Jessica Darling Wilkerson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice.
I'm a mother and a wife, but I once was a single, working mother - for ten years! This is a second career for me as I have a B.A. in Business & Human Resources and worked in the corporate lending industry during my 20's. I have a deep sense of compassion and understanding for how strenuous it can be to juggle and balance all the responsibilities of life while yearning for and seeking out both serenity and enjoyment. The "school of life" sparked my career, and then scholastic education has rounded it out.
Having graduated with my M.A. in Counseling Psychology in 2009, I continue to love studying psychology, psychotherapy and helping others. Here is a little bit about my journey in the field since finishing my graduate degree.
Most recently, I worked for Chico Creek Counseling for nearly 6 years under the mentorship of Joe Taylor, LMFT.
I spent 2010-2013 working for the Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council of Shasta County as an AmeriCorps volunteer and Case Manager. As a volunteer and Case Manger, I worked with families who have at least one child under the age of three and as a home visitor/case manager providing them guidance, life skills, parenting techniques, referrals to local agencies, and Triple P parenting education to parents of toddlers and tweens.
In my spare time during the evening hours, I worked for Family Dynamics Resource Center, a local non-profit agency who provides psychotherapy services to all demographics in the Redding community and has an exceptionally high level of trauma victims and co-morbid addiction disorders. Here I worked under the supervision of Rayna Bertolucci, LCSW.
In addition, I have worked for VOICES at the Shasta County Office of Education under the supervision of Jeannie Early Jacobs, LCSW. In my role at VOICES I visited a local junior high school and provided on-campus therapy to students. I then met with the families of the students for family therapy sessions in their homes. This provided an all inclusive approach to the child and family's emotional well being.
I completed my B.A. degree in Business and Human Resource Management in 2003 and was employed as a Credit Analyst in the exciting field of commercial lending and business banking. It was during my undergraduate studies that the "Psychology Bug" bit me, but my tenacity to see through my original plan was stronger than my desire to follow the field of psychoanalysis. Plus, I was a single mother who had a little guy to provide for financially, banking put the bacon on the table! This was actually a benefit, because during my years as a credit analyst I gained a deeper understanding for the business industry and for my colleagues.
It is because of my experience in the corporate arena that I bring a level of professionalism and a certain spark of empathy to my clients when they are suffering from burn-out, boredom, or a longing for "something else." I have extensive experience working with children in therapy, have a passion for couples and family counseling, and believe there is a biopsychosocial connection in all that we do and the choices we make.
No one is perfect and we all have burdens we carry, guilt for doing something or avoiding another, and longing to be 'more' than we are. It's the ambivalence of what we do with those feelings that can weigh us down. My passion is helping to lead people to their 'a-ha' moments, and then helping them make a plan of action to carry out these revelations.
To help people and families become stronger and more filled with joy in their daily lives. To help people become stronger, happier, and healthier by giving them a safe place to talk about what is hurting them and for them to learn skills to communicate to others or consolidate their pain. To provide these in an effort for joy to expand in the lives in our community.
A community where parenting education classes to help parents learn to navigate their children during the inevitable difficult stages is easily found. Where couples can seek a place to reignite love, help them learn to communicate with each other, and help them draw closer to one another. To give men and women a place to explore their heartache, whatever that may be, and then learn how to move forward from here. Be a listening ear for youth, and give them skills to interact with their peers, adults, and their own psyche.