Stephen McAlister

Therapist Stephen McAlister Photo

About Me

I believe that everyone has a good story to tell a skilled listener. But sometimes, we hide the details because of shame or pain from the past. It takes a tremendous amount of courage for anyone to unravel secrets that have held us all hostage at some point in our lives. As a therapist, I tend to become a “Clinical Story Coach” who helps the brave ones change their stories so they can have a new start.

I especially love working with clients who have been stuck in closets, whether because of sexual identity issues, substance abuse concerns, or childhood traumas. There’s something magical about witnessing someone become emboldened by a changing narrative when guilt and grief are replaced by grace and a growing sense of freedom. I also enjoy working with couples by helping them restore what made their collective stories special in the first place.

I work full time as a licensed mental health and substance abuse counselor at LifeStance in Mooresville, NC. Most of the clients I see in the office right now are couples who are working together with me to change their stories using the Gottman Method. (I have completed Level Two Training—out of three levels). At the same time, I’m taking additional supervised training in sex therapy through the Sexual Health Alliance. To increase my expertise in sex therapy, I would be especially interested in working with a few clients who see themselves as sexually diverse and may still be hesitant to tell their stories.

I’ve been working as a therapist for eleven years. At some point in my distant past—prior to becoming a therapist—I was a Christian school teacher who discovered that I was trapped in my own closet. As a result of my personal experience, I have the somewhat unique ability of supporting anyone who suffers from spiritual abuse or religious alienation as well anyone who remains in a faith community and loves someone who is working through sexual identity concerns. I know what it’s like to stand somewhere in the middle of what remains a cataclysmic divide for many secret-holders and their families.


  • Stress, Anxiety
  • Addictions
  • LGBT
  • Relationship issues
  • Depression
Also experienced in:
Family conflicts , Trauma and abuse , Grief , Intimacy-related issues , Parenting issues , Anger management , Self esteem , Bipolar disorder , Coping with life changes , Coaching , Compassion fatigue , ADHD , Abandonment , Read more...

Clinical approaches:
Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Gottman Method, Mindfulness Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy

Years of Experience: 11

Services Offered

  • Messaging

  • Live Chat

  • Phone

  • Video


LCMHC #8706 (Expires: 2022-06-30)


Written by A.M. on Sep 14, 2021 after counseling with Stephen for 2 weeks on issues concerning relationship issues

Great person

Written by E.L. on Sep 13, 2021 after counseling with Stephen for 2 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety

Counselor Stephen McAlister is a great listener. He deply understands human behaviour and emotions and he knows how to speak with you in such way that you do not feel awkard or ashamed about your feelings. In his words you can feel his passion for the profession and his care for people. Our sessions on Betterhelp made me widen my horizon.