Hello! My name is Vanessa Stay, and I am a therapist here at Kristle J. Small Counseling group. I received my Master’s in Counseling from Arcadia University, where I also obtained graduate certificates in two other areas: Trauma Therapy and Child/Family Therapy. Along with my clinical work, I have also been published in The Oxford Handbook of Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health, where I discuss the intersections of race, LGBT+ identity, and mental health.
I have been in the counseling field for over five years; first starting as a Behavioral Therapist in early intervention with children aged 3-6, before transitioning to providing outpatient mental health services at a facility in North Philadelphia. Throughout my time as a clinician, I have always strived to be aware of how outside systemic issues and factors contribute to disparities in mental health care, particularly in communities of color. As a Black therapist, I believe that comprehensive treatment acknowledges and accounts for how discrimination and other social barriers can affect one’s ability to safely navigate the world.
My therapeutic style can be best described as person-centered, collaborative, and evidenced-based, while also maintaining a social-justice oriented view throughout. I believe that the client is the expert in their own lives, so your thoughts, experiences, and perspectives will be invaluable as we work together to develop individualized plans and goals. Along with my formal trauma and child/family training, I am also certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and employ other therapies in my practice such as emotion focused therapy, attachment therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and other strengths-based approaches. My main goal is client empowerment, and to have them feel like they have the tools to “be their own therapist” in between sessions.