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meet the therapist


Kristi Barnes, LMSW, is an associate level licensed master social worker nearing completion of the requirements to take the exam for full licensure in the area of clinical social work. Reflecting her social work background, Kristi utilizes a strength-based approach, tailoring interventions to each clients' life circumstances, such as interpersonal relationships, school, work, and home environments, as well as broader social factors. Through close collaboration with each client, she works to identify strengths and potential opportunities for growth that exist within their unique situation.

Kristi's client-centered approach to therapy is geared toward helping her clients determine their own path to success. This means that each client runs the show during their sessions, with her role being simply to support the client in recognizing and reaching his or her desired goals. Theoretically, she draws on principles of humanistic psychology that consider providing a safe place for clients and displaying unconditional care to be key elements of any successful therapeutic relationship. Kristi firmly believes that every client deserves her respect and compassion, and she is committed to doing whatever it takes to meet clients where they are currently at.

Prior to joining the team at Thrive Counseling Center, Kristi worked across an array of settings with diverse populations of young people and families. This includes, most recently, serving as a school social worker within Fulton County Schools, where she worked collaboratively with staff and families to remove barriers to students' academic success. Kristi has a strong understanding of the complex nature of school systems and the demands and challenges that school aged children and adolescents face day-to-day. She also draws from her experience working with at-risk youth and families at Seneca Family of Agencies, a mental health agency in the San Francisco area.

These experiences have imparted Kristi with a passion for working with children and adolescents of all ages, as well as a firm belief that working within the family system is essential to successful therapy. She has helped clients work through a variety of different struggles, such as trauma and abuse, depression, self-esteem, anxiety, grief and loss, self-harm, gender identify and sexual orientation, attachment, and self-regulation. Kristi is currently pursuing a certification in play therapy, as she considers play to be the language of children and the best avenue for building the trust required for real work and change to occur.

Ms. Barnes works under the Direction & Supervision of Thrive Counseling's Clinical Director E. Amanda Dellinger-Allen, LPC while at Thrive.

Credentials & Certifications...
  • Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
  • Actively pursuing licensure in Clinical Social Work (LCSW)
  • Actively pursuing Registered Play Therapist credential
  • Member of Georgia Society of Clinical Social Workers (GSCSW)
  • Member of National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Member of School Social Workers Association of Georgia and America
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