Taylor Houchens Blog

How I became a therapist

I initially wanted to be a music teacher actually. Music was my first love. I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelors in Music Education, specializing in percussion. But it didn’t take very long to realize I preferred playing music rather than teaching it. Plus, the public school system didn’t help my case much either.

So I moved back in with my parents (yea, I know…), got a side job as a veterinary technician in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and began soul searching for my next move. I decided to take a career test called Career Direct and it, based on my answers, suggested I look into becoming a mental health counselor. Not knowing what else to do, I decided to follow the call and reached out a psychologist I saw when I was 10 years old. Her name was Peggy Mayfield. She helped my overcome an issue I had at the time called Trichotillomania, a compulsive anxiety disorder causing one to pull out their hair. In only a handful of sessions she helped reduce my anxiety, take my power back, and overcome my compulsion. I’ll never forget feeling the sense of empowerment she helped me achieve. Almost 15 years later I reached back out to her to discover she was now in her 80s and still seeing clients! She was delighted to hear of me and was more than willing to let me be a fly on the wall in her office and pick her brain about the field of counseling. Without my asking, she went a step further and invited me to sit in on one of her sessions with the client’s consent. I was shocked and said yes without hesitation. Later that week, that client showed up for her session. With her consent, I quietly walked into the office and quietly sat in the corner, still as a statue and as focused as a hawk.

Over the course of the hour long session, I observed the skill, artistry, and depth Peggy used with her client. She skillfully wove her way into helping the client uncover buried pain she had around her mother. I witnessed the client access the locked away pain, expressing herself in tears, and releasing it into the ether. As the client’s head rose out of her shame, she embodied a greater sense of self, stability, and confidence. She had let go of something that was holding her back for years. My whole body immediately lit up. I had never felt this kind of electricity and warmth race throughout my whole being. I knew it that moment, this is what I have to do. This is my calling.

As I came home that day, I began looking for nearby graduate schools that offered counseling programs. I decided to follow my girlfriend at the time to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and got accepted into their Master’s Program. 2 years later in 2014, I was awarded a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and began my counseling career facilitating group therapy at Holly Hill Psychiatric Hospital in Raleigh, NC. Not but a year after that, I began to work with clients individually and have been working in private practice ever since for the past 10 years.

I am grateful to have found a career path that I am passionate about. I go to work excited and leave fulfilled. It is truly an honor to facilitate someone’s healing and transformation. There is nothing more sacred or meaningful.

Serving the Following Asheville, NC Communities:

  • Jupiter
  • Barnardsville
  • Weaverville
  • Leicester
  • Woodfin
  • Black Mountain
  • Ridgecrest
  • Montreat
  • Fairview
  • Biltmore Forest
  • Arden
  • Fletcher
  • Hlls River
  • Hendersonville
  • Mills River
  • Enka Village
  • Candler
  • Beaverdam
  • Canton
  • Etowah

Taylor Houchens, M.S., LPC

191 East Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC  28804