It’s Official… I am a Mental Health Counselor

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It is official… I am now a Mental Health Counselor!  I received my master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University, after 2 1/2 {long} years.  This degree was certainly no easy feat for a stay-at-home mother of 4 children.  First of all, I want to take a moment to praise God and thank Him for calling me and walking with me through the entire journey!  Without Him this degree wouldn’t have been attainable.  God has walked alongside me every step of the way!  He provided knowledge, wisdom, and understanding throughout the entire process.  Most importantly, God lead me through an in depth healing of my mind, spirit, soul, and heart.  As a result, I was forced to face my past childhood abuse and personal insecurities.  God directed me through the process of healing and gave me an in depth understanding of who I am today and the manner in which the abuse has effected my life to this point.  The healing that has taken root within my entire being is absolutely astounding and life altering.  Praise the Lord!  I am confident the journey has made me a stronger and more confident individual.  I am truly thankful for the opportunity to achieve this personal dream. A dream that would have {NEVER} been possible without God’s unconditional love and victorious plans for His children!

I want to personally thank my dear husband for his constant encouragement throughout the journey and for the late nights he stayed up and edited every single one of my papers.  I am thankful he stood up to the challenge of being Mr. Mom for 8 months throughout my internship, while simultaneously working his personal job to help me reach the completion of the degree.  Most importantly I am thankful for his undying love, affection, and encouragement when I needed it most.  I love you Robert Ridlon!!!

I would like to thank my 4 amazing children, whom sacrificed so much throughout this degree journey.  The four of them sacrificed much of their quality time with their momma and remained astoundingly resilient throughout the entire process.  I am proud of my four wonderful children!  I am thankful for my in-laws who encouraged and supported me throughout the entire process!  A special thank you to my mother-in-law for helping with the children while I was away at the Liberty University campus for week long intensive courses.  In addition, I am thankful for the friends who encouraged me throughout the journey (you know who you are) and I couldn’t have finished without your love and encouragement throughout the entire journey.  I am thankful for my supervisors, Emma Ford, Deb Slikkers, and Caleb Branam!  They walked through the entire internship journey with me and taught me hands on experience as a therapist!  Thank you to the other therapists and co-workers who offered encouragement and advice as I faced the challenge of new clients and tough cases!  Thank you!  Finally, I want to thank Liberty University and my amazing professors from the “counseling department” for solid Biblical teaching, encouragement, and guidance on my journey to becoming a therapist.  A “special” thank you to Dr. Karin Dumont!  She continually taught solid and Biblical teaching, modeled God’s definition of sound Godly counseling, and always maintained a deep rooted love and compassion for her students.  This amazing professor became my role model and wonderful mentor throughout the entire process!  Thank you to all who encouraged and supported me throughout this journey!  Your efforts did not go unnoticed!

What’s next?

Good question… I just received my first official job offer working part-time at Meadows Hospital, working with adolescents, adults, and geriatrics.  I will work PRN part-time as I begin the process of perusing licensure and receiving my Licensed Mental Health Associate (LMHCA) credentials.  Once, I receive my LMHCA, I may head straight into private Christian counseling, as I feel this is where God needs me most in Bloomington, In.  The long-term plan involves applying for licensure with the state of Indiana, taking another big exam (NCE), completing 3,000 hours of supervised client hours, and the final step will be taking the “licensure” exam.  It’s still a long journey!!!

One thing I know for certain… God will walk through the entire journey with me… every step of the way!

1 Corinthians 15:57 “but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Blessings, Crystal Ridlon


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