Zac Tompkins received his master’s degree from Western Carolina University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program in 2013. When he first began working in the community mental health field, he managed a client base that represented a spectrum of issues and disorders. This experience created an early awareness in him of the critical impact that traumatic events and painful relational experiences in childhood and adolescence can have on mental health and how these issues can arise again later in life. Since then, Zac has developed this understanding further by focusing his career in trauma and attachment repair work by serving survivors of sexual violence at a rape crisis center and in private practice.
In 2017, Zac joined the Solstice East family to continue helping clients that struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, and issues of identity, self-esteem, and attachment – obstacles that so many adolescents face. Through his ongoing research, he incorporates a variety of mindfulness-based interventions into his counseling practice including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Gestalt therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help clients redefine their relationship with their thoughts, feelings, relationships, and history. Additionally, Zac is trained in and utilizes equine therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Brainspotting, a modified form of EMDR, to help his clients create distance from painful experiences and foster more adaptive perspectives in their lives.
Core to Zac’s therapeutic work is the formation of a warm and trusting relationship grounded in safety and respect. He believes that each of us has an obligation, whether consciously acknowledged or not, to create our own life meaning in order to build and sustain a life worth living. He focuses his therapeutic work on trauma because he has found that trauma can shatter our preconceptions about meaning in the world and within ourselves. Through the healing process, Zac’s clients wrestle with questions of meaning, and through that process, they renew and improve their self-perspective, pushing forward to achieve contentment and become who they are truly meant to be. When he’s not working, you can find him in the woods, spending time with friends and family, reading, or adventuring on his motorcycle.