SIDNEY "SID" GATES, D.MIN., M.S., LMFT

LICENSED MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST/PRESBYTERIAN (USA) MINISTER

 

The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work.  It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.

 

--Michelangelo Buonarroti

 

The name Michelangelo is not customarily associated with psychotherapeutic concerns.  I do, however, believe his famous quote regarding the work of art being “present” in the stone aptly fits the philosophy that some psychotherapists endorse.  I am one such therapist.  While individuals and various relationship patterns at times are not able to successfully demonstrate viable insight and functional behavioral commitments, at least the “potential” for such is most often inherent in these individuals.  Clients present for counseling/therapy for 2 reasons:  1) The “fear” that something is wrong, and 2) “hope” that it can be made right again.  It is the challenge of the therapist to “calm” the fear and “treat” the thinking and behavioral patterns in conflict.  My work seeks to empower and edify individuals and relationship systems to actualize greater rewards from “their” respective life-experiences.  Such therapy is conducted in a safe, confidential, and neutral environment. 

 

My therapy acumen and skills have been forged via formal education and over 30 years of counseling/therapy experience.  Venues for various work history include:  churches, mental health centers, general hospitals, state psychiatric hospitals, university settings, private psychiatric facilities, and private practice therapy groups (since ’02).  I am a “founding partner” in a well-respected evolving practice whose roots go back to ’10.  In this current clinical milieu, I am providing services for individuals, couples, and families systems of various definition.  My work is inclusive and nondiscriminatory:  LGBTQ services are most welcome.  Specialty services would include the following:  healthy relationship maintenance, grief therapy, reconciliation/forgiveness work, parental coaching, pastoral counseling/theopathology, systems communication enhancement, and self-esteem promotion. 

 

While I am an ordained Presbyterian (USA) minister, I am a “full-time” clinician.  I deem holistic concerns (i.e., mind, body, and spirit) to be important.  I endorse that a relationship in many crucial ways is affected by how healthy the individuals are; this includes the spiritual or related areas (e.g., humanistic values).  I do not endeavor to convert or evangelize in my work.  I seek to build on the belief system the client presents.  My work is regarded in various worship communities in the CSRA of varying interfaith traditions.  I am a cofounder of the Progressive Religious Coalition of Augusta which sponsors an annual MLK tribute “interfaith” worship service.  Past keynotes have included Cornel West, William Baber, Emanuel Cleaver, and Otis Moss.  I am also the interfaith coordinator for the area Coalition for Mental and Spiritual Health. 

 

Subscribing to the noblesse oblige (Lk. 12: 48b) mandate, I believe in the importance of community involvement to address areas of “common good” distress.  While presenting in Dallas in ’98 at the annual conference for the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, I heard keynote Rosalynn Carter challenge therapists to expand their sundry skills beyond the walls of the therapy office.  She was advocating for community impacting.  This greatly “spoke” to me, and I have offered myself in various ways since in such endeavors.  I frequently organize and present in the community on subjects interfacing the spiritual and behavioral sciences, as well as issues of societal import marginalizing/victimizing persons and the environment.  I was honored to be invited to the White House in ’11 with other “community-change” voices from GA and NC regarding such societal work.    

 

It takes courage for individuals to present for therapy.  Courage to risk changes in self or relational patterns “reactively” and “proactively.”  It is an “honor” for me to be chosen by clients to unite with their courage to initiate a healing “change-process.”  I am committed to valuing each client and significant others, and pledge to them my utmost best to “join” with them via my various therapeutic skills, to empower “personal” and “interpersonal” health development.   

 

*Qualifications:

  • Years in Practice:  30+ Years

  • School:  University of Georgia, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Valdosta State University

  • License No. and State:  LMFT #000750 GA

 

*Commonly Accepted Insurance Plans:

  •     Aetna

  •     BC/BS (HMO

  •     BC/BS (PPO)

  •     BC/BS (POS)

  •     BC/BS (Federal)

  •     Cigna

  •     Companion Benefit Alternatives (BC/BS PPO)

  •     EAP(S)

  •     Magellan

  •     Tricare

  •     United Behavioral Health

  •     United HealthCare

  •     Value Options   

 

***Please verify provider network participation and insurance coverage prior to initial visit. 

    Our office cannot guarantee participation or coverage. 

  • Therapist can negotiate fee for clients who do not have insurance.

                                                                

*Specialties:

  • Couples & Family

  • Grief/Loss

  • Coping Skills

  • Depression

  • Reconciliation/Forgiveness

  • LGBTQ

  • Relationship Maintenance

  • Parental Coaching

  • Pastoral Counseling

  • Self-Esteem

 

*Age:

  • Individual Therapy:  Early adolescents through senior adults.

  • Couples & Family Therapy:  Younger children may be included in therapy with adult participation. 

 

*Therapeutic Modalities:

  • Insight-Oriented Therapy

  • Behavior Modification

  • Experiential

  • Bowenian

  • Solution-Focused

  • Pastoral/Faith-Based

 

*Select Professional & Community Organizations:

  • American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy, Clinical Fellow

  • Georgia Association for Marriage & Family Therapy, Clinical Member

  • Association for Professional Chaplains, Board Certified Member

  • Northeast Georgia Presbytery, Minister Member

  • Progressive Religious Coalition of Augusta, Cofounder, Treasurer & Board Member

  • Coalition for Mental and Spiritual Health, Interfaith Coordinator & Member

  • Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Race Relations

  • The Greater Augusta Bulldog Club, Chaplain & Board Member

  • Southern Shrimp Alliance, Member

 

*Select Awards & Honors:

  • “Child Enrichment Ambassador’s Club,” Child Enrichment Inc., Augusta, GA

  • “The White House Community Leaders Briefing Series,” (GA)

  • "Best Of" series selection at annual American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy conference (Dallas) for   presentation "Loss History Graph:  Solution-Focused Aid in Grief Therapy"

  • Certificate of Appreciation “For Providing a Vital Religious Voice for the Reproductive Rights Movement,”  Planned  Parenthood of GA

  • “Exemplary Patient Care Award,” Greenleaf Center Inc., Valdosta, GA

  • Alpha Kappa Delta (International Sociology Honor Society)

  • “Most Promising Newcomer,” Augusta Players