Is your teen withdrawn? Does he or she seem fearful of social settings or lack joy when doing activities that used to be fun?
If so, depression and anxiety could be to blame. Luckily, there is help.
Celebrating five years in Fenton, Mark Carpenter, MA, LPC owner of VAE Life Coaching has helped hundreds of teens and adults overcome depression and anxiety through hard work that sometimes includes physical exercise.
It’s not unusual to find Carpenter and a client walking or running outside at Clover Beach during a counseling session. He has seen first-hand how clients relate to being outdoors rather than an office. “To some teens a traditional office visit can feel like a visit to the principal’s office,” he said. “It’s a way for me to get comfortable with teens and a great way to get to know people.” Carpenter also offers evening and weekend appointments to accommodate busy schedules.
He opened his Fenton practice five years ago at North Towne Professional Center. He followed his own life coaching process by setting one-, three- and five-year goals, which included opening his own practice and then offering insurance to his clients. Today, VAE Life Coaching takes many different insurance plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Optim (United Behavioral Health), McLaren and Molina. Carpenter asks that potential clients call his office to see if their insurance is accepted.
As a veteran marine, Carpenter knows exactly what it’s like to live in fear of the future and anxiety in one’s current circumstances. He also was a member of Personal Security Detail Teams in Iraq and Afghanistan for the U.S. Department of Defense, and still keeps photos in his office drawer as a reminder of horrific events he lived through. Fear and guilt, said Carpenter, are what drive depression and anxiety. “You have to learn to confront fear with real logic and truth,” he said. “We all have a lot more control than we think.”
A 1991 Fenton High School graduate, Carpenter said he became a life coach/licensed professional counselor to help others in all walks of life.
“Life coaching is for everyone,” he said. And while the majority of his clients are teens, Carpenter has seen a growing number of adults, especially those seeking help to make a connection between mental and physical health — another reason you’ll often find him working out during a counseling session. “You have to get out that bottled up energy,” he said. “Physical exercise is very necessary when fighting depression and anxiety.”
VAE stands for Vision-Achievement-Excellence, which is Carpenter’s goal for the process of life coaching. “You can put in time and effort and see the results and improvements in your life,” he said.
Through Carpenter’s practice, he helps teens and adults set goals for the future that match their values. “The main word is ‘hope,’” he said. “We focus on the successes of the past and people can see from their goal-setting that they can accomplish anything.”
VAE Life Coaching is at 14165 N. Fenton Rd., Suite 102A2, (810) 282-4093.