Our Approach – What does help look like?

First, I listen to YOU.   Everyone is different and deserves TO BE HEARD.  Your story is important to me and will inform how we navigate the waters of self-acceptance.  Second, by creating a safe space, I help you communicate feelings, listen to the voice within yourself, reconnect with your needs and wants, be autonomous, set boundaries, implement healthy communication in your professional and personal relationships, and develop healthy coping strategies to combat anxiety.  Third, I’m trained in a variety of counseling techniques; but it boils down to this – small successes bring big successes.  We will take one step at a time .. TOGETHER.

I am passionate about what I do.  I want to help.  Why?  Because nothing is more fulfilling to me than seeing you take meaningful steps towards wellness and happiness.  Have you struggled to find inner peace?  Do you feel unseen, unheard?  I EMPATHIZE with you.  You are REAL to me.  I want to be your lifeline that helps you find your authentic voice.

Our Story

I created True Self Counseling of North Carolina, PLLC as a way to meet the counseling needs of those in Greensboro, NC who want to Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Inspired.

“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare

Meet the Team

Lisa A. Barella, M.S., LCMHCA, NCC

Owner and Therapist

For a complete bio that highlights my training and experience, read below:

MY EDUCATION: I earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).  The program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). I also earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology from Susquehanna University.

Furthermore, I earned a Master of Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Exercise and Sport Science (Emphasis in Exercise and Sport Psychology) from Villanova University and UNCG, respectively.  What does all this mean to you?  While education alone can’t make someone a good counselor, having a rich and varied background allows me to understand each client’s needs at a deep level.  I then synthesize a wide range of therapeutic approaches to provide the best possible outcome for my clients.

For example, my counseling education and background allows me to clinically assess and diagnoses and then develop and implement treatment plans for my clients using an eclectic range of theories, therapies, and techniques.  My business background means I focus on results – FOR YOU.  My sports psychology training helps me see first-hand that changing the way we think can change the way we live and perform.  Further, I have a strong background in exercise physiology which helps me understand pharmacology/psychotropic medications.

I also completed Safe Zone training which affirms my desire to welcome, affirm, support, celebrate, and be an ally to individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.

MY CREDENTIALS:  I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHCA) in NC (# A13335) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC) (# 885372).  My National Provider ID (NPI) is #1922510213.  I am currently under the direct clinical supervision of Dr. Paula Swindle, LCMHCS (# 3774S).

MY THEORETICAL APPROACH:  I have an eclectic approach to working with clients, utilizing mainly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Person-Centered Humanistic Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT Therapy), Existential Therapy, and Relational Cultural Therapy (RCT), while also incorporating mindfulness, biofeedback, emotional regulation, and Motivational Interviewing techniques.  Using a wellness and strengths-based perspective, along with the above-mentioned theories has enabled me to provide holistic treatments, such as somatic awareness, mindfulness, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and biofeedback as part of my counseling practice.

I recognize that each client is unique — which means that I adapt my approach to each person’s needs.  I want to see that each and every client who walks through my door achieves positive outcomes.

MY EXPERIENCE: I have over 10 years of combined experience as a counselor, educator, and wellness professional.  This diverse background allows me to empathize and connect with people from all backgrounds and devise creative solutions that fit each person’s specific needs.

My counseling experience has centered on adolescents and adults who may be navigating transitions in their life, suffering from chronic illness, experiencing sensitivity challenges, or seeking help with body issues and/or athletic injuries.  Further, I work well with those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and those experiencing racial tension or identity issues.

I’ve had success in helping my clients reduce their stress and develop healthy coping skills and thereby improve their physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  My clinical experience includes working with clients who present with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, body image and self-esteem challenges, trauma (sexual, emotional, physical), codependency, chronic illness, autoimmune diseases, adjustment concerns, sensory issues, and those wanting to increase their wellness.


  • Internal Family Systems Online Circle: Foundations of the IFS Model (In progress)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-IWEB) (https://cbtiweb.org/)
  • Trauma-Informed Professional Practice (TIPP) Certificate (UNC Greensboro)
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
  • Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
  • NCDRC Family Financial Mediation Training (40 hours) (Carolina Dispute Settlement Services)
  • Verbal Intervention™ Training (crisisprevention.com)
  • Certificate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (40 hours) (Bryn Mawr College)
  • RecoveryZone Training (https://shs.uncg.edu/srp)
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBTWeb) (https://tfcbt2.musc.edu/)
  • North Carolina Disaster Response Network (NC DRN) Training (https://nciph.sph.unc.edu/tws/nc_drn/)


  • International Coach Federation (ICF) Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) Step I™ & Step II™ Certification
  • Leadership Circle Profile [LCP] Certification
  • Hogan Assessments Certification
  • National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC)
  • Wellcoaches® Certified Health & Well-being Coach
  • Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor (The Original Intuitive Eating Pros®)
  • CDC Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Lifestyle Coach
  • Lifestyle Medicine Coach (American College of Lifestyle Medicine & Wellcoaches®)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
  • Mad Dogg Athletics Johnny G Spin Instructor Star 3 Certification
  • ACE Certified Group Exercise Instructor
  • Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Certified Coach
  • WaterFit® Water Fitness Instructor Certification
  • American Safety & Health Institute Basic First Aid/CPR and AED for Adult/Child/Infant

PERSONAL: In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, reading, attending live music events, and traveling.  My favorite ways to move my body range from teaching spin class to walking in the park.  Working out to music and motivating others is rewarding, while being in nature and experiencing the world feels engaging, refreshing, and stimulating.

Next Steps…

The next step — schedule a free 15 minute telephone consult to see if counseling is right for you at this time.

Get Started! to send an email or dial me directly at 336-660-2600.