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."
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.
Are "Fern and Audrey" Real Names?
Many years ago, good friend Dr. Michael Heiser invited the counselors to do a roundtable podcast to discuss their work. Due to the complexity of severe trauma, they felt it was vital to not compromise their client's identities and types of suffering, so they decided to use pseudonyms. Thanks to some quick thinking, "Fern and Audrey" were born!
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 whom others have cast aside. She has spent 26 years journeying with survivors of severe abuse.
The journey with others laid out a surprising path for Fern during the last 26 years as a lay prayer minister/counselor. Finishing a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2002 at age 43, Fern is a lifelong 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 on 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 individuals who are hurting and conducted personal growth and healing classes for church leaders and lay ministers.
- 2002-2006: Fern began counseling traumatized individuals within a church. As a lay minister/counselor she worked full-time counseling the hurting and continued to host seminars and personal growth and healing classes for church leaders and lay ministers.
- 2006-2016: 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.
- 2017: 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. Audrey works alongside 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 alongside of adult survivors of severe childhood trauma as a counselor. As a strong believer in helping trauma survivors, Audrey is passionate about supporting the mission of Discovering MErcy.
Audrey is a gifted counselor and has completed several certificate courses focusing 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 18 years and going forward, Audrey is sincerely dedicated to walking with survivors on their journey out of fear into love. 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.
Audrey has created several teaching aids/resources for survivors to gain further understanding of how trauma affected 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, and 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 hearts from what has happened to them. And how they still live out of that defensive structure present day, as an adult.
- 2005-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.