July 6, 2021

It may be her lilting accent, her calm presence, or her ever present smile, but there is something about Evania Norman, Director of Counseling Programs, that immediately puts you at ease. Born in the Dutch Caribbean Island of St. Maarten, Evania is an experienced Licensed Professional Counselor with a master’s degree from Alabama A&M University in Clinical Psychology. Evania came to the Family Sunshine Center 5 years ago as a well-rounded counselor with an extensive resume of clinical supervisory experience. Her specialty is educating and training new counselors to become more competent and confident in their counseling skills, while sharpening their trauma-focused lenses to provide professional, individualized, quality, trauma-informed treatment to all FSC clients.

When asked what a day in the life of her job looks like, Evania’s first response was “It’s never boring!” Her daily focus is to supervise, educate, and support FSC’s team of counselors through often heart wrenching abusive situations. She is readily available to train, guide, and be a sounding board to clinical staff during difficult cases while finding different ways to meet the needs of the victims.

“One of my favorite things about my job is providing a safe space for clinicians to develop their craft of counseling and become confident in themselves as a clinician.” says Evania. “I challenge them to think outside the box, to try new and different methods to connect with clients on an emotional level. It also brings me much joy when a client finds their way and develops a new normal despite the abuse and trauma they have been through. When a client becomes self-confident and changes their thinking and behaviors, which avoid the destructive patterns of connecting with abusive partners, these are real success stories.”

One of her biggest accomplishments since joining FSC has been making sure all FSC’s adult counseling team is trained and certified as CCTP/Certified Clinical Trauma Professional Counselors. This form of counseling is intentional, trauma-focused, and therapeutic. With the assistance of the client, the treatment plan is developed and used as the driving force that fuels the therapy moving the client from victim to victor.

Fun Facts about Evania:

What would you name the autobiography of your life? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

What was the last experience you had that made you a stronger person? Helping people to make positive changes, no matter how small, gives me hope and makes me a stronger person to deal with my own obstacles.

What is something you recently learned? Change takes time and repetition, so be patient with yourself and others.

What three traits define you? I am consistent, calming, and trustworthy.

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this? I would be on the tropical Island of St. Maarten enjoying the cool sea breeze, drinking fruit punch while I serve people at my island food restaurant.