Pam Reese Comer, LPC, Director of Counseling Services is a graduate of the EMU Master of Arts in Counseling program and JMU Master of Education in Counseling program. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has over 25 years experience working with issues on death, dying, and grief and has been a consultant and trainer for the Virginia Association for Hospices where she developed a state-wide grief network for professional and lay caregivers. She has a local private practice called Horizons and has also received special training in an international model on suicide intervention skills and provides training workshops in the community. She supervises many of the graduate internship students at the EMU Counseling Center as well as residents in counseling working towards licensure.
“My discovery through years of working with people is that most of us carry some powerful beliefs around way deep inside that drive our very being and can control our lives. Most times these are secrets that we do not share and can be summed up in the following: “I am not good enough, I am not worthy, I am not lovable”. Those beliefs are actually lies and are ruining our relationships with self, with others and with our world. I see counseling as one of the most healing experiences in calling attention to the truth. If you find a counselor you trust, you can change your life. My vision for EMU counseling services is to create a place and group of people who you can trust to offer professional, grounded services during the times and seasons of your life that hold you back and keep you from a sense of well being." – Pam
Jay Hayden, Resident in Counseling, received her Master of Arts and Educational Specialist degrees from JMU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. During her clinical training, Jay provided family and individual counseling to children, adolescents, and adults within a rural-outpatient mental health facility. She approaches counseling with a dynamic spirit, holistic perspective and interpersonal process focus. Her collaborative nature underscores students’ resiliency and innate sense of growth. Jay is experienced with issues surrounding anxiety, life transitions, personal growth, obsessive thoughts, depression, abuse, trauma, and relationships.
“‘Be kind. For everyone you know is fighting a hard battle that you know nothing about.’ These words illustrate the foundation of my profession and my spirit. I believe that each of us seeks to make sense of the battles that dominate our personal narratives. Sometimes these battles can alter our sense of self or the world. Other times our battles might be interwoven throughout our life or might be hidden and only pop up at the most inconvenient times. For some, just the thought of uncovering their battle might be a formidable task. I seek to provide a safe, non-judgmental space where together we can work towards healing, exploring, and transforming your battles into hopes. I believe that each of us have the power inside ourselves to answer the questions in our lives. Sometimes we just need a trusted partner to help us see the answers.” -Jay
Laura Jones, Graduate Intern, is working on her masters in counseling at JMU. She joins the EMU Counseling Center to complete her internship. In her training at the JMU counseling center and an eating disorder clinic, she has had practice working with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, panic disorders, transition issues, lgb issues, and general school-work-life balance. Prior to counseling, Laura was a teacher. As a result, she has developed a passion for working with teachers to increase their resiliency against work place stressors.
“Throughout various stages of our lives, we find ourselves in need of support. Counseling is about exploring, healing, and growing. My goal is to provide a safe and welcoming environment where each person feels comfortable sharing their unique story. The beautiful thing about counseling is that this non-judgmental space allows for a more genuine version of ourselves to be present. From here, one may find peace or the power and strength to change. One of my favorite quotes is: “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Dr. Seuss” – Laura