Brandi Leak, LMSW (she/her)
You want to be the best parent you can be; and you have thought or wondered how best to support your child’s emotional well-being. Being mentally healthy during childhood includes reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills ; learning how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children are more likely to have a positive quality of life and are more likely to function well at home, school and in their communities.
You’ve noticed your child doesn’t play as much as they used to. You’ve noticed they yell and/or say mean things when they are mad; maybe even throw things. You’re tired of the melt downs, temper tantrums, calls from the school/daycare, and the fights/arguing, and nagging to get your child to follow instructions.
No one escapes this life unscathed from bad things happening; whether it’s exposure to sex things, or physical punishment; divorce, conflict within the family system, verbal or physical aggression, abandonment by a parent, death of a beloved pet, parent or other relative, bullying, and/or natural disasters, relocating to new towns, cities, schools etc.
You know you’ve struggled with many life stressors, maybe what’s behind the behavior is your child’s difficulty in expressing and managing their response to stressors.
This is where Brandi can help you, and your child thrive in this life. Brandi understands the challenges parents face today, and has been providing services to children and families since 2005 as parenting educator. Brandi loves helping parent’s embrace parenting and enjoy being a parent.
Brandi has received training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and play therapy. She utilizes play and expressive approaches and is currently under the supervision of a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor.
Brandi’s client centered approaches and use of play provides children, adolescents and caregivers a platform to connect and develop healthy social skills and coping mechanisms. Brandi’s core roots as a social worker have guided her therapy practice as every client’s self-determination is respected as well as their dignity and worth.
Brandi was born in Maine and spent many summers there with her grandparents. Brandi is the mother of a percussionist in marching band so she is always looking forward to Football season. She loves spending time with her two boys and husband, and her chocolate Labrador, Georgia
Qualifications (the boring part): (feel free to skip if you know Brandi is the one who can help you and your child)
Brandi resided in Oxford, Alabama after her husband exited the military and earned her Bachelor of Social Work in 2005 from Jacksonville State University. Brandi became certified in two research and evidence- based parenting programs, Parent Project and Active Parenting Now.
Brandi served her community for the next 15 years providing parent education in many settings. In 2021, Brandi earned her Master of Social Work degree from Jacksonville State University. Brandi provided trauma based therapy at a child advocacy center post degree, and is now helping children and adolescents here at Waves Counseling Services, LLC.