Sybil Cummin, MA, LPC, ACS
Hi, I'm Sybil Cummin, MA, LPC, ACS, creator of Rising Beyond Power and Control. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor who has specialized in working with victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse and domestic violence for the last decade, including the child victims in these families. Trained as a child and family therapist, I did not initially have any idea that I would be working with this population and wanted to focus on working with kids. Just kids. In every work environment I found myself working, a hospital setting, an agency contracted with child protective services, and then in private practice, I ran into families affected by domestic violence and narcissistic abuse over and over again. While working with children and families involved in custody battles, I could not understand many of the outcomes and started to dig further into the issue. This led to much frustration and anger about the injustices for these children and increased my passion for working with this population.
In trying to close the gaps in support for victims and survivors, I have created a training website and in-person training opportunities for other mental health professionals and created online courses for continuing education for social workers on Continued.com. I have written an e-book on the subject, And Then We Do Harm: Rethinking Clinical Interventions for Survivors of Domestic Violence. I have run therapeutic support groups for victims of domestic violence since 2014. And still, the gaps are there. There is not enough support. And thus, The Rising Beyond Community began.
When I am not being a squeaky wheel, sharing my passion for supporting this population, you can find me trying to wrangle up my two boys, beating up a bag in kickboxing, watching Harry Potter, or meeting up with family and friends.
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Sabrina Merz, MA, LPCC
Hi, I'm Sabrina Merz, MS, LPC. I'm a counselor who provides therapy to women who are survivors of domestic violence and families affected by trauma. I lead therapeutic groups for women affected by domestic violence, but often have to disappoint people when they become full or are at times that don't work for someone's schedule. I also know that the need for support extends beyond an hour in group. Sometimes it comes in the middle of the night. Oftentimes women who have experienced abuse have also been isolated from their support systems or have too much shame to utilize them. I'm really excited to be a part of providing you with this always accessible platform of support and information.
I'm also a huge geek about neuroscience (the science of the brain) and the science behind regulation and our fight/flight/freeze responses. I grew up around horses and learned to calm my nervous system, otherwise I was going to get thrown off. I later became curious about how my whole nervous state changed when I got on a horse, and my fascination with polyvagal theory (relating to the vagus nerve) was born. Equally fascinating to me is that fact that our brains have "neuroplasticity" which very unscientifically means we can rewire them. This means patterns can be changed and you can feel better!
You can count on me to be jumping in with information on the science of regulation, the science of happiness, and of course on other topics as well.
Christiana Kordic, MA, LPCC
Hi, I’m Christiana Kordic MA, LPCC.
As I talk with clinicians and clients, I continue to be taken aback by how little training clinicians receive about working with victims and survivors of domestic violence and narcissistic abuse. It is equally concerning that there is such difficulty in finding resources and support that help manage all of the issues that arise post separation. I feel lucky to have been trained by Sybil and to have been a co-leader for her therapeutic groups for victims of domestic violence so that I can help fill the gap of professionals who understand all that this population goes through.
I am passionate about peoples’ stories. I’m excited about the welcoming and supportive community Rising Beyond Power and Control creates for victims and survivors to share their stories. I am excited to be a part of this movement. I am honored you are here and am hopeful you will find space to share your story and that you will feel believed and heard.
Brittany Hart, MA, LPCC
Hi, I’m Brittany Hart, MA, LPCC, and I am passionate about working with kids and families who have been impacted by domestic violence and narcissistic abuse. I regularly work with children and teens who are struggling in many areas in their life, including but not limited to: trauma, behaviors of acting out, transitions, and relationship difficulties in and out of the home.
I received my BA in Early Childhood Education, and I was a teacher for a few years before receiving my MA in Counseling. I have extensive knowledge about healthy childhood development and the impact trauma has on development. I approach children and parents empathetically and understand that families face many hardships and experience shame and guilt when domestic violence is present in the home. I strive to create a non-judgmental space for children to heal. As I create a safe space for children, I also strive to create a trusting relationship with parents and engage in regular contact about ways parents can help their children at home. I believe that parents truly want the best for their children, and I am here to play a small part in helping your child grow and heal.
Children are often emotionally impacted by domestic violence and may or may not have symptoms related to trauma. Children who have witnessed domestic violence may withdraw, act out, or their pain may go unnoticed. The good news is, they can heal. Creating a safe place and relationship with your child is essential for their healing. It can feel difficult to focus on the relationship with your child when so much of life is chaotic, but I believe true healing occurs in relationships when children and parents work collaboratively and increase their connection.
I look forward to helping you create a healthy and healing environment for you and your children.
Please take time to read our Disclaimer. The content on this website is meant for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute medical or mental health diagnosis or treatment. Rising Beyond Power and Control also differentiates between coaching services and counseling services. You can read our full Disclaimer here.