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Anna Clark Miller

ANNA CLARK MILLER

she/they

Master's Degree in Counseling, 2015

National Certified Counselor: #718936

Licensed Profesional Counselor, Texas: #75728

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Washington: #LH61328702

Approved Clinical Supervisor, Texas & Washington

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MY APPROACH: THERAPY

The core values that inform my work as a therapist are empathy, inclusivity, and autonomy. I believe we all have the capacity to heal and grow and my goal as a therapist is to promote that with curiosity and non-judgment. I certainly don't see myself as an expert on how to live life, so I view my role as a supporter, not an instructor. I do my best to support each of my clients without causing any hurt, shame, or exploitation of power. I value individual autonomy and our right to make choices for ourselves. If we work together, I'll let you decide what you want to focus on and the pace you want to go at. The therapy modalities and theories that I use and align with most are existential therapy (finding meaning and motivation), cognitive behavioral therapy (connecting thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), internal family systems (integrating all of our different parts), and EMDR (reprocessing past trauma from a new perspective). I take an eclectic approach, meaning I pull from lots of different techniques depending on the client and the issue we're tackling. In couples/relationship counseling, my primary focus is on building clear communication skills and fair fighting skills so you and your partner(s) can work through your issues without those barriers getting in your way.


MY APPROACH: TRAINING + SUPERVISION

I believe that learning and growth should be a collaborative activity. When I'm in the role of a trainer or supervisor, my top priorities are being curious and open to learning something new rather than impressing others with my knowledge. I'm constantly revising the content of my trainings and my supervision strategies to incorporate what I'm learning from my research, my colleagues, my clients, and my personal life. I don't consider myself an "expert" on religious trauma or on being a therapist. My job is to organize the information I'm gathering and then share that with others in clear and helpful ways. I do my best to stay up-to-date with the current research and continually work on myself so I can be humble enough to admit when I should be listening instead of speaking.


ISSUES/TOPICS I WORK WITH

I'm happy to work with people from all backgrounds, identities, and belief systems. I'm not equally educated and experienced with all menta health-related issues, though. The topics I have the most passion for and experience working with are high-control religious groups or relationships, clear communication skills, neurodivergence, LGBTQ+ identities, and trauma recovery. If you're hoping to work on something in therapy or get training on a topic I didn't list above, please reach out and ask me about it. I'll be honest with you about my experience and comfort level. If I'm not a good fit, I'll gladly help you find someone who is.


MY BACKGROUND

Since beginning my "second career" in mental health, I’ve worked in crisis intervention, suicide prevention, domestic violence recovery, cult and high-control religion recovery, and corporate inclusivity. I have experience working with adults in settings ranging from shelters, jails, churches, schools, and therapy practices. My passion for religious trauma and spiritual abuse recovery started with personal experiences in a fundamentalist Christian sect. I was raised overseas by evangelical missionary parents and experienced a lot of isolation, trauma, and spiritual abuse. After moving to the US, I attended a Baptist college and then worked exclusively in religious fundamentalist organizations for another 10 years. When I began my master's in counseling, I was finally ready to acknowledge and start healing from the suppression, shame, and trauma that I had been running from. I was overwhelmed and relieved as I started learning about mental health, trauma responses in the body, and unhealthy relationship dynamics. For the first time, I realized I had the autonomy to think for myself and make positive changes in my life. Each year as I continue to heal, I uncover new parts of myself that had been hidden, deepening my self-compassion and expanding my empathy for others. I've found immense satisfaction in educating and supporting other trauma survivors who are on the same journey of recovery that I'm on. I now try to approach the world with as much curiosity and non-judgment as I can, remembering that I have perpetuated many of the same harmful messages that hurt me. My goal is to keep listening to others' experiences, learning, and adapting instead of assuming I have all the answers.


MY STANCE ON RELIGION

I take a religiously neutral approach to trauma recovery and prevention. While in my personal life, I'm not affiliated with any religious group, as a therapist and trainer, I know that it is not my job to villainize or defend any religious preference or belief system. I know the harm that can happen when someone imposes their personal views on others and I'm not interested in continuing that cycle of abuse. Since many religious trauma survivors have also been forced to participate in the perpetuation of abuse, I find compassion and hope to be a much more effective approach. When working with survivors of high-control ideologies or groups, I focus on the underlying dynamics that caused them harm, not on tearing down the humans involved. Ultimately, whether someone chooses to accept or reject religion, I believe they can pursue healing, address abusive dynamics, and be part of preventing future harm.


MY BOOK + PODCAST

In 2023 I self-published my first book, THE RELIGIOUS TRAUMA SURVIVAL GUIDE. I wrote it for people who, like me, have experienced the shame and suppression of a high-control religious group. It offers research-based education on the patterns of religious abuse and provides practical recovery tools like self-assessments and journaling prompts to help readers get started on their recovery journey. Available on Amazon here: https://a.co/d/4KxKBKH I've released two seasons of my podcast, MARTYR, SHE WROTE, which speaks to religious trauma survivors looking for education, empathy, and recovery. Each episode features a survivor or expert on topics including abusive religious leaders, religious OCD, queer experiences, clergy survivors, and more. You can listen to it for free on Spotify, Google, Apple, Amazon, etc.


WHEN I’M NOT AT WORK

In my personal life, I'm a total nerd. My favorite hobbies are playing video games (PS5), playing D&D, reading sci-fi/fantasy books, and doing jigsaw puzzles. I'm a natural introvert, so I have a small group of close friends but I don't do a ton of extra socializing. My partner and I have been together for 20 years and when we're not at home chilling with our cats, we love to travel and see live music together.

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