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What's in a Name? Why I Chose 'Grey Fern Counseling'

"Integrity: A name is the blueprint of the thing we call character. You ask, What's in a name? I answer, Just about everything you do." - Morris Mandel


A name says a lot. When I first started my business, many people asked me, how did you choose the name of 'Grey Fern Counseling'?

It was not an easy process for me, but in the end I decided on a name that had both personal meaning and shared a little bit about my counseling philosophies. I believed it was important to choose something that revealed a little bit about myself for potential clients.

Why 'Grey'?

Grey is the color of gloomy skies, that middle ground, muddled color that many associate with feeling down and depressed. Why, then, would I choose that for a name for my business when my business is helping people along the path towards moving away from feeling down and depressed? Well, the reason is multi-fold, but the most important reason for me is because I feel it helps combat the stigma surrounding depression and anxiety. Life is not always rosy and rainbows. My clients have grey areas in their lives, and I will walk alongside those grey areas with them. I will ride out the storms of grey, stormy skies with them. I will not deny them the struggle that is real. I believe it is important to name what is going on in a client's life, and the process of naming it brings it into reality and allows us to walk through it together. As a team, we will weather the storm and find new ground.

Why 'Grey' and not 'Gray'?

According to Merriam-Webster, gray occurs more frequently in American English, while grey has historically been the spelling preferred by British English publications. Why wouldn't I use 'gray' then? I suppose it would make more sense, being that I live in the United States. But, my grandparents lived on Greystone Road, and I have many precious childhood memories from there. Nostalgia sways!

Ok, so 'Fern'. Why 'Fern'?

I have always been fascinated by ferns. From growing up and roaming the woods as a child, to backpacking mountains as an adult, I have always been attracted to the unique characteristics of ferns. Ferns grow differently from other plants. They have single fronds that grow individually and unfurl, or uncurl, as they grow. Ferns thrive in low-light conditions, often in damp, precarious crevices in between stones. I admire their tenacity and how they slowly unfurl to show their true selves. I believe that my approach to counseling involves seeing clients as unique individuals who have often had to adapt to their environments to survive. Similar to how ferns unfurl and reveal who they really are, I believe that we all have unique qualities that can be brought out under the right environmental conditions. As we grow and change and adapt, we can build upon what we have learned from the past and create a future full of hope.


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