Bill J. Baker, Ph.D.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Bill Baker is committed to helping people, whether it’s through professional therapy services or in educational activities. He loves being a therapist, and, as an educator, he really enjoys conducting workshops and speaking to groups about personal growth, family life, or mental health improvement. In the early part of his career he worked full-time with churches in several professional capacities, including serving as Director of Education for a church in Little Rock, Arkansas. For ten years he served as the Director of Family Services for a large congregation in Huntsville, Alabama. Since 1995 he has worked as a professional counselor in private practice with Grayson and Associates, a Birmingham-based group providing psychiatric, psychological, and counseling services to the central Alabama area. Through these varied experiences he has learned to appreciate the role of spirituality and faith in our relationship journeys in life and in our pursuit of personal health and well-being..
Dr. Baker graduated with a B.A. degree from Harding University in Arkansas, and then he earned his M.A. degree from the Harding Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, Tennessee. Later he attended the University of Nebraska where he earned the Ph.D. degree in 1980 with an emphasis in counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (Alabama License #558). He was a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (AL License #39) and Approved Supervisor until his retirement in 2015 from all marriage and family therapy work. He was also a Clinical Fellow/Member in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) until his retirement in 2015. Since 1970 he has worked as a therapist with individuals, couples, and families in a wide variety of personal and family issues. In February, 2015 Dr. Baker retired from his work as a Marriage and Family Therapist, but he has continued serving as a therapist for individual adults (age 21 and older) in individual therapy. (For more information regarding therapy services currently available please see the Therapy page identified at the top of the Home page on this website.)
In addition to his experience as a therapist, Dr. Baker loves to teach. He taught “Marriage and Family Relationships” at the University of Nebraska and at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska (1977-1980). In Alabama he taught “Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy” for the Alabama School of Religion (1981), and he taught “General Psychology” and “Human Growth and Development” courses at Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham (1997-1999). He has also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology at the University of Montevallo (1993-1995). In that role he supervised graduate students in their counseling internships in agency or higher education settings. Dr. Baker is a Certified Instructor for Couple Communication Workshops and is also a certified trainer for PREPARE/ENRICH counseling inventories. He is also involved in frequent teaching, speaking, and consulting activities and has conducted numerous mental health and family life seminars in both church and community settings. He has been interviewed on several radio and television stations about family and grief issues, and he continues to write articles and curriculum designed to promote mental health and family life.
Over the years Dr. Baker has been recognized for his efforts and accomplishments. In 1967 he was awarded the “Outstanding Bible Student” in his graduating class at Harding University. In 1982 he was voted the “Outstanding Young Religious Leader” by the Huntsville Jaycees (Huntsville, AL). The members of the Pelham Lions Club (Pelham, AL) recognized him as the “Lion of the Year” in 2004, primarily as a result of his leadership as the Eyesight Chairman of the club.
For Dr. Baker a meaningful life journey is much more than fulfilling a professional career. Outside of “work” he participates actively in church and community service, grows roses, enjoys playing classical guitar, and, most of all, values time with his family (two married daughters, two sons-in-law, five grandchildren, three siblings) and his friends.
In the midst of these activities Dr. Baker knows what it’s like to struggle and to make mistakes. (In fact, he has been known to make messes at times!) Through these painful experiences he has learned the wisdom of understanding and trusting God’s grace. He accepts the grace that God extends to him, extends that grace to himself, and tries to extend that same grace to everyone around him. Without a doubt, he is still learning and growing; indeed, he is a “work in process.” He is following his personal roadmap and is using his travel guides daily. He views the future with faith and optimism. Perhaps the best part of his journey lies ahead.
Favorite Scriptures? He has several favorites, but here is one of the top #10.
“God is able to make all grace abound to you,
so that in all things at all times, having all that you may need,
you will abound in every good work.”
(II Cor. 9:8)
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