Cherial (“Cheri”) Steptoe received her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Houston Baptist University from the School of Christian Thought. During her studies at Houston Baptist University, she gained experience teaching and building curriculum for young children and adolescents in a religious setting. She has also taken training classes to receive certification in suicide intervention, a sexual assault advocate in the Air Force (AF), and trauma informed crisis counseling (Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT)) with the National Organization Victim’s Assistance (NOVA). She has previously worked as a hospital chaplain at the Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Cheri has experiences working with adults with various mental health issues in the military, and experiences with adults who have apathy, depression, hopelessness, and reaching spirituality with a concentration in grief, death, and dying in a healthcare setting.
Upon graduation, Cheri commissioned as a chaplain (i.e., officer) in the AF where she currently provides spiritual and emotional support in short-term counseling sessions to service members and their dependents in a Reserve component at the 301 Fighter Wing Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. Currently, Cheri is working towards her master’s degree in School and Mental Health Counseling at the University of Pennsylvania.
Her clinical approach includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and she works from a person-centered framework. Cheri believes it is paramount to balance empathy and active listening skills such as reflection, reinstatement, and asking open-ended questions to accurately understand their issues, offer coping strategies to navigate life’s issues, and to help the client make meaning in their experiences.
Cheri has been a chaplain for six years, and is very devoted to advising senior leadership on best ways to build morale and protect their religious and moral interests in a pluralistic environment. She welcomes all with various or non-affiliated religious backgrounds and LGBTQ+ clients. Moreover, she is also already prepared to help and support clients at HopeSpring Child & Family Clinic.