Dr. Stevie has been helping people be their best selves for almost two decades. Her unique perspective comes from a diverse background of interests, experiences, and academic study.
Before earning her counseling license, Dr. served four years as a military officer. During this time she engulfed herself in organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, and leadership training, and completed her Master’s in Management. Observing the young service members’ personal difficulties transitioning from military to civilian life inspired Dr. Stevie do something to help.
Upon completion of her Air Force duties, Dr. Stevie earned her Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology. As a counselor, she noticed that challenges express themselves through family conflict, addiction, and poor work performance. To best tackle this problem and help people return to their confident and productive selves, Dr. Stevie works with individuals struggling with addictions, families adjusting to new circumstances, and organizations that want to see their workforce flourish.
Dr. Stevie’s love of research motivated her PhD in Business Psychology. She continues to stay abreast of new trends, tried and true methods, and alternative ways to use common ideas and approaches. She is excited to share this depth of experience with you to help you reach your best self.
People often ask me about my name, and here’s my story:
Before I was born, my mama told my papa that she was going to name me “Stevie.”
Feeling as many did in the late 70s that girls were not supposed to have boys’ names (Despite the popularity of Fleetwood Mac), my papa replied, “You can’t give her a boy’s name!”
Well, being the ever-defiant woman, my mom explained, “I don’t care what you name her. I am going to call her ‘Stevie’”.
So, my dad signed the birth certificate using his grandmother’s name: Sara. (Funny thing to me is, his sister is also named after the same woman. I still think it’s weird that my dad would give his daughter the SAME NAME as his sister).
And he came up with ‘Stevia’ as a middle name (Which, by the way, my parents were discussing this, while I was in my 20s, that my dad actually got the name from an attractive waitress or something. This “news” upset my mom. I believe had they had an open discussion prior to my birth things may have been different).
My mom held true to her threats: she (and everyone else) called me ‘Stevie’.
It wasn’t until kindergarten that I understood my legal name was ‘Sara’. (I still remember my first day of kindergarten. The teacher was looking around the circle of children searching for Sara. I told her “my name is Sara.” She looked at me and said, “I know,” but kept looking around for the ‘right’ Sara (which was probably Sara Valdez). Of course, in my head I was like, “No, you don’t know my name was Sara! Why are you lying?”
So no, ‘Stevie’ is not short for ‘Stephanie’ or even ‘Stevia.’ Rather, ‘Stevia’ is long for ‘Stevie’.
I awaited the first day of every new school year to explain to the teacher and my new class that I am Stevie.
I guess it is only those with nicknames that are aware that during role call on the first day of schoolteachers will ask children what they preferred to be called. That was my moment, each and every year, to let everyone know that I, a girl, with a legitimate feminine first name, declare herself “Stevie.”
This excited declaration ceased the first day of 6th grade.
It was middle school when social fears and the need to fit in inspired a name change. My family and close friends still called me Stevie, but all new acquaintances got to meet ‘Sara’.
It’s still interesting when I reunite with close friends from those times. They lovingly call me Sara, and they are the only group of humans that can evoke positive emotions of closeness through my legal namesake.
Ending my relationship with Powell, I have been Stevie ever since…Unless you are a doctor’s office. Then I just find it easier to go with the flow.
I thought about getting rid of ‘Sara’ all together. I think it was my mom’s face when I made that suggestion that keeps me from taking the leap. I guess it’s just going to stay, but it does present some challenges.
Establishing an online presence is challenging, since Healthgrades and my EMR refuse to remove my first legal name. It is important to have one name per person. And those of you who do your due diligence when finding a good-match provider will look up all information about your potential therapist may be confused or concerned about discrepancies.
Not everyone I meet is going to read this article, so I will undoubtedly continue to tell my kindergarten tale to inquiring minds. But names, and narratives, are important (there are peer-reviewed journals supporting this).
I will place telephone orders under “Sara” because for some reason it is shorter than saying, “No, not Phoebe/Evie/Breezy”. It is weird for me to hear the dental assistance call for “Sara” before each cleaning, and I do ask them to repeat the name. But I talk to “Steve” when giving self-pep talks (even nicknames can be shortened). I answer the phone “this is Stevie” and introduce myself to others as Stevie. I am Stevie, despite previous lack of legal documentation (thanks, mom).
But now, finally, and legally, I am Dr. Stevie, LLC, and welcome to my page!
–it was third grade when I learned that even my parents’ names offered opportunities for dialogue…(dad: Carey, mom: Michal)