Beauty for Ashes

by Sandra Allen Lovelace  @SandraALovelace  #WallflowerWomen  #TimetobeYOU!

This month’s Year of the Wallflower  highlight provides information and insights about a unique approach to support women as we recover our design and learn to walk in our purpose. Founded in 2014 and located right here in the SC Upstate, Beauty for Ashes Counseling LLC is one of the most respected and sought after art-therapy based counseling practices in the area.

Beauty for Ashes guides clients through the ashes left by life’s struggles and empowers them to build beautiful, creative, faith- and hope-filled lives as they heal from trauma, violence, and abuse. The distinct practice includes four therapists, a nurse practitioner, and a therapy dog. Cheryl’s own experiences feed a practical aspect of her goal to help hurting people receive quality care at an affordable rate. Beauty for Ashes therapists accept a wide variety of insurance plans which makes mental health care accessible to those seeking recovery.

Cheryl’s own story is an illustration as well as an inspiration for the transformation journey. From an early age, she escaped the horror of her daily life by immersing herself in the quiet, peaceful world of art – her only constant. Focusing on the tip of her pen or paintbrush kept her from being overwhelmed by the reality of abuse. She saw a string of counselors while she was in school, but feelings of helplessness prevented her from reporting what was happening to her. By the time she was 15, a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis confirmed the physical affects of the trauma.

By the time she entered college, Cheryl had reached the end of her self. When Jesus came knocking at her door, she confessed her hopelessness and invited Him to prove Himself by healing her. Years of therapy followed as He helped her sort out the broken pieces of her life, and drew her to pursue a degree that would allow her to offer treatment to others. That desire motivated her to become as healthy and strong as possible to serve her clients.

Today, Cheryl considers herself an oak, grown from a tiny seed planted in ashes and nurtured by those sent to mend her brokenness who saw hope when she could not. Her mission is to follow their example.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me … He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives … to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve … to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.  Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV 2011

Thank you, Cheryl. Your passion and dedication encourage us all to grow and give back.

Cheryl Lynn Childers, LISW-CPS, ATR, LPCA, NCC, CDWF

Cheryl holds a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design, Photography, and Psychology from Franklin Pierce University, a Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina, and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from Saint Mary of-the-Woods College.

Cheryl is a licensed clinical social worker, registered art and play therapist. She is a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator and conducts The Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ workshops based on the research of Brené Brown.

She and her husband Jeff, along with their three amazing kids, Job, Gabriella, and Elijah-Luke live on Paris Mountain in Greenville, SC.

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