Deborah Weir, PhD
National Certified Counselor
Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor
North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor
Board Certified Hypnotherapist
I like the word “holistic” and think it describes my approach to counseling. It encapsulates my passion for neuroscience--from attachment theory to hypnotherapy to trauma resolution to nature-based therapy to understanding addictive behaviors to changing any problem behavior… The advancements in neuroscience research is now providing so much more understanding for counselors than in recent years. That’s why I’m constantly devouring books, documentaries, workshops, and my own experiential personal adventures. I’m an experiential addict! And, when I’m counseling, I like to model and teach what I’m learning.
I started my journey in the counseling field with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Education from the University of South Florida in 1993. Prior to that I worked as an occupational therapist for 17 years in medical settings, which gave me a solid foundation in physical science (anatomy, kinesiology, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, adult rehabilitation, etc.) I layered mental health knowledge onto my body-focused knowledge, so, in the beginning, I thought of myself as a body-mind specialist.
During my counseling training, I was most impressed by depth approaches, such as hypnotherapy and Jungian psychoanalytical theory, and began veraciously studying and receiving personal therapy to understand my own subconscious mind. Being a nature-lover, I studied wilderness survival in 1991.I gained self-esteem and a desire to teach other women the same empowerment that I had grown from. That resulted in my creation of a program called Women In The Wilderness. I provided retreats for women to help them increase self-confidence and self-empowerment. I sponsored retreats in Central Florida, Utah, and Asheville, NC. I eventually wrote a book based on those retreats, published in 2010, and developed a group therapy game called “Exploring Your Primal Nature.” (2018)
Inspired by finding my soulmate in 1993, who is also a psychotherapist, I studied relationship theories of all kinds—Mars-Venus, Imagotherapy, Schnarch’s Crucible Therapy, Glasser’s Choice Theory, Gottman, and others—to solidify my becoming a relationship expert. I became a certified sex therapist in Florida and earned a PhD in Clinical Sexology in 2002 from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists in Orlando, FL. At this time, pulling from my experience with my two gay brothers, I added LBGTQ to my client population.
It was experiential heaven to be married to my relationship-oriented business partner, simultaneously strengthening our personal relationship while sharing our expertise with others in our counseling workshops and sessions. As time has marched on, I’m practicing more solo than partnered in my practice, and have a new office of my own in Asheville, NC. I’m excited by the advances in trauma and neuroscience in the counseling field, and I’m seeing my holistic neuroscience-based approach take shape.
• I’m understanding attachment issues as I study how the human animal limbic system evolved and currently operates in the modern world. I’m offering interventions based on neuro-science concerning how childhood issues significantly affect adult relationships, and I’m teaching techniques that can help clients be more secure and successful in all of their relationships.
• I’m trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy and able to offer a combination of hypnotherapy and eye-movement resolution to help resolve trauma-based problems, including anxiety and mood disorders.
• I’ve worked at addiction facilities for the past 12 years, so I understand addiction habits through neuro-science and have more to offer in changing destructive habits through brain-based approaches.
• I’m now understanding hypnotherapy from a practical standpoint after studying with psychologist Elizabeth Michas (MindWorks Psychology), and I'm understanding why meditation and internal awareness (mindfulness) is so crucial to nervous system integrity and health.
• I continue to stay close to my Jungian interests of dream interpretation and synchronicity as guiding messages from our “inner therapist” in the subconscious. I remain deeply spiritually-inspired.
It’s definitely an exciting time in my life, and I’m pleased to open my office to those who find their way there!