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Education:

  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, University of Alabama

  • B.A. in Psychology, University of Alabama

Advanced Training:

  • Play Therapy

Specializations:

  • Anxiety

  • Attachment Disorders

  • Attention Difficulties/ADHD

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Behavioral Issues

  • Coping Skills

  • Depression

  • Developmental Disorders

  • Intellectual Disabilities

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder

  • Peer Relationships

  • School Issues

  • Self-Esteem

  • Stress Management

  • Trauma & PTSD

Samantha ricks

National Certified Counselor

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate 

    under supervision of Dr. Jenifer Balch

Samantha values the time and commitment it takes for people to begin the counseling process. She invites a candid, genuine relationship with her clients and prioritizes their well-being. Samantha values the therapeutic alliance and aims to create a safe and empowering environment for individuals and families to openly express and explore themselves. She values each individual’s perspective and approaches treatment planning as a team effort. 

 

Samantha enjoys working with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. She takes a client-centered approach, tailoring her interventions and treatment plan to each person’s needs. Samantha utilizes various treatment modalities, including traditional talk therapy, activity therapy, play therapy, and expressive arts activities. Samantha welcomes a collaborative relationship with clients and families and values the impact of the support systems. Samantha wants to empower children and families to explore and express their emotions and equip them with skills to utilize in their daily lives. 

 

Samantha earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Development from the University of Alabama. While pursuing her undergraduate degree she participated in various neurodevelopmental research projects specified in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her extensive research background allows her to provide clients with an evidence-based treatment plan. After graduating, Samantha went on to earn her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Alabama, where she completed a practicum and internship placement at a state residential psychiatric treatment facility for children and adolescents. Through this clinical experience, Samantha gained skills working with individuals with complex trauma, attention difficulties, attachment concerns, anxiety, depression, behavioral concerns, emotional concerns, cognitive delays, and other psychological conditions. In addition to her internship placement, Samantha worked as a graduate assistant with the University of Alabama’s Crossing Points program. In this assistantship, Samantha worked alongside educational specialists to support young adults with special needs in developing occupational, social, and other essential skills. These clinical and research experiences have equipped Samantha to provide counseling approaches that are tailored to individuals’ developmental and emotional needs.