Who are Fern and Audrey?
We love the people that come to do counseling with us! Maybe they are wounded, or have been discarded, labeled ‘messy’, or those no one sees or has any hope for. We see the immense treasure that is hidden amid the chaos and captivity because often times through a journey of healing, we find they are the strongest advocates for restoration and freedom. We have seen over and over that "rescued people, rescue people."
Through the love of Jesus we offer to the wounded an environment where they can safely explore the hidden places of their heart. When people initially come to see us they usually believe that they are hopelessly flawed. We have the gift to SEE and believe it for them until their eyes are opened to see it and their faith has grown to stand, believe it and KNOW it.
Audrey's journey out of fear and trauma also becomes hope for survivors especially as they learn someone else has “been there” and is now free. They too can know what love is, and learn to naturally live out of love rather than fear, to experience the freedom to image God. They Discover their "ME" in MErcy through counseling sessions that bring together the understanding of psychological dynamics and resolution of spiritual captivity under the direction of the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Together as Fern and Audrey, we have worked together for almost a decade and have counseled people all across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Europe, Africa, and Australia. Nearly all of our clients find us by word of mouth.
We've completed Dr. Bessel van der Kolk's 8-month Trauma Course in 2015. We’ve also pursued and completed continuing education courses specializing in attachment theory, treatment of trauma, developmental trauma, and somatic experiencing.
In addition to ministering to survivors, we also mentor priests, pastors, prayer ministers, mental health professionals at Masters and Doctorate levels about the dynamics of the severely wounded soul.
Fern is co-founder of Discovering MErcy with Audrey. Fern serves as the Executive Director of Discovering MErcy and has built a strong business platform for the non-profit.
A big believer in seeing what others refused to see, Fern is a Treasure Hunter! She sees value in people of whom others have cast aside. She has spent 21 years journeying with survivors of severe abuse.
The journey with others laid out a surprising path for Fern during the last 21 years as a lay prayer minister/counselor. Finishing a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2002 at age 43, Fern is a life-long learner with a passion to understand the effects of trauma on individuals. In 2015, she completed the Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies offered by The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, Brookline, MA. She continues to attend trauma informed seminars and review current trauma research and methods to help survivors walk in freedom and live out of love.
While understanding the dehumanizing effects of trauma to an individual's development and identity is important, Fern believes sound Biblical theology offers solid re-humanization for the marginalized survivor to walk in the fullness of being human as God designed.
Her desire is to build up the body of Christ with sound Biblical theology. To that degree, each year she hosts Dr. Michael Heiser in a “Round Table” discussion. Typically 15 or more attendees meet with Dr. Heiser for three days to ask questions and examine the scriptures to ensure beliefs and understanding are theologically sound. Dr. Heiser continues to support our ministry personally and through his non-profit Miqlat.
1996 – 2002: Fern worked out of her home meeting with individuals that suffered severe trauma. She assisted church leaders and lay ministers with tools to help hurting individuals and conducted personal growth and healing classes for church leaders and lay ministers.
2002-2006: Fern began counseling to traumatized individuals within a church. As a lay minister/counselor she worked full-time counseling to the hurting and continued to host seminars and personal growth and healing classes for church leaders and lay ministers.
2006-2017: Fern's ministry moved into the marketplace where she leased office space in Lehighton, PA. Audrey had a separate ministry but joined her in ministry to traumatized individuals.
2018: Fern & Audrey collectively launched Discovering MErcy as a 501c3 non-profit.
Fern holds a B.S. degree in Applied Psychology from Albright College where she graduated summa cum laude, with honors from Alpha Sigma Lambda and Psi Chi in 2004. She also has an A.S. degree in Business from Lehigh County Community College.
On a personal note, Fern is a lifelong Pennsylvania native, raised with two sisters and two brothers. She has been married to a supportive husband and together they have grown children and grandchildren. When she isn't in the office, you will find Fern connecting with nature on a walk, reading, gardening or creating beauty where there wasn't any before.
Audrey is the co-founder and Assistant Executive Director with Discovering MErcy. In this role, Audrey works along side of the Executive Director in managing a variety of internal operations, including maintaining all aspects of multiple software and hardware platforms. In addition, Audrey also journeys along side of adult survivors of severe childhood trauma as a counselor.
As a strong believer in helping trauma survivors, Audrey is passionate in supporting the mission of Discovering MErcy.
Audrey is a gifted counselor and has completed several certificate courses with the focus on Complex Post Traumatic Stress, Developmental trauma, Interpersonal neurobiology and understanding the impact of trauma. Audrey is continually seeking further education and certificate programs from the leading trauma centers around the world.
Having walked through her own journey out of fear into love, Audrey is no stranger to helping trauma survivors. For the last 15 years and going forward, Audrey is sincerely dedicated to walk with survivors on their journey out of fear into love.
Before opening Discovering MErcy as a non-profit in 2017, Audrey previously provided the same care to trauma survivor along side of Fern under their own personal LLCs. Both Audrey and Fern realized the need to take the financial burden off of this precious population of people.
Audrey has created several teaching aids/resources for survivors to gain further understanding of how trauma effected them as a child through adulthood. Audrey is looking forward to having these resources available with the curriculum that is currently being developed.
Audrey specializes in helping clients with Dissociative Identity Disorder or Ritual Abuse and has served a range of clients from 27 states in the US, 13 countries on 5 continents. Audrey is caring, kind and has a mercy-filled heart. She gently helps adult survivors of childhood trauma understand how, as a child, they built a defensive structure to protect their heart from what has happening to them. And how they still live out of that defensive structure present day, as an adult.
In 2015, she completed the Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies offered by The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, Brookline, MA. She continues to attend trauma informed seminars and review current trauma research and methods to help survivors walk in freedom and live out of love.
2006-Present: Counseling survivors of trauma, which includes human-trafficked survivors as well as survivors of severe child abuse. Audrey is involved with training and mentoring those in the helping professions such as prayer ministers, clergy and therapists to care for those who have suffered severe abuse and developmental trauma.
On a personal note, Audrey is a lifelong Pennsylvania native and enjoys swimming, spending time with her children, grandchildren and dog, and relishing quality quiet time at the ocean.