Cole’s Back Story

Guys need therapy too. Most of the men in my family are firefighters or police officers. When they’re not working these dangerous jobs, they enjoy spending as much time as they can hunting, fishing, or riding motorcycles. Even though they seem tough, I know firsthand even the toughest guys need to talk sometimes. As a kid, I was often told I had an ¨old soul.¨ There were many times this trait helped me stay calm and assist others even in the craziest situations. A childhood friend described me as the “conscience of our friend group.” Life was stable and happy growing up as I had a great group of friends, played sports, and made good grades.

However, in my early 20s, I found myself sitting on the couch in a counselor’s office. At the time, there were some serious and downright scary situations that had recently occurred in my family, which left me lost and overwhelmed. The thing is, I wasn’t supposed to be seeing a therapist. I’m not saying I snuck in and stole someone’s appointment, but, rather, I thought I had it all together. I had a great family, was fresh out of graduating from a good business school, and was engaged to my high school sweetheart. At the time, I thought seeing a counselor was something for people with real problems, not me. Despite my best efforts, my life had gotten to a desperate place where pride went out the window and I needed help. It was a hard, real-life lesson to the ripple effect that mental health issues can have not only on the person struggling but also on the surrounding loved ones and family.

My life was affected in two important ways from my time spent in therapy. First, I was able to strategize, vent, and reflect on how I wanted to help my family, while still maintaining my goals and direction. Though I did not want to see it at times, I began to recognize my role in the family problems. It took (and still takes) work to practice how to be a more healthy presence in my family. Significant healing has occurred in my family. Second, my eyes were opened to the immense benefits of being able to honestly confide in someone.  After some time, it was clear to me that I needed to pay it forward by helping others in a similar way to how I had been helped.  My career path was forever changed.

My clients are usually males and often have been told to come to counseling by a woman, usually a wife or mother. I try to help guys understand some of the secret messages the women in their life are giving them. Since I am always surrounded by women at work and home, I believe I am well-versed in this. I also believe understanding and following one’s values helps my clients be the men they truly are meant to be. My style is relaxed but direct as I know many men are not looking for the stereotypical counseling experience (i.e. ¨How does that make you feel?¨). So if you’re overwhelmed, confused, or simply have a woman nagging you, remember, guys need therapy too.

Licensed Professional Counselor
B.B.A. from the University of Georgia
M.Ed. from Clemson University

Fun Facts:

  • I was bitten by the travel bug a few of years ago. I can’t seem to stop planning the next trip.
  • I love the outdoors and spend a good deal of time risking my neck on a mountain bike.
  • I am a self-proclaimed nerd who loves all things Star Wars, superheroes, Game of Thrones, and Lord of Rings. This is the golden age of entertainment!
  • Crazy as it sounds, I first began dating my wife in 8th grade. We also have a wonderful young daughter that loves to steal our sleep.
  • My dog looks like a Tater Tot, so that’s his name.

My journey to Hope for Families:
2005: Took my first psychology class in college and loved it.
2005: But also decided to chase the money and go for a business degree.
2008: Graduated with a business degree in finance from UGA.
2009-2011: Work in a bank and quickly learned my heart was not in it. And I hate wearing suits.
2011: Started a new path and entered Clemson’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.
2011: Began working at a substance abuse rehabilitation center for adolescent boys. Became very good at basketball thanks to this.
2011: Met Campbell while showing off my dance moves at a counseling conference.
2012: Worked with at-risk teenagers by providing in-home behavioral services.
2013: The dance moves obviously paid off and was offered to join the Hope for Families team by Amber and Campbell as the office manager/intern while I finished school.
2013: After graduating, I joined Hope for Families full-time, seeing clients and coordinating the Intensive Outpatient Program.

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Our counselors offer their time, their knowledge, and their hearts because it’s our mission to help as many families as possible. We don’t charge any fees for our community education services.

Cole offers presentations on relationships and young men’s issues