Dallas Heroes Project: How did you know you wanted to become a counselor? 

Tara Cobb: I like to listen more than I like to talk. My friends always used to tell me I give good advice. So I always had this inclination that I might do well in this profession.

DHP: How do you become a counselor? What do you have to study? 

TC: I took Family Studies courses at Oklahoma Christian University and Counseling courses at SMU Plano. Family Studies is about learning how to have a healthy family. My goal is to become a licensed professional counselor (an LPC). Right now, I am Tara Cobb, M.S.

DHP: Can you share with us some coping tools you give kids and families? 

TC: We work on breathing, awareness and mindfulness. We work on grief, sometimes grieving the parent they would have liked to have. We also work on letting go of expectations and focusing on ‘you are in charge of you.’

DHP: What holds people back from seeking help and counseling? 

TC: Fear of social stigma. Fear that if they accept something is wrong that they would have to change. And money. But luckily money is not an issue here. (All STARRY counseling services are free.)

DHP: What issues do you see here in North Texas that are unique to our area? 

TC: We see a lot of kids dealing with the pressure of school and sports. We teach coping skills for anxiety.

DHP: What does success look like in your eyes? 

TC: If at the end of our sessions, a kid feels like they’ve been heard, or the parent feels like they are more connected with their kid, that is what success looks like.