Dr. Cheryl E. Cummings,
Ph.D., NCC, DCMHS, CCMHC, LPC, LPC/S Candidate

It is my personal and professional belief that staying mentally and emotionally healthy is just as important as taking care of your physical health. It only takes one step to begin your journey to a better and healthier you. Every client will be treated with care,compassion, and respect as you begin your transition of healing your mind, spirit,and soul. It is my mission and calling, through means of counseling, to enhance the quality of your life.... one step at a time!

You can expect to be treated with dignity and respect throughout the counseling process. It is important that I understand your cultural background and/or spiritual beliefs. These factors will be taken into consideration throughout treatment because every client is unique. You will receive the best evidence-based practices.

You can expect me to stay knowledgeable about the current practices and trends that affect the mental health field. Professional development is important in ensuring that you are receiving quality mental/behavioral health treatment.

 Dr. Cheryl Cummings

View Full Curriculum Vitae


Cheryl E. Cummings, Ph.D., NCC, DCMHS, CCMHC, LPC, LPC/S Candidate


Professional Summary

Experienced online faculty member with teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in the field of human services (counseling and psychology). Over 16 years’ experience working in a variety clinical settings to include private practice, residential, inpatient hospitalization, and outpatient facilities.

Core Qualifications
• Ability to provide leadership through coaching, mentorship, and supervision to students trying to obtain their educational goals.  
• Impressive ability to direct and oversee programmatic guidelines. 
• Unique ability to improve organizational performance and to oversee the research process through research, investigative, and analytical skills.
• Substantial understanding of the current dissertation process and guidelines.
• Strong time management skills. 
• Outstanding internal and external communications abilities.


Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services with concentration in Counseling Studies
Capella University| Minneapolis, MN
August 2007-August 2015

Master of Science in Counseling & Psychology
Troy University| Augusta, GA
August 2004-December 2006

Bachelor of Art Sociology with con. in Criminal Justice & Human Services
University of South Carolina Aiken| Aiken, SC
August 1997-December 2000

Career Experience

Stairway Counseling Services, LLC | Aiken, SC
Owner/Clinical Director (Present-March 2012)

  • Manages daily operation of private practice to include payroll, budgeting, expenditures, utilization reviews, and prior authorization.
  • Develop long-range plans, goals, and objectives for the improvement of the organization.
  • Review, analyze, and track client outcomes and progress.
  • Review, analyze, and track financial aspects of the business.
  • Establish criteria to measure progress outcomes.
  • Experience in credentialing providers for managed care companies.
  • Knowledge of a variety of licensing and accrediting standards.
  • Training and experience in claims billing.
  • Complete initial comprehensive biopsychosocial assessments as a part of the intake interview.
  • Provides Individual/Family Counseling for children, adolescents, and/or adults.
  • Complete diagnostic impressions and functional status utilizing the current DSM 5 Manual.
  • Conducts screenings and assessments to screen and assess a variety of DSM 5 diagnosis.
  • Assess crisis and intervene appropriately by utilizing crisis interventions plans.
  • Complete treatment plans.
  • Attend continuing education classes to improve on performance and service delivery effectiveness
  • Supervise of LPC-Interns and other professional and clinical staff.
  • Plan work and assigns duties to licensed interns.
  • Provide interns with information, training, and reference materials necessary to complete their job duties.
  • Reviews notes and reports prepared by all clinical staff.
  • Write performance evaluations for all interns necessary to complete full licensing requirements.
  • Conduct training and workshops within the community and for local organizations/agencies.
  • Credentialed as a behavioral health provider for Medicaid, private insurance organizations, and some EAP Providers.    
  • Serves as a professional consultant for other mental/behavioral health providers in the Southeast Region.


YMCA Head Start Program| Aiken, Monetta, Wagener, Graniteville, SC

Mental Health Consultant (Present to September 2013)

  • Responsible for providing at a minimum 20 classroom observations (Four different site locations).
  • Make recommendations on changing program structure to meet the social and emotional needs of enrolled preschool children.
  • Participate and conduct parent meetings to educate parents with a basic understanding of social and emotional development of preschool age children.
  • Conduct child development training for teachers and staff.
  • Conduct individual classroom observations for children who have been identified with behavioral or developmental delays.
  • Make the appropriate referral and recommendations to outside organizations best suited to address the findings of the observations.
  • Write detailed reports and present findings to the site management staff. Involved in implementation of recommendations.


Grand Canyon University | Phoenix, AZ
Online Adjunct Instructor-Part Time (January 2011-February 2017)

  • Prepared and delivered lectures to students.
  • Provided students with information and materials necessary to complete class requirements.
  • Administered and graded quizzes, examinations and other assignments for students.
  • Provided written feedback to students within a timely manner.
  • Remained current with new trends and development within counseling and psychology studies.


