Hear Me Roar
October 2020 Issue
Photography by Mike Force Photography
Licensed Professional Counselor & Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
Inez McDaniel, born and raised in Niterói, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, moved to Georgia a little over 30 years ago and is a naturalized US citizen. Inez is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish, which is a big plus in her career as a Georgia Licensed Professional Counselor. This busy mother of two adult daughters Amanda, 23 and Stella, age 21, recently opened a private practice in downtown Brunswick. When asked about the subject of personal well-being, a motorcycle was immediately mentioned accompanied by a huge smile on her face…
Inez, what three things do you consider vital as the best tools in working as a professional counselor?
It is difficult to limit it to only three, but the three things I consider vital in a counselor are: 1) Ability to listen to feelings and underlying issues genuinely; 2) Ongoing learning of new techniques and strategies, enhancing flexibility and understanding of cultural differences and diversity; 3) Self-care. This one is critical! Making the best of leisure time, connecting with family and friends, eating healthy, exercising and having a hobby such as riding a motorcycle.
What gets you up in the mornings raring to go and keeps you excited throughout the day?
The idea of helping others is highly motivating to me. I find meaning in helping clients, especially in those moments when, after processing an issue, when I see an “a-ha” facial expression, or a sigh of relief.
Now in the time of Covid-19, have your clients’ concerns elevated or changed?
Covid-19 has affected people in different manners. The most common complaints are increased anxiety and depression due to the fear of contracting coronavirus, but also due to confinement to one’s home. While some people enjoy working from home, others absolutely hate it, feeling their privacy has been invaded.
I find it helpful to have strategies to transition from the workday. Some I suggest are: Closing the computer, or your office door and saying vehemently, “See you tomorrow!” or simply coming up with a magic word, such as Yabadabadooooo!, changing your clothes, getting in the shower; going for a walk, or playing happy music.
What types of creative well-being therapies have proven beneficial for your clients?
When developing a client treatment plan, I make sure to use their existing positive coping skills i.e., writing, playing an instrument, art, pets, volunteer work, etc. It is important to individualize one’s plan for treatment.
In my practice I use a variety of theoretical approaches. For example, cognitive and dialectical behavior therapies aim to help clients improve maladaptive behaviors and cognitions. And hypnotherapy, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, address issues of traumas and phobias.
Is it possible to tele-counsel clients nowadays using the internet?
Most definitely! Both telephonic and video-counseling have proven to work just as well as in-person counseling. However, it is imperative to have a secure Internet connection.
Have you had mentors in life? Do you mentor others?
Sure! On a professional note, I had a professor at Georgia State University, Dr. Jonathan Orr, who through his supervision style and expertise gave me the confidence I needed most. On a personal level, Ralph and Bonita Sheese, my “American” parents as I like to call them, were a major source of support and guidance throughout my US journey.
I mentored others during my five years at a community mental health clinic in Norcross, GA. In addition, I am a certified supervisor in counseling and take joy in helping young counselors navigate the process of becoming therapists.
Tell us about your recent Honda Rebel motorcycle purchase! How does riding help you to decompress and relax?
I was very fortunate to recently spend three months in Brazil with my family, and it was such a transforming experience. I was able to connect with my “inner child,” which reminded me how much I have always wanted to ride. Upon coming back to the US, I decided to enroll in riding classes and purchased my bike. This has been a thrill! I absolutely love riding my Honda Rebel! It gives me a sense of freedom; it is pure joy.
Congratulations on starting your private counseling practice—a big achievement! What other significant matters make you ROAR?
I want to ROAR about the importance of making mental health a priority. There is still a lot of stigma about seeking psychological help. I also want to bring awareness to suicide prevention. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), we have about “800,000 suicides every year; that is, one person completes suicide every 40 seconds.” Everyone can help prevent suicide, and it is okay to talk about it. “If you know someone who may be considering suicide, talk to them about it. Listen with an open mind and offer your support.”
More information on suicide prevention:
National Suicide Hotline: 800 273-8255
Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-334-2836
Inez McDaniel: Coastal Hypnosis Center, 912-261-8906