Get to know Milton’s therapist

Julia Harris, of Summit Counseling, will be available for therapy sessions every Thursday at Milton.

Kahn Li McClaire

Julia Harris, of Summit Counseling, will be available for therapy sessions every Thursday at Milton.

Kahn Li McClaire, Staff Writer

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Fulton County Board of Education defines school psychologists as professionals that “help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally”. The nonprofit group Summit Counseling  provides therapists and resources for those in need at multiple schools including Alpharetta, Centennial, and Johns Creek High Schools and Northwestern and Elkins Pointe Middle Schools.

Students dealing with relationships, depression, anxiety or self-esteem issues have the opportunity to meet with a therapist. The meetings require parental permission, unless the student is 18 or older, and take place during a class period on Thursdays. The student can discuss various topics with full confidentiality between the therapist and student.

Milton’s therapist, Julia Harris, attended Pope High School in East Cobb, then graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology. Harris continued her education at Mercer University, and received her Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Now she holds an Associate Professional Counselor License and Nationally Certified Counselor credentials as a trained Dialectical Behavior Therapy clinician. DBT involves treating clients struggling with depression and anxiety, eating disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Harris strives to “be a support to people and help them learn to love and accept themselves.” After growing up with mental illnesses in her family, Harris decided to bring awareness to the importance of mental health. Also, Harris believes that the present society pressures people to be perfect. The younger generation lives with advanced technology such as iPhones and social media, and Harris “hope[s] to create a culture where people feel accepted and want to accept others.”

Summit Counseling therapists provide outside support for mental illnesses in adolescents. While, Milton guidance counselors support students with their academics and stress along with mental health. Therapists and school counselors work together when to comes to well-being of students.