Clemson University Youth Development Center @ Camp Long | Aiken, SC
Lead Clinical Counselor/ Supervisor (May 2010-May 2012)

  • Monitored the daily operations of the entire site to include all co-ed activities.
  • Involved in the day to day operations of Camp Long.
  • Developed schedules for programing as well as routine maintenance and operations of the assigned facilities.
  • Coordinated and approved off-campus activities.
  • Implemented recommendations for adjustments to program schedule.
  • Monitored safety and security procedures for the facility.
  • Available to parents/guardians and other agencies for consultations.
  • Attended facility staff meetings, Youth Learning Institute staff meetings and other trainings and meetings as required.
  • Managed program staff including training, leading, and evaluation of assigned staff.
  • Coordinated and provided training for all staff as related to Camp Long policies and procedures, programming activities, and curriculum instruction.
  • Participated in the interviewing and hiring process for Camp Long Staff.
  • Provided support to field instructors (direct care staff) in the performance of their duties by ensuring they have assistance with scheduling appointments, school activities and programming trips.
  • Developed, reviewed, and implemented individualized plan of care for each resident.
  • Monitored compliance of all Medicaid requirements and standards.
  • Monitored compliance of licensing regulations as outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Social Services.
  • Conducted weekly staff meetings and morning/evening shift meetings.
  • Reviewed grievances and incident reports daily to ensure program compliance. Made corrective actions in response to grievances and incident reports.
  • Clearly and effectively communicated through documentation and reports.
  • Analyzed the financial and budget requirements of the program.
  • Facilitated team building activities for all staff.

 Three Rivers Residential Treatment-Midlands Campus| West Columbia, SC
Therapist/Case Manager (September 2009-May 2010)

  • Researched, performed, and documented the psychosocial assessment of all patients
  • Assisted in the management of aggressive patients as needed using de-escalation and behavior management techniques.
  • Provided documentation in the clinical record of patient behavior and interventions provided and their effectiveness daily.
  • Communicated the results of the psychosocial assessment to the Treatment Team to help facilitate a treatment plan for the patient. Ensured treatment plan is completed and charted within in specific time frames.
  • Facilitated group, family, and individual therapy sessions and documented appropriately in the interdisciplinary progress notes.
  • Provided case management for each patient assigned to caseload to include contact with the referring agency.
  • Completed formal discharge summaries including a 5-Axes DSM-IV diagnosis on all assigned patients with required patients within time frame.
  • Researched, developed, and presented in-service training to staff to aid in program development and to increase other’s job knowledge.
  • Assisted in training staff to conduct Skill Groups covering topics such as independent living, assertiveness training, social skills, and problem solving.

 South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy| Aiken, SC

Lead Clinical Counselor/Supervisor & Project Director (September 2007-September 2009)

  • Managed the overall daily operations of the counseling department as outlined by administrative policies and procedures.
  • Hired and trained qualified staff members.
  • Effectively appropriated funds to general departments for daily operations within a specified budget.
  • Conducted weekly staff meetings and bi-monthly management meetings.
  • Conducted routine evaluations to determine the effectiveness of programming activities.
  • Acquired and utilized strong collaborative community partners and referral base by networking and representing the organization at many community events.
  • Reviewed department evaluations on performance and implemented the required changes in accordance with General Inspectors Office, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Social Services.
  • Ensured all departments met the standards for quality management of services and activities of the facility.
  • Reviewed daily shift, restraint, and incident reports. Followed up on each compliant or violation and implemented the corrective course of action. Collaborated with other department heads to address emergency situations.
  • Participated in risk management assessment and responded to critical incidents regarding risk reduction and safety for staff and students.
  • Participated in the discipline review board.
  • Facilitated team building activities for staff and management.
  • Conducted assessments, counseling, and treatment planning for students.
  • Secured and served as program director/supervisor for the 21st Century Summer Enrichment Program obtained through a federal and state grant.

 South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice| Aiken, SC

Intake/Probation Officer (February 2004-September 2007)

  • Prepared predisposition reports for judicial proceedings.
  • Primary intake coordinator.
  • Conducted child assessments and evaluations.
  • Organized, processed, and managed referrals.
  • Managed crisis interventions.
  • Provided detention screenings and made appropriate recommendations to law enforcement, solicitor’s office, and judicial court.
  • Conducted home, school, and placement visits.
  • Located and acquired placement in both local or state facilities for short-term/long-term placement.
  • Monitored juvenile progress.
  • Board member of the YDC @ Camp Long Clinical Day Program.
  • Completed targeted case management.
  • Contracted with Families 4 Change to facilitate the “Family Solutions Group”
  • Selected as “Interim Intake Supervisor” for a period of four months. Provided supervision and monitored the daily activities of the intake department.


Augusta Regional Youth Development Center| Augusta, GA
Clemson University Youth Development Center @ Camp Long| Aiken, SC

Master’s Level Intern (January 2006 to December 2006)

  • Provided initial comprehensive assessments and evaluations.
  • Conducted individual and group therapy.
  • Created treatment plans.
  • Participated in crisis management.


