By Sharah N Denton
VALDOSTA – Palm Tree Psychological Services, LLC has been serving Valdosta and Lowndes County for 15 years. Palm Tree is a faith based company which focuses on the needs of the community by providing outpatient mental health, substance abuse, family violence interventions just to name a few. With its headquarters in Valdosta, the company also provides services in Fitzgerald and have a state certified Risk Reduction School (Fitzgerald) and a Family Violence Intervention Program in both locations. They serve children, adolescents, adults and families of all age groups from the age of 2 and beyond. They accept most insurance.
For CEO and Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Wilhelmenia Howell, serving and helping children is something that has been instilled in her since the age of eight. It was during her time at Spelman College that she realized her gift for helping others was not going to go away. During her undergrad days, Dr. Howell volunteered at the Headstart. Walking 5 miles three times a week to help children was something she did not take lightly.
“I saw parenting skills were needed with many of the parents. There was so much the children were being exposed to that they should not have been,” says Howell. She remembers how much her heart broke when she would hear of a child reflect on a traumatic situation they had witnessed or been involved in and she knew she had a higher calling.
When asked how she copes with the various clients and their situations, some more traumatic than others she says she relies on prayer. Moreover, she also approaches therapy sessions by learning the parents and their needs. And although she is aware that she serves as a mentor and mother figure to many of those parents and their children, she understands the need to reach the parent and assist them with making positive choices for themselves and their children. Dr. Howell smiles as she recalls the many patients past and present who make sure to keep her updated on their successes. She remembers a former client who did not believe they would ever have the opportunity to attend college and how years later, that same client visited her with information about their graduation.
“It makes me think that my work is not in vain. I love everyone. I try to work with the mothers and never intimidate or judge them. My approach is more in loving them through that pain and providing them with support,” says Dr. Howell. Dr. Howell says many of her young clients have grown into successful adults and she still receives positive responses from them as well as their parents.
Palm Tree locations are:
2601 Bemiss Rd.; Suite. Q; Valdosta, Georgia 31602; 229-219- 1811; Fax 229-219- 8472 and 410 S. Sherman Street; Fitzgerald, GA 31602; 229-426- 0002; Fax 229-426- 0008.