The vision for Life Counseling Center was that of Dr. Fred Antonelli’s, who along with his wife Debbie, began the practice in June of 1999 in a single office located in Easton, MD. The concept was to incorporate the person of Jesus Christ into the counseling process to bring relevancy to each client’s pressing issues. Dr. Antonelli built the practice around the scripture, “It is God who is at work in us to will and act according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:13).
The practice grew under the direction of Dr. Antonelli with the opening of additional offices and the hiring of additional therapists. Each therapist brought with them their own skills and life stories which enabled the practice to evolve into what it is today: a leader in the area for Psychotherapy and Clinical Christian counseling. Life Counseling Center has formed partnerships with a variety of churches on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware to provide Christian counseling to pastors, staff, and church leadership. Our team of trained and licensed counselors treat marriage and family issues, individual issues, and childhood disorders.
In September of 2019, Dr. Antonelli moved into his next chapter in life and accepted a position as President of Elim Bible College, in Lima, NY. Then, God went to work to find a new leader for Life Counseling Center.
At this same time, Sheila Fooks was seeking out what God had next for her in her life’s journey. After hearing that the Antonelli’s would be leaving and were looking to sell the practice, she felt God’s leading to inquire about purchasing it. Christian Counseling had been at the heart of Sheila’s own story and she very much believed this was what God had in mind for her. Her previous marketing and business experience made the purchasing of Life Counseling Center a fantastic fit and she settled on the purchase on January 1, 2020.
Three months into 2020 the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. The practice was forced to transfer almost all clients to Telehealth sessions. Though it proved to be a challenging time for both clients and counselors, the staff was able to adapt and continue to minister to those in need.
In the first year as owner, Sheila hired four additional therapists, opened a stand-alone office in Seaford, DE and relocated the Salisbury, MD office to a ground floor unit that now is handicap accessible. This along with a remodel of the entry at the Easton office will allow for expansion and growth in the years to come. The practice is now fully credentialed with Highmark BCBS of Delaware and Health Options of Delaware. This, along with the already credentialing by CareFirst BCBS of Maryland, will allow Life Counseling Center to broaden its services to include clients with those insurances.