Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

After meeting extensive educational and training requirements, and undergoing additional testing, I earned a my license to practice therapy as a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) in July of 2017. (License  #A13307, issued by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors (NCBLPC)).

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I graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Minor in Business from State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany.  As an undergraduate I worked as an aid for two years on the mental health units of a hospital and also joined the University at Albany’s Middle Earth Peer Assistance Hotline Program where I was trained as a counselor in issues of suicide, rape, substance abuse, and sexuality. As a result of my academic achievements I was also granted member in Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. 

I continued at SUNY at Albany to complete a Master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.  My master’s degree practicum placement was as a counselor in a 14-bed adolescent chemical dependency residential program. My internship was as counselor in a 54-bed adult male chemical dependency residential program. 

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After graduating, I worked for nearly seven years with individuals with blindness and visual impairments as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and another five years as a trainer for legally blind small business entrepreneurs.

During that same period, I created and ran a free peer support group for Shyness, Social Anxiety, and Depression for 7 years.  We met weekly and sometimes bi-weekly to discuss ways to overcome social anxiety and depression. I did this because I truly enjoyed being with and offering advice to people who face these issues and who want to work their way past them.

While I enjoyed working in vocational rehabilitation, I decided that I truly wanted to work full time as a mental health counselor. I began working towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA), which I earned in July of 2017. In November 2017, I attended a workshop with Dr. David Burns and became a Certified TEAM-CBT Level 1 Therapist with the Feeling Good Institute.

Since earning my LPCA I have also worked for two mental health agencies providing therapy to adolescents and their parents on a wide range of mental health issues from depression, anxiety, social anxiety, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), adjustments disorders, sexual abuse and trauma to name a few. 

Picture of Richard Sladich

Rick’s Personal Journey Overcoming Social Anxiety and Depression

I decided to specialize in treating social anxiety because I know firsthand how it can effect your life.

From a young age and into adulthood, I felt the challenges and difficulties of dealing with social anxiety long before I knew it had a name or an effective treatment. I learned to beat social anxiety and depression and I now live an empowered, joy filled life, while helping many others along the way.

My Story:  I was described as a “shy” child from a very young age. I even failed kindergarten for not being able to get along with the other children. My anxieties continued all through my schooling. At age 20, I dropped out of college due to social anxiety (then still undiagnosed). I was 25 when I finally sought out a therapist, and therapy helped greatly with my depression and low self-esteem. Eventually I decided to head back to college. In my college psychology classes I started learning even more about my own anxiety and depression, but I also discovered a desire to help others. So, it was both the counseling that I received, and also the education in psychology that finally allowed me to succeed over depression and social anxiety in my own life. With that new ability and increased self-confidence, I went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.  

During the next 12 years I worked in professional positions where I regularly went out in public to secure jobs for others. I directed other professionals, built relationships, and gave presentations in front of colleagues, occasionally of 100 or more. In my personal life I learned effective conversation skills, attended game nights in the homes of strangers, and for the first time since high school I built a social network of people I considered close friends.  Lastly, I meet, fell in love with, and married my beautiful wife.