Counseling Center


The Joy House Counseling Center exists for the purpose of providing a Christ-centered option for residents in our North Georgia area along the 575/515 corridor who are seeking guidance with life’s problems. We are pastoral in our approach offering counseling to families, individuals, adolescents and children. We view those we serve as friends, not just clients. Our services are offered based on ability-to-pay.


In the Bible, we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). Pastoral counselors recognize that each individual has emotions, desires, will, and intellect and they strive to offer individuals support in all of these areas. Pastoral counselors receive their direction through the infallible word of God and are guided by the Holy Spirit through prayer. It is within a “grace and truth” framework that pastoral counselors approach their sessions with each individual.

LIMITATIONS TO PASTORAL COUNSELING Pastoral counselors are mental health professionals, but they do not take the place of clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, or physicians. If a pastoral counselor discovers that a person’s needs require more extensive and/or specialized services than they themselves are trained for, they are ethically responsible for referring an individual to a person who is properly trained in the needed area

Team Members

Bill Wattenbarger holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Counseling from the universities of Florida and Georgia with 35 years of counseling experience. His orientation has always been Christ-centered and faith-based while his career emphasis has been working with persons with disabilities or special needs and their families.

Heather McGinty holds a Bachelors degree in Human Services from Kennesaw State and a Masters in Marriage and Family therapy from Liberty. Previous experience includes Juvenile Probation officer, private counseling practice and Community Based Therapist in a public school setting. Her compassionate and friendly presence put those hesitant to try counseling at ease.

Eric joined our team in 2022 as a counselor in the counseling center and has recently started meeting with the resident boys in the Boys home. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of North Georgia in 2018. He later received a Biblical Counseling Certificate through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). Eric has worked in Youth Ministry in 3 different churches over the course of 9 years. It is clear, Eric’s goal and approach in counseling is to honor and glorify God by using God’s Word, though the power of the Holy Spirit, to give hope and counsel.

Kathryn Einig joined our team as Administrator, Intake Coordinator and counselor of the Counseling Center in 2021. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education (UGA) and a background in administrative work. She oversees all initial contact, intake, and scheduling with clients. To schedule an appointment or learn more about our services, Kathryn is the one to call.

We consider it our privilege to serve God through serving people. It is our goal to see that people just like you, your family members, and your neighbors find healing and hope through biblically-based pastoral counseling.

We have three locations in our area.
Pickens Office – 148 Nations Rd. – Jasper, GA 30143
Gilmer Office – CORE Building – 142 River Terrace – Suite 101 – Ellijay, GA 30540

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Watch a video from Garry Barber talking about The Joy House Counseling Center