Created by Carolyn Brown, LCSW, and based in beautiful Asheville, NC, BraveSong Counseling & Consulting provides a dynamic, powerful blend of heart-led and neuroscience-based counseling services for individuals seeking support around deepening their insight, navigating life’s stressors, promoting self-healing, and experiencing personal growth and empowerment. BraveSong offers an array of services including in-person and online individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, training and consulting for individuals and organizations, as well as retreats, workshops, and other events.
“If you allow yourself to only love in halves, you may find yourself half clouded, half living, and eventually perhaps, half of a person. Always give your entire heart, and not only tiny pieces or jagged missing parts. Learn to boldly become the entire sun. And all worthy things will bloom beneath your fire.”
You alone have the power to create the rich, nourishing, radiant life you long for—in your relationships, your career, your world. This doesn’t mean perfection. This doesn’t mean you have to have it all together. This doesn’t mean that you burn yourself out by efforting, trying—striving to be the best, to not disappoint anyone, to never fail. In fact, it means the opposite. The key to a fulfilled, free life is an unraveling, a letting go, a release of what was, an uprooting and burning of all that no longer serves you.
Then, and only then, can new life come bursting on the scene in all its glory. Together, we will take an honest and compassionate look inside yourself. A look at where you are and where you’ve been (and to create space and possibility for the healing and freeing of those parts of you that are stuck). As these parts begin to heal, you may be able to move forward with greater confidence, clarity, calmness, and connection to yourself and others. You may be able to feel your internal light and fire again and to boldly claim your song (the one that is yours and yours alone) and sing it to the world. (And even if you don’t have a musical bone in your body, who doesn’t love to sing?! And yes, solos in the shower and in the privacy of your own car count!) I founded BraveSong with the desire to be a catalyst in the process of helping you experience this rich, nourishing, radiant, and brave life. It would be an honor to join you on this path of personal discovery, growth, adventure, and healing.
Stoke the embers of your heart. Fan the flame within. Set the world on fire with fierce, nourishing love—starting by fiercely nourishing yourself.
Professionally, I have over 13 years total in the mental health field. (If you’d like more details on my education, training, and approach, click here.)
Here are a few highlights (and the not-so-high-lights) about my many spins around the sun thus far:
MY EARLY YEARS
I won’t bore you with all the specifics of my growing-up years in Minnesota. There were joys and heartaches. There was love and loss. There was trauma and stress. There was peace and deep connection. There was compassion and hope. Academics, athletics, and faith were big priorities in my home.
And there was music.
Music has been saving me as long as I can remember.
Singing. Composing songs. Playing piano, guitar, French horn.
Music in the car. Music in school. Music in my home. Music on the radio. Music at live shows.
And so many performances of my own. Recitals. Concerts. Talent shows. Competitions. Quartets. Duets. Solos.
Music has been a constant in my life. I could go on and on about how music runs through my veins and influences so much of who I am. (For more on how I weave my musical background and passion into the therapy process, click here)
And there were people. Incredible, life-affirming people.
To share about the beauty, resilience, and richness of my youth would be to share about those I loved (and who loved me) who buoyed my spirit, made me laugh, gave space for me to cry, challenged my perceptions, and left a deep impact on my soul. I’ve always been a people person, even when it hurt to love people. I still did it. (And still do.) My big old heart is a huge part of what makes me me.
As a young adult, I led inner city youth on camping expeditions in the Wisconsin countryside.
I lived and worked with at-risk adolescents in residential drug and alcohol treatment centers in Northern California and Minnesota.
I served the homeless population in Chicago who lived down the street from me.
I worked with street children in India who lived in extreme poverty.
I lived in Israel—a country torn by war century after century—and experienced a suicide bombing within just a few miles of my college campus in Jerusalem. (And within a few months of this incident, I conversely had the joy of watching the sun set over the Red Sea while I parasailed off the coast of Egypt.)
I have traveled to 30+ countries across the world (in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, North America). I have seen both the beauty and the strife of each culture, each country’s respective history.
And most recently, in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, I spent a decade working extensively (doing individual and group counseling) with Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans and first responders (firefighters, law enforcement, paramedics)—clients who have navigated some of the toughest and most devastating experiences known to humanity—war, death, terrorist attacks, firefights, IED detonations, torture, accidents, drug overdoses, fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, childhood abuse, sexual assault, suicide, profound moral injury and spiritual wounds, and so many more heart-wrenching experiences. So much trauma navigated by some of the most resilient and persevering souls I’ve ever met.
With all of these diverse experiences, there was a universal theme of learning to appreciate and respect different cultures and perspectives, along with helping others to navigate stress, loss, and trauma in their respective environments and roles. Some of the biggest common threads–especially for the combat veterans, first responders, and helping professionals–were the struggles and internal barriers around caring for oneself and how that looks on a very practical level.
MY OWN WAKE-UP CALL
Speaking of difficulties around self-care, I had my own wake-up call in this area after my first child was born in 2013.
The birth of my son brought on dynamics in my world that flipped everything around for me. I felt off balance. I dealt with several postpartum health issues. I struggled to know how to juggle work and home life. And my identity felt like it had completely changed with becoming a mother. Self-care was out the window. I felt stressed, overwhelmed, and depressed. I couldn’t ignore the internal nagging anymore. I needed to seek my own professional help.
This journey of getting back into therapy for myself was one of the most transformative experiences for me, especially in the area of self-care and self-love (which go hand in hand).
One of the most profound shifts during my time in my own therapy was the willingness to love myself with intention, with vigilance. If it sounds selfish (it did to me at first), I would suggest to you that true, deep love of self is actually one of the best gifts you can offer to others. What I found was that I was all the more present and rejuvenated for my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, my clients, when I turned my energy first to tending to myself and then to everyone else (a reverse of how the energy has generally always flowed for me). Because of this, the energy I poured out to others was all the more authentic, deep, and sustainable. And now there is no turning back. I have learned the beauty of fiercely loving myself. Period. (A part of me still wants to write that I learned this in order to be a better mother, wife, therapist, person, etc. But that would only cheapen the lesson. So I will close the paragraph here, although it is not the end of the story.)
As a result of some professional and personal shifts that emerged during this season of life, I’m absolutely zealous about self-care and delight in working with other therapists, counselors, medical professionals, helpers, healers, musicians, and other creatives.
Fast forward to today–where all of these past experiences inform who I am as a person, who I am as a therapist, and how I practice. In my 13 years in the mental health field, I am more aware than ever of the importance of caring for my own body and soul—of truly practicing what I preach to all of my clients. I have learned (sometimes the hard way) of the value and utter necessity of self-care–for ourselves, our loved ones, and those we serve.
I cherish the opportunities I get to work with other helpers to navigate the professional and personal challenges that arise in careers of service to others. (For more information on my vested interest in and enthusiasm around working with other helping professionals, click here.)
I have been told by those who know me that I have both a gentle, accepting, playful presence as well as an authentic, no-nonsense, go-getter spirit. My compassion runs deep, and I aim to walk through the world with delight and tenderness for all I encounter. And I will also consciously and assertively stand up for what I believe is right—for me, my family, my community, my clients. I am passionate, warm, bold, and tenacious. I have a deep respect for nature, a competitive enjoyment of athletics, a special affection for animals and all they can teach us (especially the four-legged beauties at Horse Sense of the Carolinas where I do contract work!), a fierce love for my husband and two small kids, a profound kindredness with my extended tribe of friends and family, and an undeniable obsession with music.
If you’re interested in finding out more about my approach and exploring if we would be a good fit, click here!