Kerstin Brueck, Owner of Freedom Professional Counseling

Kerstin Brueck


Kerstin Brueck is the Owner and Founder of Freedom Professional Counseling. After earning her Undergraduate degree in Psychology and Theology from The Franciscan University of Steubenville, she pursued two years as a Missionary Youth Minister in New Zealand, followed by Graduate School. She earned her Masters degree in Counseling with a Concentration in Christian Counseling from Franciscan University in 2012.


Upon graduation, Kerstin worked in a Private Practice in the D.C. area. She also holds work experience in Psychiatric as well as Inpatient settings. This furthered her desire to open her own Practice one day, and Freedom Professional Counseling was thus established in 2015. Kerstin worked with Magnolia Creek, an Inpatient Facility in the Birmingham area, while launching her Practice.

She enjoys an eclectic and integrative approach to therapy and to life. Kerstin believes in freedom and healing for her clients, and integrates Spirituality into the therapeutic process if desired by the client. Kerstin enjoys working with all age ranges and a vast array of therapeutic topics, and utilizes various treatment modalities depending on the clients therapeutic needs.

Valerie Lawhon, M.A., ALC, NCC

Valerie earned her B.S in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and worked at UAB School of Medicine for four years, where she discovered a passion for mental health. She went on to complete her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and later worked with individuals and families navigating anxiety, depression, and grief at UAB Palliative and Comfort Care Unit and UAB Geriatric clinic. 


Valerie enjoys working with a wide variety of clients, ranging from teens to adults. She enjoys working with clients who struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, stress, and relational conflict. She utilizes an integrative therapeutic approach and incorporates faith and spirituality into the therapeutic process, based on client preferences. Valerie is also certified in Trauma-focused CBT and utilizes the ENRICH program for premarital counseling. 


Valerie believes that the therapeutic relationship is of the utmost importance. She provides a comfortable and open setting, where clients have space to express themselves and heal through therapy. Her goal is to help clients develop tools, goals, and skills to further positive changes in their lives.


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Hannah Hughes

Hannah Hughes joined the team at Freedom Professional Counseling after working in an outpatient mental health setting with a broad age range of adults. She earned her B.S. in Psychology and studied Addiction and Recovery at the University of Alabama, then went on to receive her M. Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Auburn University. 


She utilizes a person-centered, strength-based approach and tailors each client’s treatment according to their individual needs. She enjoys working with all ages of adults and has experience with a diverse range of topics such as substance use and relapse prevention, grief, anxiety, depression, stress management, intellectual disabilities, and more.


Hannah believes all people are capable of creating positive change in their lives, and enjoys working alongside clients to provide encouragement and tools and strategies to succeed. Her goal as a counselor is to provide a safe, nonjudgmental space for healing and growth. She enjoys integrating spirituality, prayer, meditation, or art into the counseling process based on client preferences.