be fear about the next steps. I know well the process of “getting better” and would be happy to discuss some of those next steps with you. I will bring all of my experience and training to bear on your issues and help you to reach your full potential for identifying, understanding, and resolving your problems.
I offer afternoon and evening hours 6 days a week and secure 24/7 online booking to help you fit therapy into your busy schedule. My fees are $150 per hour and I also offer a sliding scale rate. I do hope you will continue with this search and I look forward to hearing from you.
Start Your Journey Toward Wellness Today!
I offer addiction counseling and intervention services through Love First, please call me at 954-391-5305 with any questions you might have or if you would like to schedule a session. I look forward to speaking with you and supporting you on your journey toward wellness and recovery!
"Cheryl you saved my daughter's life. I am certain of that. It was so helpful talking to you this morning and on the ride to and from the hospital. You are a Master at your calling in life. You were brilliant with your observations and the success of the day completely depended on your facilitation. Thank you is not adequate for the words to describe my gratitude."
Intervention in FL
"Cheryl explained the concept of a higher power, in such a way that made it really easy for me to grasp and understand. Cheryl taught me how to talk to myself, how to care for myself, and how to love myself. Therapy with Cheryl is fun, interesting, intense, and compelling."
Individual Client FL
"Cheryl Emery is a gifted clinician with natural talents which can’t be taught in school. She has the ability to connect quickly with her patients, and guide them to insights and motivation they scarcely imagined Her empathy and connection comes from a deep well of experience. Because patients can sense her sincerity, they are more open to the wisdom she shares."
Jeff Jay, CIP, Clinical Interventionist
Founder of Love First, Inc.
Author of “Navigating Grace,” and co-author of “Love First,” and “At Wit’s End,” all published by Hazelden.