The biggest predictor of your future happiness

Happy Woman

Our emotions influence everything we do so having good emotional health is critical to having a full and meaningful life. Your mental state is how you process information but your emotional wellbeing is how you express your feelings, your approach to life and is influenced by current circumstances or previous experiences. When people experience a trauma like being diagnosed with cancer they have to grieve and process what has happened in order to move on from it.

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer then it is normal to experience psychological trauma as a result. This can manifest in many symptoms including: confusion, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, fear, feeling sad and disconnected from others. The grieving process is different for everyone and the time it takes to heal varies from person to person but some key ways you can help move the process along include:

  • Acknowledge how you feel regarding your diagnosis
  • Practice self-care activities (reading, exercising, meditation, deep breathing, eating well etc.)
  • Be around others- resist the urge to isolate and surround yourself with people that care about you.
  • Join a support group
  • Ask for a Survivor Mentor in the Faith Through Fire Fortify Mentor Program so you can have someone who has been where you are encourage you.

If you feel despite best efforts unable to move past your diagnosis or want to be proactive out of the gate consider enlisting a professional to help. These are trained psych oncology therapists who specialize in helping those diagnosed with cancer find coping skills, purpose and emotional healing after their diagnosis. Ask your healthcare provider to refer you to someone reputable or consider the therapists below. We know how hard it can be to know where to turn- Faith Through Fire is here to help.

Casey Mills

Licensed professional counselor & registered art therapist | MA, LPC, ATR, CMHIMP

Casey has a positive psychology approach to support making progress in one’s life and meeting personal goals in a non-judgmental atmosphere. Her practice is in St. Charles County and chronic medical illness, depression, anxiety, and life transitions are her specialty. She also has a special interest in providing support to people diagnosed with cancer. The goals of therapy are to reduce stress, increase quality of life, provide instillation of hope, and cope with life transitions.

Contact to receive a free consultation.

Rising Willow Counseling Services
1060 Country Club Road Suite 101
St.Charles, MO 63303

Call 636-542-8920

Stephanie Bennett, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in both Kansas and Missouri

Stephanie earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Denver and is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in both Kansas and Missouri. She welcomes people of all needs and backgrounds on their mental health journey, however she has a particular interest in working with individuals impacted by cancer and other forms of chronic illness/injury. Prior to joining Ellie, Stephanie worked for several years at the University of Kansas Cancer Center, University of Colorado Cancer Center, and Craig Hospital using a strengths-based, person-in-environment approach informed by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). She believes the therapeutic experience is a collaborative endeavor unique to the individual. Her treatment plans are tailored to meet the needs of each client’s distinct situation and goals. It takes courage to reach out for support, and Stephanie is eager to work with you to create meaningful, lasting change in your life.

Ellie Mental Health
10881 Lowell Avenue
Suite 130
Overland Park, KS 66210

913-392-2338 – FAX

Click to Contact

Anat Reschke, Ph.D.


Dr. Reschke is a licensed psychologist who specializes in Psycho-oncology. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Washington University and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine. Following her fellowship, Dr., Reschke was appointed to the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine where she conducted clinical work, conducted research, and taught graduate students. Dr. Reschke is a certified Psychological Health Service Provider and is recognized by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. Dr. Reschke has presented a variety of seminars to professional organizations and co-authored conference presentations and peer reviewed manuscripts on the psychosocial concerns of oncology patients. Dr. Reschke is frequently a guest speaker at community support groups on the psychological aspects of cancer. Currently, Dr. Reschke is in private practice and works with cancer patients.

Contact Dr. Reschke if you are interested in therapeutic services for you or a loved one. Call 314-497-6479

Valentina Penalba, Ph.D.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Dr. Penalba is licensed in Marriage and Family Therapy and specializes in Individuals, Couples and Families who experience any type of medical illness. She received her Ph.D. in Medical Family Therapy from Saint Louis University. She worked at Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine doing research on cancer. Dr. Penalba has presented a variety of seminars to professional organizations, co-authored conference presentations, and peer reviewed manuscripts on the relationship between couples and cancer and the relationship between health care professionals and cancer patients. Dr Penaba is an adjunct faculty at Saint Louis University as well as at Washington University. Currently, Dr. Penalba works at the Cancer Support Community as a facilitator, she is in private practice and works with cancer patients. Dr Penalba leads the Cancer-affected Couples Workshop 4 times a year. She believes that cancer impacts everyone in the family, and her last research results proved the tremendous impact a partner has when their loved one is impacted by cancer. 

Valentina Penalba, Ph.D., LMFT
Office Address: 7750 Clayton Rd Suite 204
Saint Louis, MO, 63117
Call 314-437-9791


Dr. Valentina Penalba

Latonia Coates-Smith

Clinical Social Work / Therapist

Embracing healing and wellness is key to maximizing your potential. Serving as a therapist and educator, I help clients understand the underlying factor(s) contributing to unresolved issues within their personal & professional lives. My goal is to provide a holistic approach to treatment by assessing the individual’s environment as well as their mental, physical, and spiritual well being. The whelm of my practice has been demonstrated in both psychiatric and medical settings offering crisis intervention, intensive case management, and counseling to a diverse population.
Offering care to individuals, couples and families in resolving interpersonal conflict, life crisis, anxiety, depression, anger, trauma (PTSD), and substance & alcohol use. Other experiences include helping individuals address work related issues and overcoming barriers involving chronic illness, civilian adjustment from the military, and caregiver fatigue.
Embrace Healing and Wellness Therapy, LLC
1000 Lake Saint Louis Boulevard
Suite 34
Lake Saint Louis, MO 63367
636 238-5944
11710 Administration Drive
Suite 6
Maryland Heights, MO 63146

Caroline Bedel, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Her career includes work as an intake counselor at the St Louis Crisis Nursery working with families in crisis. She moved to Crider Health Center as a prevention specialist speaking in schools, and then gained experience at BJC Behavioral Health as a case manager and therapist working with clients who experienced a variety of mental health concerns.

For the last 5 years, Caroline has been a therapist at a private counseling practice in St Louis, providing Dialectical Behavior Therapy and working to help those experiencing extreme hopelessness, suicidal ideation and self-harm behaviors. Caroline received additional training in Acceptance and Commitment therapy techniques, Mindfulness techniques, and treatment options for symptoms of PTSD and developmental trauma.

Navigation Counseling Services
5336 Main Street
Cottleville, MO 63304
Phone: 636-236-3179
(Call or Text)

Therapy for Black Girls

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