South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice| Aiken, SC

Auxiliary Probations Services Coordinator/Supervisor (March 2001 - March 2002)

  • Supervised a minimum of 10 volunteer probation officers.
  • Recruited and trained volunteers.
  • Monitored case files and Medicaid claim submissions.
  • Evaluated and assessed effectiveness of the program.
  • Conducted home and school visits.
  • Analyzed the financial and budget requirements for the program including monitoring of expenditures.
  • Communicated clearly and effectively through monthly documentation and reports.
  • Conducted bi-monthly staff meetings.

 Bryan, Gasnel E. M.D., FACOG| Aiken, SC

Assistant Office Manager/Assistant Billing Clerk (February 1999- December 2002)

  • Assisted in generating payroll.
  • Provided general administrative support.
  • Created monthly reports.
  • Monitored billing and collection activities.

 License & Certifications    

National Certified Counselor (NCC)
Certification #288696
Effective Date: 06/23/2011
Expiration Date: 04/30/2022

Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC)
Certification# 288696            
Effective Date: 04/18/2013
Expiration Date: 04/30/2022

SC Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
License #5287            
Effective Date:05/17/2011
Expiration Date: 08/31/2019

GA Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
License # LPC009057
Effective Date: 06/13/2016
Expiration Date: 09/30/2018

South Carolina Small & Minority Business Contracting & Certification
Certificate of Woman Owned Business
Certificate Number: 201743
Effective Date: 06/29/2017
Expiration Date: 06/29/2022

Professional Memberships

  • SC Counseling Association (SCA)
  • SC Association for Licensed Professional Counselors (SCALPC)
  • American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMCHA)
  • National Board of Certified Counselor (NBCC)
  • International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP)
  • Member of Aiken Department of Public Safety SAFE Community Action Team: Youth and Family Services Advisor                    

Presentations & Accomplishments

 Designated by the Board of Directors of the American Mental Health Counselors Association as a Diplomate Clinical Mental Health Specialist in Children and Adolescents-July 2017
2017 Second Place Finalist in Aiken Standard Newspaper: Recognized in the Best of the Best Choice Award in the Category of Best Therapist/Counselor in Aiken, SC.
Featured in Aiken Woman Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 1 November 2016.
ProQuest published research of a Grounded Theory Qualitative Methodology: “African-American Adults Perspectives of Child/Adolescent Bullying: Attitudes and Knowledge”-September 2015.
Graduated with Honors & Distinction (3.928 GPA) during doctoral program-August 2015.
Guest Co-Host on WAAW 94.7 Health Matters with Ruben-Topic Includes: “Staying Physically, Mentally/Emotionally, and Spiritually Healthy” “Sexual Abuse in the African American Community
Mental Health Stigmas in the African American Community: Breaking the Silence” “Depression and Anxiety: Is it normal?” “Stop Bullying Me!: Education and Awareness” “There’s nothing wrong with marijuana….or is it?”

Presenter at Caledonia Baptist Church Girls Empowerment Weekend
Topic: Emotional Freedom: Staying Emotionally Healthy

Moderator at Aiken Department of Public Safety: Community Café Forum: Mental Health Awareness

Co-Presenter at Clemson University 2010 Empowering Girls Symposium: Topic: “Unlocking the Creative Connection: The Use of Expressive Arts With At-Risk Girls”

Presenter for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Mentoring Workshop: Topic: “They Broke the Law-You Be the Judge.”- Teaches effective decision making skills and the process of taking control of your life. 

Presenter for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Mentoring Workshop: Topic: “Bullying”-Educating African American males about the impact that bullying has on the community. Providing information about bullying prevention methods.

Trauma Informed Care Trainer-April 2017
Girls Circle Facilitator

Experience in Teaching Undergraduate Level Courses Between 2011-2014
PSY 100- Introduction to Psychology
PSY 102- Psychology and Your Life
PSY 352-Health Psychology
PSY 470- Abnormal Psychology

Experience in Teaching Graduate Level Courses Between 2011-2017
PCN 501- Introduction to Addiction and Substance Use Disorders
PCN 509-Social and Cultural Diversity Issues in Counseling
PCN 531- Family Issues and Addictive Disorders
PCN 540- Research Methods
PCN 605- Psychopathology and Counseling
PCN 644-Evaluation of Mental and Emotional Status
PCN 671-Psychopathology and Treatment of Children and Adolescence
PCN 672-Child/Adolescent Trauma

Skills & Interests

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Excel, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Skills
  • Human services work related to children & adolescents/families, conflict resolution, bullying, parent-child conflict, stress management, women issues, depression, anxiety, mental health advocacy

Former Executive Board Member and Chair of Physical and Mental Health Committee for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 2011

Former Chairperson of Youth Restoration Alliance (YRA) Aiken County