Jordan Pearce, MA, LAC, NCC
Ocean City Office: 360 West Ave Ocean City Telehealth Services in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Jordan Pearce, MA, LAC, NCC (they/them) is an associate therapist at The Center for Growth and is based in the Ocean City, New Jersey office. While Jordan’s special area of focus includes the unique needs of the LGBTQ community, their training and education has prepared them to work with a wide range of clients seeking support with a diversity of mental health concerns.
Why seek counseling? Something has drawn you to consider counseling. Perhaps you are feeling ‘stuck’ in a current relationship, unable to determine a way forward with your significant other. Perhaps there are remnants of a previous relationship still making themselves present in your life. Perhaps you are struggling to find romantic connections, or want to explore your beliefs around dating, sex, and love. Perhaps you are ready to explore non-monogamy or polyamory, or perhaps you want a better understanding of your own sexual desires and proclivities. Perhaps you have concerns about sexual performance. Or you may want to learn more about healthy relationships and how to advocate for yourself with romantic and sexual partners. Perhaps you are wanting to make sense of something from your past that is making itself known in the present day. Perhaps you find yourself at odds with the expectations of those around you and seek to understand how you can show up more authentically in the world. All of these are reasons to seek counseling and Jordan looks forward to supporting your unique journey to sexual and romantic wellness.
Navigating Gender Jordan is particularly interested in supporting clients as they navigate the complicated landscape of gender. Increasingly, people are finding that the traditional view of gender as a fixed binary (of opposing male and female poles) is insufficient to describe their lived experiences. Many people are finding liberation from these customary ideas of gender expression and identity and the social pressures that come with these ideas. Jordan believes that gender exists on a spectrum and is far too nuanced a concept to be described with such black and white descriptors as male and female. Many if not most people – gay and straight, trans and cisgender – experience a gender identity that is a combination of what society deems to be masculine and feminine traits, and most find their gender identities involve infinite dimensions beyond these ideas of what is male and what is female. Jordan is eager to join you on your gender journey as you discover more about yourself and deconstruct gendered thinking that inhibits expression, growth, and happiness.
View of Therapy Jordan views therapy as a transformative and empowering process through which someone works to better their understanding of themselves, of the world around them, and the intricate relationships that shape their lives. While Jordan believes wholeheartedly in the power of therapy to change lives, they do not believe that therapy is the process of fixing broken people. A person who is struggling is not broken. People are not machines in need of repair, but are instead complicated and complex beings surviving in a complicated and complex world. Whatever is leading you to seek counseling, you and Jordan will work together to create a brave space where you can explore yourself and discover and cultivate your innate abilities to survive, to heal, and to thrive. Jordan believes strongly that wellness encompasses more than the alleviation of symptoms. Taking an approach grounded in the theory of narrative counseling, Jordan supports clients in their journeys of self-discovery by helping clients understand the narratives that guide their lives. These narratives – beliefs, values, and experiences – are often authored by others in our lives and are filtered through the prism of the social structures that surround us all. Some narratives are empowering, but others present challenges. Together, you and Jordan will work to take back control of your own story, to build on strengths that have sustained you and confront roadblocks that have stood in your way.
Advocating for Queer/LGBTQ Individuals and Families As a member of the LGBTQ community, and specifically as a person who identifies as queer and gender non-binary, Jordan understands how it feels to be different, and Jordan feels privileged to be able to serve the mental health needs of this community. So often, queer people find themselves at odds with a world that does not understand them and challenged by social ideas about gender, love, attraction, and sex that simply do not work for them. In therapy, LGBTQ and queer people can work towards developing a better understanding of themselves and learning how to advocate for themselves and show up authentically in the world.
Jordan’s Background Jordan joins The Center for Growth part-time in 2022 as an associate therapist based in the Ocean City, New Jersey office. Jordan feels right at home in Ocean City. A native of Galveston, Texas, they grew up a stone’s throw from beaches, the ocean, and the sun, and they are excited to work with the Ocean City community. Constantly on the lookout for good, local barbecue and Tex-Mex, Jordan is enjoying embracing their new life on the East Coast.
Jordan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Houston – Clear Lake in Houston, Texas and a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Jordan is currently completing their doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Jordan’s dissertation research focuses on applying emotional labor theory to the understanding of the experiences of gender non-binary and gender non-conforming helper educators. Jordan has also published articles related to supporting LGBTQ students in public schools and advocating for diverse survivors of intimate partner violence. Jordan’s research on the preparedness of graduate counseling students to assess for intimate partner violence in LGBTQ relationships received grant funding from the Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Counseling, a division of the American Counseling Association.
In addition to their work as a mental health counselor, Jordan is a seasoned counselor educator. As an educator, Jordan takes inspiration from the works of pioneering educators such as bell hooks and Paulo Freire. Like hooks, Jordan views the classroom as a transgressive space where students challenge themselves to question that which has been presented to them by society as a static, immutable fact. Jordan has taught on the faculties of several graduate counseling programs including those at Old Dominion, Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, and – most recently – the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia where they served as an Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Training. Jordan also currently teaches as an adjunct professor in the counseling program at La Salle University in Philadelphia. Jordan has taught classes in ethics, crisis counseling, group counseling, counseling skills, career counseling, grief counseling, and substance abuse counseling. Jordan’s favorite classes to teach, however, are classes in social and cultural issues and their intersections with mental health. Jordan has also guest lectured at a variety of institutions including Northwestern University, the University of Scranton, St. Edward’s University, Texas State University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jordan has also supervised numerous masters-level counseling students in their clinical work and has considered it a great privilege to be a part of the training of so many future mental health professionals.
Jordan feels called to be a counselor educator because they see the essential role that mental health care should play in our society. Professional counselors are positioned to be change-makers and to impact their communities on both a micro-level, impacting the daily lives of the clients they serve and the people with whom their clients interact, and a macro-level, by shaping policy, legislation, and public awareness. In Jordan’s view, there is no institution within society that would not benefit from the influence of professional counselors, from schools to hospitals to government agencies to business and throughout the public and private sectors. Counselors have a duty to rise to the challenges of creating a just and emotionally healthy society, and Jordan sees their role as a counselor educator as essential to this process.
Jordan also worked as a trained intimate partner violence advocate and interventionist for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. This work ignited a lifelong passion for serving those impacted by violence in their relationships and helping survivors heal and thrive. This work also includes a devotion to community education. Jordan has spoken at numerous professional conferences and symposia on a variety of topics and is frequently invited to provide training for mental health professionals in the area of intimate partner violence. In addition to this work, Jordan has worked in a variety of settings, including an in-patient psychiatric facility, an outpatient substance abuse clinic, and a large community hospital where they oversaw student interns in behavioral health.
Jordan lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with their husband and a spoiled, elderly Welsh corgi. An avid traveler, Jordan admits their first love was geography and the hunger for learning about the world and the people who inhabit it has lasted well into their adult life. As a child, Jordan often spent hours studying maps and atlases (a habit that continues to this day) and reading about the histories of where people have lived and why. During graduate school, Jordan traveled extensively across North America, Europe, and Africa, and even taught for a brief time in a residential school in northern Tanzania, an experience they consider to have been a turning point in their life. Jordan also harbors an intense interest in true crime and murder mysteries, and finds it difficult to pass up a true crime documentary.