Listening to strangers vent might not be the average person’s idea of a good time, but for April Hill, it is! Hill is the owner of North Augusta Counseling located at 1417 Georgia Ave, Suite C, North Augusta, South Carolina. Hill was born in Tennessee but if you ask her where she’s from, she liable to say Africa. At 7 years old, Hill’s parents moved to Malawi, Africa for work. She and her family moved back to the states a few days shy of her 17th birthday after her father became gravely ill. As an adult Hill decided to settle in North Augusta, because the city harbors some of Hill’s favorite adolescent and adult memories with her best friend.
“I love the peacefulness of North Augusta, it’s a beautiful city,” Hill said.
She has a thing for peaceful aesthetics! Her office is filled with affirming artwork, the aroma of verdant flowers, and the soothing sounds of an ocean wave playlist. Hill is very intentional about her client’s experiencing relaxation from the time they enter her office and after they depart. Her eager clientele waits to be seen at ease. Some could argue that the waiting room itself is a mental health escape. When the wait is over, Hill’s clients are met by her, a petite woman with a vivacious smile and soft voice.
Hill prides herself on bringing others their peace. She was inspired to become a therapist after experiencing her own traumas and traveling on her own journey to healing.
“I started therapy in 8th grade. Since then, I’ve wanted to help others,” she said.
Hill like most children experienced a rebellious stage. Her rebellion even got her kicked out of school. Hill’s parents sent her to counseling.
“I don’t really remember why I was rebelling; I just was.” She shared.
Where Hill might not be able to recall what sparked her rebellion, she does remember feeling ostracized and never wanting anyone to feel what she felt. In fact, that’s what inspired her to be a therapist.
Decades later, still true to her yearn to help others find their healing, Hill attended Liberty University and earned a BS degree in Psychology and an MA degree in Professional Counseling. She completed her psychological clinicals in a high max prison in Wisconsin. There she worked aimlessly on and off the clock to provide inmates with the proper psychological resources.
After witnessing the dispositions many underprivileged people face due to lack of psychological resources, Hill decided to make her counseling practice quality, and affordable for all. Hill feels that mental healthcare isn’t normalized in the way that it should be. According to npr.org, persons in or below the poverty line are at a higher risk for mental illnesses. Untreated illnesses can have adverse effects on the person with the illness and people closest to them. Mental health is being talked about more openly today and more people are getting assistance. Yet, the stigma that, “only crazy people need therapy,” is still a stigma mental healthcare workers rebuttal daily. This false narrative discourages many that need therapy not to acquire it. Alongside mental healthcare stigmas, there’s affordability, mental healthcare isn’t as accessible as it should be for the people that may need it most.
Though she is aware that everyone is not financially able to afford the mental healthcare they deserve, she encourages people to do what they can do to nurture their peace. For instance, Hill starts every day off with a gospel playlist and on more difficult days she blasts her favorite 80’s metal. She understands that there’s no one way to heal and she doesn’t want anyone to think their journey to peace should mirror someone else’s, because every journey is unique.
To accommodate her client’s needs, Hill offers an array of therapy treatments like: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and others. Hill doesn’t believe in band-aiding (temporarily fixing ) healing, she want her clients to address their traumas headfirst to guarantee they find a healthy resolution.
Hill explained: “ I want my clients to heal from bad experiences they never asked for, to finally feel a sense of calm, to know it’s ok to feel whatever emotion they’re felling, to learn to speak life over themselves, to be hopeful, empowered, and to know that at any time they can switch gears and start in a completely new direction.”
Due to Covid-19, North Augusta Counseling’s office isn’t open for face to face appointments but you can schedule a video or phone session via https://northaugustacounseling.com/ .