Dr. Sparks 


Cheri L. Sparks Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologist   PY6844

Welcome to Bay Counseling.  

The following information is meant to provide you with information regarding our professional services and policies.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at mail@drsparks.ws or 850-449-1821.

     Most individuals know that they will, at some time, need the services of a physician, and take time, in advance of an illness, to choose a family doctor.  In contrast, few people take similar steps in planning for the possible need of a personal or family counselor.  Many individuals feel uncomfortable asking friends for recommendations for counseling services, because this would reveal more personal information than most would like to share.  Sadly, although there is no stigma associated with seeking medical care for most illnesses or physiological distress, there continues to be some reluctance to allow others, even close friends or family members, to know when one is experiencing personal or interpersonal psychological distress.  Consequently, it is often at the point of personal crisis or significant family turmoil, that most people find themselves searching the yellow pages for a counselor or therapist.

     Counseling is not easily described in general statements.  It varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist and clients and the particular problems addressed.  There are many different methods that I may use to deal with the problems you identify. Successful counseling requires very active effort on your part, and may involve work both in the counseling session as well as at home or in other social environments.

      Counseling often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life or relationships. You may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness or helplessness.  On the other hand, counseling has been shown to have significant positive effects for those who wholeheartedly participate in the process. Counseling often leads to better relationships, significant reductions in distress and implementation of effective coping strategies and novel solutions to recurring problems.  However, there are no guarantees of desired outcomes.

      Initially, we will evaluate, not only your understanding of your current situation, but also explore what change or outcome you desire.  I will develop a course of action which we will discuss to determine whether it is consistent with your expectations and commitment to pursue.  If, at any time, you have doubts or questions, please discuss them openly.  I believe the therapeutic process is a collaborative one in which all parties must participate.  I do not practice from the perspective that I will tell clients what they should do.  Rather, in concert with the uniqueness of each client/couple, a strategy is formed and amended and implemented until satisfactory results are reached.  The end of counseling occurs when you and your counselor agree that your goals are satisfied, or there is some other reason to discontinue services.  You can stop at any time, but the best results often come from discussing you decision for at least one session.

      Individual sessions will generally be 50 minutes in length.  Family or couples sessions will generally be 90 minutes in length.  Your consideration by giving 24 hour advance notice of need for cancellation or rescheduling will be most appreciated.

Confidentiality for Internet Explorer Users


Treatment of Minors

Myths and Misconceptions

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What about taking medication?

   There's Hope

Questions to help you choose a counselor


For Appointment, Please Call 850-449-1821


Early morning and evening appointments are available



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