Ashley Moore is eager to spread her wings in Bryan County.
Moore grew up right outside of Richmond Hill and attended Calvary Day School. After graduation, she went on to attend Valdosta State University where she earned her degree in Psychology and Sociology in 2008.
After completion, she went on to get her Masters from Valdosta in marriage and family therapy.
"I have always had an idea I wanted to help people. I didn’t really have an idea of what that looked like until I took a psychology class my freshman year at Valdosta. I really believe that is what lead me down this path," said Moore.
Now through her expertise and she hopes to impact the lives of those seeking her help in their most challenging times.
After graduating and moving back to the area, Moore began her professional career working at Bethesda Boys Home. She went on to spend several years counseling within the home. Her work has mainly been non-profit focused until opening her own practice in Richmond Hill. While at Bethesda she served as the Director of Support Services, and lead individual as well as group counseling for the boys.
In January of 2017, Moore took a huge leap of faith and opened the doors of her own family counseling practice, "Building Blocks - Family Counseling" in Richmond Hill.
While her love of working for non-profits didn’t fade, her passion to continue her work and juggle her new role of mother took precedence. This felt like the right place to land and establish a place of her own.
Son Henry, 18 months old, was a huge factor that created a desire for more flexibility in work scheduling.
"I saw an opportunity here and a need in the area for the services I offer, and I wanted to be able to work for myself and create my own schedule now that I have a child," Moore said.
She still does some contract work with Fort Stewart on the side but mainly services those seeking the specific services she offers or those who have found her through referrals.
Ages range from 3 years old and up. The goal is to get everyone working together and communicating better. Trying to turn a negative situation into more of a collaborative approach is the focus for Moore.
One of her go to methods of counseling is play therapy.
"Many people are not as familiar with play therapy but it is really effective for young children," Moore said. "So many really don’t seek out therapy for their kids until they are teenagers. In all reality so much can be prevented if they had come in earlier. The habits build up over time, so many assume their young child cannot talk so it won’t be effective. But, play is a natural way of communication for a child, they can still process and learn more."
Over the years, Moore has evolved her methods and continues to develop herself through continuing education programs.
Unfortunately, she said many still associate a negative stigma with counseling and she hopes people will consider how much better it could be and how much faster that process will work out if those suffering had help.
"If they, the children are not acting like themselves, if teachers are noticing, then it doesn’t hurt to seek outside help," said Moore.
Helping parents develop solutions and ways to cope make for a smoother transition when going through a challenging time is the one of Moore’s goals.
"Since becoming a mother, I can empathize so much more with other parents. It has helped me be more cautious on how I interact with parents. We cannot always change the trauma or negative event. But, I can help with the connection and help make those relationships stronger. I want to see them successful and gain the ability to move past needing my services. To train them and see them soar is huge for me," said Moore.
Despite the conflicts and pain, she sees, Moore shares when seeing couples that are on the brink of divorce begin to work through it or to see children develop better behavior, all with better relationships and more connected is one of the greatest blessings of this type of work.
"My parents instilled in me, you work hard and don’t take for granted what you have and give to other people," said Moore.