“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”” – Mary Anne Radmacher
“A great oak is only a nut that held its ground.” – Anonymous
Heather Fitz-Randolph, M.Ed.
Resident in Counseling
I am a counseling resident with experience doing counseling work in both educational and outpatient settings. I earned my Bachelor’s in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College and then spent several years working in the non-profit sector, focusing on both women’s issues and education issues for African American and Latino students. I earned my Master’s of Education in School Counseling at the College of William & Mary, as well as completing all coursework for a Master’s in community counseling and a 12-month internship in the on-site family counseling clinic. I spent nearly 15 years working as a school counselor in both elementary and middle school settings. The focus of my work in the schools were generally students who had the most critical emotional and behavioral needs, including students dealing with abuse/neglect, ADHD, anxiety, autism, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and trauma. I’ve worked in the outpatient setting for several years, slowly making my way toward earning enough hours to complete my LPC. In addition to working with individuals and families, I’ve also run small groups for young adolescents focused on social skills and transitioning to middle school, and I’ve facilitated a women’s book club focused on identity, self-care and self-compassion.
While I work with clients of all ages (10 and older), I have a special fondness for anyone who is in the midst of a transition – young adolescents trying on new identities, teens bridging the gap to adulthood, adults preparing for new life stages. I also have an affinity for clients who hear descriptors about themselves like “quirky”, “overthinker”, “intense”, or “difficult.”
HOW I HELP
When I was a school counselor and a student was sent to my office to help manage their behavior, teachers would later ask me about the “secret sauce” that helped their student successfully return to the classroom. The so-called magic was undivided attention and unconditional positive regard. I take this same approach with my clients now. Theoretically this would be called a person-centered approach, but I pull from a variety of clinical models depending on what the client presents and how they see their own needs. As I often explain to clients who are seeing a counselor for the first time, my job is not to give you the answers, but to help you see things differently so that you can find solutions that work for you.
MORE ABOUT ME
My favorite memory of working in the schools was when a 6-year old came into my office, plopped himself down on the couch with his hands behind his head and his feet stretched out, and said “so how does this work?” People still have an image of a “therapist” as someone who sits in a chair, off to the side, taking notes while the client lays on a couch and shares all their life stories. (And why do they almost always wear serious-looking glasses???)
I’ve recently developed a fascination with how therapists are portrayed in tv and film (Thank you quarantine binge-watching!) and I think about how to sign myself up as a consultant to advise these writers on more accurate depictions of the profession. But then I get sucked into the drama of the story… I also have a secret fondness for schlocky television movies and 80’s/90’s sitcoms (Seinfeld, Designing Women, Frasier). If only real life was that simple and conflicts could be resolved in 23 minutes!