Are You Ready to Experience True

Making the choice to seek counseling can be a difficult decision. It often comes after recognizing that you cannot fix things by yourself and that the same old approaches have gotten you nowhere. Life events can leave you feeling exhausted, sad and full of anxiety. The counselors at RCS take their jobs seriously and are passionate about stepping in to help you resolve the issues that are effecting your life. We pride ourselves in providing effective goal driven services. Please call us today and start your new life!


Dr. Kirleen R. Neely
Chief Executive Officer

Please check out our video below!


Dr.  Neely is Excited to Announce the Release of Her First Children’s Book Titled


St-new-coverBook Description: Straight Talk is geared towards  children in the 8-13 year age group. The book is intended to spur mothers and daughters to have straightforward conversations on the tough topic of self-acceptance. Mothers routinely tell their girls they should love themselves, but often don’t have the words to explain the history behind the message.  The book is based on Dr. Neely’s research on dominate beauty standards and hair loss for young women of color.

Story Description: Sisters Morgan and Maddie give their mother nothing but trouble when it comes to combing their hair. They try many tricks to get out of the process and, more important, are convinced that getting a hair relaxer will be the answer to all their troubles. Their mother does not know that some family friends have made the girls feel that they have BAD, ugly hair. The story unfolds as their mother makes this discovery and has a straight forward conversation with the girls about the history of hair shaming, self acceptance, and the importance of embracing your unique qualities.




 Tip of the Month for May 2015

The Healing Work of Forgiveness in Families

Many of us have experienced the emotional pain of being hurt by others.  Nowhere does this hurt sting more than when it occurs within the family unit.  Within the realm of family therapy relational hurts are most likely at the root of conflict.  For this reason the work of forgiveness can be essential part of the therapy process.  In fact, according to Terry Hargrave, forgiveness has tremendous benefits for healing within the family unit.  Still the work of forgiveness is risky and there is always potential that the one who we forgive may also violate us again.  With this risk in mind, Hargrave has developed a process of forgiveness broken into four stations of forgiveness represented through insight, understanding, giving the opportunity for compensation, and overt forgiving.  The first two stations are directly related to the work of exoneration while the last two stations deal more specifically with the work of reconciliation.

Station 1 – Insight.  Insight is a method of exonerating that allows people to take initial steps toward trust.  Insight allows people to see the relational actions that have caused the damage and hurt, and this perspective then provides them with the means to protect themselves from further hurt.  In turn the person is able to objectively consider relational pain and stop them from occurring in the future.  The stage of insight therefore is not about healing relationships, rather it is about ensuring no additional damage occurs.

Station 2 – Understanding.  The stage of understanding differs from insight in that it works to understand why the hurt occurred.  As the unjustified actions becomes clearer to the victim so does the potential for dealing with internal pain caused by the violation.  As a result, facets of forgiveness are set in motion.  As the victim begins to understand the motives, situations, efforts, and responsibility of the person who victimized them, they begin to understand that the damaging actions have more to do with the person who hurt them than it does with them, thus relieving much of the victim’s burden of shame and pain.

For many, insight may be the only step they can work through either because they are cut off from the person who caused the hurt or they cannot put themselves back into a relationship with the violator because it is not safe.  For some who have suffered hurts they did not deserve, exoneration achieved through insight and understanding is the limit of the work of forgiveness.  Yet for some, forgiveness can include the work of reconciliation.  Reconciliation sets us on a course that engages us into a relationship with the very people who hurt us and brings an unpredictable amount of risks as we expose ourselves to potential new damage.  But as with most life’s decisions, there can be tremendous benefit if reconciliation, through the work of forgiving, can be done.  Reconciliation through forgiveness is accomplished two ways: 1) giving the opportunity for compensation (station 3) and through the overt act of forgiving (station 4).

Station 3 – Giving the Opportunity for Compensation.  In this stage of forgiveness the victim opens themselves up to the possibility that whoever hurt them unjustly is now, at some level, able to give them what they deserve.  They work to build a bridge across the violation to allow the violator the opportunity to address the damage in a trustworthy and loving manner; they allow for the possibility of rebuilding relationship.  Within the context of this station of forgiveness the victim gives the violator the opportunity to prove that they are loving and trustworthy by allowing interactions that make them vulnerable.  Hargrave describes this process as similar to a bank giving small credit lines to a previously irresponsible individuals.  The more the violator demonstrates their ability to give in a balanced and fair way, the more vulnerable and trusting the victim is willing to be.  This process is a very slow process of allowing the violator a chance to establish trustworthiness a little at a time over a long period of time.

Station 4 – The Overt Act of Forgiveness.  Within this fourth station of forgiveness, the responsibility and accountability for the relational damage are not forgotten or obliterated from existence.  Three essential elements of the overt act of forgiveness include agreement, acknowledgment, and apology.  First, both the victim and violator must come to agreement concerning the specifics of the violation.  When there is denial, or if specific important details about the pain caused are not remembered, it can result in a question of reliability between the two and the lack of agreement will make forgiveness extremely difficult.  Next, an acknowledgement of responsibility for the hurt and pain caused must be made.  This step of acknowledgement is crucial to the victim’s ability to cancel the claim of the injustice.  This self-accountability on the part of the violator gives the victim reassurance that justice will be served in the future.  Finally, there has to be an apology for the damage that has been occurred.  The apology serves two purposes.  First, it clearly states to the victim that the violator would like to erase the pain if possible.  Second, it serves as a covert promise to the victim that the violator regrets the past and will try to interact in a loving and trustworthy manner in the future.

[1] Hargrave, Terry. Families and Forgiveness: Healing Wounds in the Intergenerational Family. New York: Taylor & Francis Group, 1994.  Kindle Electronic Edition.


SheriBy Sheri Dorman, LPC-I