Paula Buford

ThD, Licensed Professional Counseling

Paula Buford

ThD, Licensed Professional Counseling

Not Accepting New Clients
Telehealth Available
Professions: Pastoral Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: Licensed Professional Counselor
Billing and Insurance:

I don't currently accept insurance, but I can provide documentation if clients wish to submit to an insurance company for "out of network" benefit coverage

Fees: $130 for a 60-minute session.
Weekend Availability
Evening Availability


Decatur, Georgia 30030

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My Approach to Helping

In this time of Pandemic, social conflict, isolation, and trauma, it's more important than ever to have emotional connection and support.

I work with individuals in life transitions, those who have experienced trauma or abuse, or who are having difficulty with significant relationships and attachments. When stressed, people sometimes find that they don\'t have strong foundations. In a safe counseling relationship, you can learn to rebuild yours.

I am relational and flexible; my approach and pacing in counseling depend on the person coming for help. I work in-depth, unless you request short term work. I offer open-ended therapy, which lasts until you decide you are ready to leave. With most people, I use IFS therapy (Internal Family Systems), an evidence-based therapy, which focuses on different energies, emotions, beliefs in your internal system. But I also offer hypnosis and mindfulness, meditation, spiritual direction; I can help you develop a healthier lifestyle, and I can use general "talk therapy."

Like any other relationship, the therapy relationship grows and changes. And in being attentive to changes in the therapeutic relationship, I can help you learn to be more open to changes in your relationships outside of therapy.

Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With

Since I began working in the early 1980's and had a general practice of individuals, couples, families, and groups, I have worked with most issues and have a strong general base of experience and knowledge.
I provide a safe relationship for you to face difficult truths, to grieve for losses, to let go of relationships and life patterns that no longer work, and to regain balance in your life.
I can help you build resources internally and relationally to face transitions, or to finally deal with aspects of yourself that you have pushed away for years.
I can offer you a place to repair misunderstandings and miscommunication that most relationships do not offer. We can learn and grow from conflict when there is honesty and forgiveness and reparation.
I can help you let go of rigidity and unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.
I can help you find your authentic self and drop the facade you may be carrying.
If you are confused, worried, sad or angry, we can work together to understand what those feelings are telling you about yourself and your life.
If you have experienced significant trauma, I use traditional talk therapy, Brainspotting (similar to EMDR), mindfulness or meditation, hypnosis and guided imagery to help you release the trauma and rebuild your life.
I also enjoy working with women and persons who have been marginalized in this culture. life is not fair. We can explore how power dynamics work in culture, families, religious and other institutions, etc.

On the Fence About Going to Therapy?

Most people can benefit from psychotherapy if they are open to letting go of things that are not working. Or if they are only open to being open. But it takes courage and a willingness to experience some pain in order to grow. Because therapy is so personal, the relationship is primary. And in choosing the right therapist, it is important to trust your instincts.

Most therapists takes a history: Why are you coming for help now? How long have you been dealing with this problem or situation? What is your family, personal, relational, health, and religious history? People often have insight and feel relieved after just a session or two. You now have someone on your side.

Psychotherapy is a professional relationship in which the therapist is there for the person coming for help. Your needs are primary. The therapeutic relationship is unlike any other. The therapist offers a non-judgmental, caring, consistent relationship where a person's authentic self can emerge. It is the therapist's job to offer boundaries and guidance to keep the relationship healthy and safe. The counselee sets the pace at which the therapeutic work proceeds. Because healthy therapists find other ways to meet our needs, we can be there for you in ways that no other person in your life can be.
Persons can blossom when they are accepted in an honest, caring relationship, and when they become aware of self-replicating patterns that have been handed down the generations in their families.

Therapy is also educational. In therapy you learn about emotions, thoughts, behaviors, relationships, facing change, mindfulness and meaning, values and spirituality, the life cycle, grief, and loss, building positive habits, delayed gratification, self-compassion and self care, and much more. Therapy can offer people markers and goals so that they flourish instead of just exist.
I offer a team approach, with referrals to couples, group, career counseling andor medication. Additionally, counselees may augment individual counseling with couples, group, career counseling or other types of therapy.

Services I Provide

  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Premarital Counseling
  • Telehealth

Ages I Work With

  • Teens
  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    Personal growth, self care and female socialization, people who are grieving, caregivers and helping professionals, creative people, integration of spirituality and personal growth, mental health issues, mindful aging, religious abuse, understanding of power dynamics in relationships and culture.

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Academic Concerns
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Aging and Geriatric Issues
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Breakup
  • Cancer
  • Caregiver Issues / Stress
  • Chronic Illness / Disability
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Control Issues
  • Creative Blocks
  • Depression
  • Divorce / Divorce Adjustment
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Emptiness
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fear
  • Forgiveness
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Habits
  • Health / Illness / Medical Issues
  • Helplessness / Victimhood
  • Inadequacy
  • Individuation
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Issues
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Multicultural Concerns
  • Obsessions and Compulsions (OCD)
  • Panic
  • Perfectionism
  • Posttraumatic Stress / Trauma
  • Power
  • Pre-Marital Counseling
  • Prejudice / Discrimination
  • Racism
  • Rejection
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Religious Issues
  • School issues
  • Self-Actualization
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Love
  • Shame
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Terminal Illness
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Trust Issues
  • Values Clarification
  • Women's Issues
  • Workplace Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Brainspotting (BSP)
  • Breathwork
  • Dreamwork
  • Emotional Freedom Technique
  • Existential Psychotherapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Journal Therapy
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Object Relations
  • Psychodynamic
  • Relational Psychotherapy

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