Meet Summer Katz, MA, NCC, LMHC

When I think about what drew me to counseling, I certainly recollect my own life experiences. I have been impacted by some very significant trials as well as moments of great triumph. I would define myself as an optimistic realist, as I try to approach life with a true sense of hope. I have a hope for believing that there just may be an opportunity for things to ultimately turn out well, while at the same time realizing that there is often a challenge in getting to the outcome. Even as I share my definition of hope and a possibility greater than our flawed circumstances, I can appreciate how so much of life may not seem quite that meaningful “in the moment.”

My career as a counselor began when I was approached by my own medical doctor who encouraged me to pursue a field outside of the nursing profession. To clarify, I will say that I was not yet a professional nurse, and I was actually still in high school. I had always thought that I wanted to become a pediatric nurse so that I could help people, just like they had helped me. In lieu of going into detail about my own health adventures, I need to say that if it hadn’t been for my own experiences and having received such quality care, I know I wouldn’t be so blessed to be able to repay the efforts by helping people today. I’m just doing it in a different way than I had originally planned, as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Life Skills Resource Group in Orlando rather than as a nurse.

I have found that this different way of helping people…counseling…can be so powerful. My first college course after high school was a general psychology class. I remember being honestly blown away by the concept of being there for people, emotionally. From that point forward, I dove right in to a journey toward learning about what it meant to be a counselor. Even my early part-time jobs consisted of the exploration of learning how to work with people. One thing that I’ve found myself repeating all the time is that idea of: if only I had known back then what I know now. Well, of course, we all know that hindsight is 20-20. And, I very much appreciate how my journey within my role not only as a counselor, but also a human being – sometimes running forward and sometimes stumbling along the way – is and will continue to be an ongoing path of learning and growth.

I share much of this with you to say that I believe that we all are shaped by the experiences that are within us, as well as those that surround us. With that, I find myself taking advantage of my gift to utilize empathy and compassion with my clients. I recognize that we all have our own struggles, and I am genuinely humbled by the opportunity to share in your journey, as I can appreciate how your experiences are honestly yours. Our potential therapeutic relationship shall never be one of comparison or judgment, but one built from compassion and hope. As we work together, my aim is to empower you to find the strength you need to pursue your identified goals, because I understand that it does take courage for you to ask for help along the way and to commit to a counseling relationship.

Occasionally, we may find ourselves merely going through the motions of life, and we may forget to give ourselves credit for the efforts that we do make. Maybe we shall start by giving ourselves permission to be human. Then, when we’re ready, we can throw in moments of personal celebration, acknowledging those times when we did give “that something” a try. Saying all of this (which could be easily defined by the concept of “the little engine that could”), I do know how finding the motivation to give it all a shot is a lot easier said than done. So, if you are feeling anxious or depressed and you find yourself struggling to overcome that unwanted response of panic or sadness, I encourage you to pick up the phone to find out how establishing a counseling relationship just may benefit this season in your life.

I earned my Master of Arts Degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Central Florida, and I have been providing professional counseling services since early 2005. My wide range of counseling experience is derived from working for organizations such as a community counseling clinic, a residential rehabilitation facility, as well as other medical organizations. I have also provided counseling services in the home setting and in private practice. I engage with all of my clients with an open-ended approach to the therapeutic relationship, sharing an emphasis for meeting each individual client’s needs. I work with people at a variety of developmental stages, and my client population includes school-age children, adolescents, and adults. In the words of a well-respected mentor and colleague, I will make every effort to meet you where you are, so that we may find the best path within your counseling journey – together. Consider this, if ‘‘life is like a mirror,’’ what is the emotional reflection that you would like to see? I would be honored to help you uncover that image.

For more information about my professional background and available counseling services, I invite you to visit my website: You may also call me directly at 407-733-2110.