April is a licensed professional counselor in the State of New Jersey. She is available to see clients (church members and non-members alike) on our church campus. She is also working with members of the CNRC staff to offer special programming for group settings.
April holds the position of Mental Health Counselor for an organization called Church-Based Mental Health Services or CBMHS. This organization is a project within the Classis (regional grouping) of the Reformed Church in America. The Churches Improving Communities (CIC), a non-profit community development corporation of the Classis, has provided the funding to hire April and allows her to provide affordable and professional therapy at five Reformed Churches in our local area. We are privileged to be one of those five churches.
April's clinical interests include managing anxiety and depression, coping with trauma and loss, and building healthy relationships. Her decision to pursue a career in mental health was fueled by her fascination with the mind-body connection and desire to unite her faith and vocation. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in psychology from Spelman College, in Atlanta, GA in 2007 and a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine from Boston University in 2009.
April began her work with active duty service members and veterans during her graduate internship at the Boston VA Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, MA. For the last four years, April has lived and worked in Yokosuka, Japan serving active duty service members, veterans, retirees, and their families in a variety of roles. April provided clinical counseling, developed and delivered intimate partner violence education trainings, and worked as a domestic abuse survivor advocate for the Fleet and Family Support Center on Yokosuka Naval Base. April was awarded Employee of the Quarter for 2nd Q2015 for her hard work and dedication to Command Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Also, during her time in Japan, she served as adjunct professor of psychology for the University of Maryland University College -- Asia, where she taught Abnormal and Social Psychology. She relocated to New Jersey in October 2015 and is excited to use her skills and experiences to serve the Colts Neck Reformed Church Community as well as other Reformed Church communities in our area.
April's work will not replace pastoral counseling, rather it will allow Rev. Scott Brown to refer congregants to a trusted therapist when additional counseling is needed. Rev. Brown will always be willing and able to see congregants and members of the wider community in order to offer pastoral care and guidance. However, he is aware that life's challenges can often require a higher level of care. This has always been the case. Ministers have always made referrals to professional therapists. With April, we now have a professional therapist on our church campus. April's work will allow our minister to care for our community in deeper ways. For this new chapter in our ministry of care, we give overflowing thanks and praise to God.