Luminous Heart Counseling

Luminous Heart Counseling and Psychotherapy is about reconnecting to the light or the brilliance within each of us. It’s about helping to release fears, to grow, to discover, to learn and to awaken to our truest, purest, most luminous self. Given that, the story of the lotus flower and its symbolism seems like the prefect metaphor…

“The lotus flower is a beautiful flower that can be found all over the world. But the start of this flowers life is not as beautiful is one might image. It’s unlike many other flowers. When the lotus first begins to sprout, it is under water, making its home in lakes and ponds in areas where the water remains fairly still on the surface. But underneath the surface, the lotus is surrounded by mud and muck and by fish, by insects, and simply dirty, rough conditions.

Despite these conditions, the lotus flower maintains strength, and pushes aside each of these dirty obstacles as it makes its way to clearer surfaces. At this time, the lotus is still just a stem with only a few leaves, and a small flower pod. But in time, the stem continues to grow, and the pod slowly surfaces above the water, into the clean air, finally freeing itself from the harsh life conditions below. It is then that the lotus slowly opens each beautiful petal to the sun, basking in the worldly beauty surrounding it. The lotus flower is ready to take on the world. Despite being born into dark, murky conditions, where hope for such beautiful life seems dubious, the lotus grows, rises above adversity. Ironically, this same dirty water washes it clean as it surfaces. As the lotus opens each petal to the air, not a stain or spot of mud remains externally. The inner lotus too, has never seen a drop of mud or dirty water. It is pure, and bright, and beautiful, LUMINOUS!

The bud of the lotus symbolize our potential. The lotus flower represents an awakening, spiritual growth, and enlightenment. Just as the lotus flower emerges from the water clean, the lotus also represents purity of body, speech, and mind. The lotus could be thought of as an awakened heart/mind, which grows naturally toward the warmth and light of truth, love and compassion. The lotus may appear fragile on the surface, but it is flexible and strong, securely anchored under the surface of the water.

We are all like the lotus flower. Many of us live in that murky water, and never make it to the surface so we can blossom. Many of us are close; we are just buds, ready and eager to feel the sunshine of life on our skin. No matter which stage of life you are on, I’m sure you can relate to this lotus and see yourself in this story. The conditions that produce beautiful life are not always ideal, but that never stops the lotus from rising through adversity, opening its petals, and blossoming in the sun.”

Areas of Specialty

  • Stress, Anxiety & Depression
  • Trauma
  • Addiction & Substance Abuse
  • Relationship Counseling

Treatment Techniques

  • Somatic Experiencing
  • Somatic Touch Therapy
  • Internal Family Systems
  • Trauma and Neuroscience
  • EMDR

Jennifer Carter

Licensed Professional Counselor

Contemplative Psychotherapist

Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

Internal Family Systems Practitioner

I am a contemplative and somatic psychotherapist. I have worked for over 10 years as a counselor/clinician and currently have a private practice specializing in the treatment of complex and developmental trauma.  I have a passion for working with individuals and strive to provide a supportive place for my clients to explore and reconnect to the full spectrum of their being and uncover their deep inner wisdom where qualities of calmness, curiosity, clarity, compassion, confidence, creativity, courage, and connectedness reside.

I started my private practice in 2015 and specialize in working with trauma, specifically complex and developmental trauma as well as relationship difficulties. I also work with individuals around issues that are commonly present with trauma or relationship difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, stress, OCD, phobias, addiction, co-dependency, eating disorders, self esteem concerns, anger and infidelity.

Before going into private practice full time, I practiced throughout Florida, South Carolina and Alabama in a wilderness setting addressing a variety of mental health issues. I also practiced in Colorado at a community mental health center in both crisis and outpatient settings again addressing a variety of mental health concerns.

I chose to train as a Contemplative Psychotherapist and expanded my understanding of the dynamics of the mind and relationship through the lens of mindfulness so that I can offer a unique and authentic style of psychotherapy to my clients. The basic tenets of my view include that each person is whole at the heart of themselves, but that negative experiences and patterns can cause difficulties that lead us to cover up this brilliant sense of self. I am interested in creating a therapeutic relationship rooted in curiosity about what is happening in your mind and in your experience of your body. I believe that you are your own best expert and together we can explore and uncover the full spectrum of your being to allow for this deeper, brilliant sense of self to fully emerge.

In addition to being a Licensed Professional Counselor and Contemplative Psychotherapist I am also a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner or body-based clinician. I have benefited from wonderful teachers, learning Somatic Experiencing from Dr. Peter Levine and Kathy Kain; Internal Family Systems from Dr. Richard Schwartz; EMDR from Dr. Francine Shapiro; Mindsight with Dr. Daniel Siegel; and the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy with Dr. Stan Tatkin, along with many others.

Steph Laney

Intuitive Counselor

I am a deeply intuitive counselor, and I prioritize creating a place for you where you are seen, connected, and empowered. I specialize in working with trauma, and I work to build an environment with you where you feel steadily partnered in your healing journey. I also specialize in disordered eating, body image (through a health-at-every-size [HAES] lens), LGBTQIA+ population, religious trauma, chronic illness, and addiction recovery support. I work with individuals, as well as couples and families who are navigating challenges together. I also do prep and integration support for those working with psychedelic-assisted therapy sessions. I work from an Internal Family Systems (IFS) framework, while also drawing from Somatic IFS, Narrative therapy, Polyvagal theory, and Attachment theory.

I graduated from the University of North Georgia with a master’s in counseling, and I am also a Certified Professional Coach, Professional Astrologer, and Reiki Practitioner. I have a particular focus on and enthusiasm for mindfulness work and other body-based therapeutic approaches that allow our work together to go much deeper than only talk therapy and bring healing to physical, mental, emotional, and energetic levels of your life.

I believe that my work with you is to walk as a collaborative guide and compassionate partner as you navigate healing and growth in your life. I aim to be a giant mirror reflecting your own beauty, strength, and dynamic being back to you when you are struggling to clearly see yourself. I believe you hold the ability to heal within you, and it is my honor to come alongside you, bring you hope, and help you understand what you need while creating the life you want.

Monica Leal

Executive Administrative Assistant / Practice Manager

I am an executive administrative assistant with a decade of experience and a passion for fostering personal growth, holistic health, and helping others thrive. With a dedicated focus on supporting teams and individuals, I bring a blend of organizational prowess and compassionate care to every task.

With a deep-rooted love for nature, I find solace and inspiration in the great outdoors, often seeking adventure through travel and exploration. This connection to nature fuels my commitment to holistic well-being and mindfulness, which I weave into both my professional and personal life. I intentionally approach each interaction with authenticity and a genuine desire to support others on their journey toward health, success, and fulfillment.

When not immersed in my work, I cherish quality time with family and loved ones, recognizing the importance of nurturing connections and creating lasting memories. With a heart full of compassion and a spirit eager for growth, I embody the power of love, empathy, resilience, and the pursuit of a life well-lived.

Certifications & Credentials

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

Joseph Campbell


Working with clients virtually via tele-health services over the phone or web conference.