“The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” – John C. Maxwell
“Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meaning we give to situations.” – Alfred Adler
We all want to belong and to feel appreciated by others. We go out into the world searching for significance, connection, and success, yet only some of us are satisfied with the results. Our inability to connect with ourselves and others causes a continuous self-doubt cycle, meaninglessness, and fear. This can often leave us feeling hopeless that things are never going to get better. We lose the courage to face life’s demands and difficulties because our self-worth is attached to values and goals that are false and unrealistic. Our faulty self-talk inhibits us from seeing the abundance of opportunities available and believing that we are good enough to achieve them. Through encouragement, empathetic understanding, and cooperation, one feels supported, safe, and confident enough to attempt something different to overcome life’s obstacles.
Stephanie Kirchgessner views the individual as capable of coping with life’s demands and difficulties while attending to personal growth and relationships. Clients are the experts of their own lives. The counselor’s role is to be a non-judgmental “sounding board” that allows the client to explore, understand, and modify where one finds meaning and what one finds valuable. This is where the creative power to reach the potential that resides in all of us comes from. It is not what a person looks at, but rather what a person sees that matters.
Stephanie believes all individuals have the innate creative power to construct and choose their destiny based on one’s uniqueness and desired goals. By establishing an accepting, caring, and collaborative relationship, the client can understand their faulty perceptions, inadequate learning, and maladaptive coping mechanisms. Her objective is to provide a safe, confidential space where clients can explore, process, and redefine their experiences, implement adaptive practices to overcome present and future difficulties, and cultivate self-worth grounded in empathy and courage.
The misperceptions of “failing is unacceptable” and “being vulnerable makes you weak” are continuously internalized, reinforcing the cycle of self-deprecation and faulty perceptions, resulting in feeling stuck, insufficient, and hopeless. In reality, overcoming challenges cultivates courage, self-respect, self-awareness, and your ability to connect meaningfully with others. Miracles happen when one shifts their perception from safeguarding insecurities to building upon inherent strengths and unique skills.
At Foundations Counseling, Stephanie Kirchgessner serves a wide range of clients who seek services that include:
- Individual Counseling – trauma, self-worth issues, fears and phobias, perfectionism, issues of race and multiculturalism, sleep disorders, communication
- Growth-Oriented Counseling – grief, loss, burnout, lack of motivation, relocation, empowerment, individual development, establishing self.
- Life Transitions – end-of-life and grief issues, spirituality, job transition, terminal illness, male and female role issues, restoring meaning to life
- Relationship Dynamics – anger management, attachment issues and disorders, conflict resolution, family relationships, parenting skills, and training
- Mental Health and Wellness – depression, stress, trauma, and abuse recovery, self-esteem, PTSD, boundaries, self-care, holistic health
Stephanie started her academic career studying Biomedical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University. She has always felt her purpose was to help others, but her passion for providing aid to others was not fulfilled by becoming an engineer. Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Loyola University New Orleans. She is a member of Chi Sigma Iota, her national honor society for counselors.
Stephanie tailors her therapeutic approach to meet her client’s needs and goals through utilizing concepts and techniques from Adlerian Therapy, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, contemporary models of loss, adaptation, and Existentialism.
Stephanie’s clinical experience has been in a residential retirement home that provided housing and medical care to older adults in independent living, assisted living, memory care, and nursing. She developed and implemented the practices and procedures of the counseling position. She worked with residents individually on aging, loss and grief, trauma, unresolved family/relationship issues, suicidal ideation, borderline personality disorders (BPD), hoarding, eating disorders, relationships, family issues, and neurological disorders. She facilitated a weekly caregiver’s group that provided support and coping skills to help with the experience of their partner’s neurocognitive disorder. She led psycho-educational workshops on suicide and the differentiation between dementia, delirium, and depression to staff members to increase awareness of the residents’ mental health issues while cultivating relations and resources with the interdisciplinary care team.
Stephanie listens without judgment, provides unconditional support, and forms meaningful relationships with clients. Her empathetic disposition, go-getter attitude, and optimistic outlook help empower her clients to cultivate self-worth grounded in empathy, rather than self-deprecation, to allow for growth beyond healing.
When Stephanie is not working, you can find her painting, crafting, exploring nature, spending time with friends, or relaxing at home with her cat, Lucky.