New Beginnings Counseling Center

Providing mental health services for adults, adolescents, and children in the Chattanooga area since 1999

 

Meet Our Staff

Kent Blocker, MA

Licensed Professional Counselor and Mental Health Services Provider

With over 45 years in the mental health and substance abuse field, I’ve worked in a state psychiatric hospital for five years, a U.S. Army mental hygiene clinic, and a community mental health center (I was the Clinical Director for the last five years there). I’ve been in private practice in Tennessee and Alabama for over 40 years. I’ve worked with diverse groups of people with broad ranging problems in many situations.

 

I work with a variety of national and local employee assistance programs (EAPs) and am on many different insurance panels (including but not limited to Magellan, ValueOptions, UBH, CIGNA, Beacon Health, CAI, Tricare).

 

I conduct SAP evaluations of persons in safety sensitive positions under the U.S. Department of Transportation who have tested positive for banned substances. I coordinate appropriate education and/or treatment programs for these individuals to help them return to their jobs while protecting the public. I do the same for employees under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations.

 

Pre-employment psychological evaluation for persons seeking to go into law enforcement positions is another area of interest.


Education

B.A. in Psychology, University of Virginia

M.A. in Clinical Psychology, additional hours toward a Ph.D.,

     Miami University

Certificate in Health Care Administration,

     U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences


Certifications and Training

U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences
Licensed Professional Counselor/Mental Health Services Provider, TN
Senior Psychological Examiner/Health Services Provider, TN
National Certified Counselor
Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Master Addictions Counselor
Certified Employee Assistance Professional
Substance Abuse Professional, U.S. Department of Transportation
Substance Abuse Expert, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Therapeutic Approach

I have learned a lot of different therapeutic approaches, but I generally use cognitive-behavioral therapy, which presumes that people have learned negative thinking or self-destructive ways of coping based on past experiences. I believe people do the best they can to cope, but they can learn new healthier strategies.  Behavioral techniques such as relaxation training and desensitization can be helpful for anxiety disorders.  I also work with primary care providers to coordinate meditation and treatment as necessary.

While specializing in anxiety and depressive disorders, including PTSD, I also work with families and couples who have problems, especially in communication and joint problem solving.  I have learned to deal with the entire range of emotional problems that people can have, and develop constructive ways of dealing with them.  I think that you have to look at the whole person, both strengths and weaknesses, to help repair hurts and build a positive and happy life.


Treatment Issues

I work with most all mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, family and marital dysfunction, substance abuse issues, codependency, grief and loss, PTSD, adjustment and phase of life issues, phobias and anxiety attacks.


Treatment Population

I work with all populations: children and adults, adolescents, families, couples of every description. My work with families has even spanned three generations.


My Journey

The son of a career Army officer, I traveled extensively while growing up. I lived in 25 different places by the time I was 21 years old, and I’m proud to be an “army brat.” I spent 28 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. My childhood exposed me to a wide range of cultures and people. This experience is probably a big reason why I chose mental health as my life’s work and why I enjoy working with people so much. In fact, I enjoy it even more now than when I started. I strive to always keep learning, as I was always told, “The day you quit learning is the day you die.”

My wife, Ellen, and I have been married since 1971. We have an adult daughter and son-in-law.