Who I Am

I’m Ray Sizemore, the founder of The HAVEN Place and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). I enjoy working with and focus on individuals, couples and families with an emphasis on trauma, and have extensive training and experience in a wide range of areas. I’m also a retired U.S. Air Force (E-8) veteran.

Relationships – with individuals, couples, or a families – is one of my two specializations. I first became interested in couples’ and family therapy when I was in the U.S. Air Force. I’d been serving for over 20 years, was trying to decide what I wanted to do for my next career, and had the opportunity to meet and work with a social worker. At the time, I was supervising individuals in the military, but as any military member knows, that also means I was indirectly working with couples and their children. I found what that social worker did quite interesting and could see how that type work could benefit the people under my supervision and their families. I’ve been working with couples and families since 2004, and amassed a wide variety of experience, training, and skills in that time period. What my clients have gone through has impacted their whole family and underscores the importance of working with the couple, with the family, to truly help them recover and move forward with their lives.

As I pursued my second career in social work, I realized that it doesn’t do a lot of good to work with an individual if they’re married or living with someone because that person is a part of the equation. The other person(s) need to be included in the work to bring about a true and lasting positive change. The same thing applies to children. Parents have to be involved to bring about lasting positive change.

My other specialization is trauma. I’m the only therapist in the Navarre area (and one a of a handful in a four county area) qualified to do EMDR, a very effective treatment for trauma and a host of other problems. I am the only therapist in the area certified in clinical trauma and compassion fatigue. I’m one of 10 people in the state of Florida, and the only therapist in the Panhandle, qualified to provide TRE (tension, stress and trauma releasing exercises), a very effective way to relieve stress, tension, and an indirect way  to address past trauma. I’m the only therapist in the area I know of to complete JRI’s post-graduate level Certificate Program in Traumatic Studies. All told, I’ve accumulated over 170 hours of trauma training since I completed college. In short, I have some pretty in-depth knowledge about trauma, coupled with very unique and effective skills and experience in treating trauma, much more than your typical therapist.

The two biggest differences between how I work and how I’ve seen others work  is the way I assess the situation and how my clients and myself track their progress in therapy. My primary goal is to work with my clients to find and address the underlying causes of their problems. Whether there’s past trauma,  substance use, environmental problems, etc., there’s always an underlying reason for a person’s problems and behavior. That’s been true in several thousand people I’ve worked with. By finding and focusing on that, we not only solve the problem the couple, family, or individual came to me to help resolve, we also prevent additional problems. Unless that underlying reason is worked through, it will show up again in some other way. In many cases, if the cause isn’t addressed, people don’t recover and actually get worse. That’s why I and The HAVEN Place focus on underlying causes instead of just symptoms.

I treat all the people – individuals, couples, families, etc. – who come to see me with respect and compassion, but I’m also pretty laid back. If it’s appropriate, I’m going to laugh – and I want you to laugh too!

I’ve been called a pleasure to work with, very patient, very calm, easy to talk with, and very professional by past clients and co-workers. Many of my past clients have improved 30 points or more from their pre-therapy baseline while working with me and regained control of their lives in the process. In my career I’ve helped several thousand people regain a sense of inner calmness and peace, self-control, hope, joy, purpose, and meaning in their lives, and I’m confident I can help you transform your life as well.

In my spare time I enjoy pets (currently 2 dogs, 1 cat, and two birds), family, exercise (not enough), martial arts, gardening, cooking (and eating), woodworking, playing with my lap harp and Native American flutes, reading (too much), and, as my grandfather used to call it, “tinkering” in my garage.

This is my double-strung Celtic lap harp and two flutes. I know a few tunes, but I’m decidedly not proficient. I’m even worse on the flutes, but they’re fun to play – makes our dogs go crazy.

Want to schedule a free consultation? Send me an email asking for a free consultation with your availability in the coming week. I’ll respond within 24 hours with a day and time that works for both of us.