About Cheryl Sparks, PhD, LPC

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor who does individual, couples and group therapy. My private practice is in Wayne, PA. I also serve as faculty in the Doctoral Programs in Marriage and Family Therapy at Eastern University. In addition, I supervise therapists who are working toward licensure. I enjoy speaking at churches and public organizations on personal growth, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, pre-marital counseling, and other seminars.


My experience has included working with diverse clients, addressing various concerns including mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder), relationship issues, abuse and trauma recovery. I am particularly interested in helping caretakers who need emotional and spiritual support as they pour themselves into caring for others. I have experience in supporting clergy and others in ministry who need a confidential and safe place to deal with the emotional and spiritual demands of their work and relationships. I particularly enjoy working with couples and offer pre-marital assessments and counseling. My approach to couples work is Emotionally Focused Therapy, the most empirically supported approach to lasting relationship change. Learn more about EFT here. I also use the Prepare-Enrich assessments for pre-marital assessment.


I integrate several forms of therapy in my work with clients. Insight-Oriented or Psychodynamic therapy considers how a person's earlier experiences and relationships form the template which guides our understanding of later experiences and relationships, and can create patterns in feelings and thoughts that affect the present. Understanding how these patterns formed and how to change them can be tremendously helpful. I work to establish a close and trusting relationship with my clients, and this relationship becomes a valuable tool for self-understanding and restoring a sense of self-control.

 

I also use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which involves identifying and changing harmful or ineffective thinking and behavior patterns into more accurate thoughts and useful behaviors, which can result in feeling better. Discovering the (sometimes) unconsciously held beliefs that affect our daily decisions, thoughts, relationships, or mood can create a powerful opportunity to revise those beliefs so that they seem more true and more healthy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may involve practicing new skills in imaginal or real situations, or using relaxation techniques to control anxiety, or taking a brief inventory to uncover possible depression. With compassion and understanding, I encourage my clients in the difficult and sometimes painful process of growth and healing.

 

I am a trauma-informed clinician who is comfortable working with survivors of abuse, violence and other kinds of trauma. 


Education

Doctor of Arts in Marriage and Family, Eastern University

Master of Arts in Counseling, Eastern University's Graduate School of Counseling Psychology

Master of Arts in Christian Education, seminary at Columbia International University

Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, UNC-Chapel Hill

Facilitator, PREPARE / ENRICH program for couples counseling

Certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy, in process

 

Licensure

Licensed in Pennsylvania as a professional counselor (LPC)

 

Experience

In addition to my private and group practice of psychotherapy, my experience includes clinical mental heath work, participating in research as a therapist, pastoral therapy, teaching and ministry in church and college ministries, and working as a licensed Physical Therapist in a variety of settings.

 

Professional Organizations

American Counseling Association

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy

Philadelphia Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy

North American Association of Masters Psychologists

Christian Association for Psychological Studies

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder