If you’re going to work with me, my guess (my hope, my recommendation) is you’re going to want to know who I am, what makes me tick and why I do the work I do.
From the moment I arrived on this planet, I knew how to care for others. It was a necessity really. My older brother was very severely disabled and needed a lot of my mom’s attention. I already had another brother, who as the stories go, was a “handful.” My parents adopted my sister when I was 5. My father traveled for work a lot and my mother struggled to manage the household on her own. So, though my mom did the best she could, it was a bit chaotic through my early childhood. And circumstances such as these often set us up to be great therapists: observant and insightful, intuitive and empathetic and excellent interpreters of others’ moods and experiences. I’ve been highly sensitive since day one.
And for most of my life, it’s been more of a detriment than an asset. Through my many career stops, it’s challenged me. I set out to become a theater artist. I performed in and directed original theater pieces. I loved this work and found the competitive nature of the art world was overwhelming to my system. For me it was an impossible place to thrive so I moved on to a more secure setting. For 13 years I worked for the Portland Public Schools as a Special Education Teacher. I loved supporting students and their families, yet there were always too many to care for at once. The system frazzled me, made it impossible for me to serve them in the way I felt so strongly they deserved. So I kept on searching.
And here I am. A therapist. I get to use the gift I have of simply being with people right where they are. I connect with people in their pain so that they don’t have to be in it alone anymore. It is the most fulfilling work. With certainty I can say it is the right work for me.
Connection of this depth is an art. Reflecting people’s most whole selves to them with precision and tenderness is an art, especially when they cannot see them themselves. And there is something about me, the artist, the poet that is still finding it’s way into this work I do with my clients.
We all live with invisible walls (at least those of us who seek help) and these walls seem to keep us from the lives we envision for ourselves. I do this work because I believe we all have the capacity to live fully, gorgeously, brilliantly unimpeded by walls that were built long ago. I stand with my clients on their side of these invisible walls. I help them see the beauty of their construction. I walk with them until we find a way to feel around to the bigger life they desire.
I am so damn honored to be with my clients in this way. It’s frickin’ magical honestly. Yup. Me the pragmatist, the “science is my spirituality”ist said magical. I can’t tell you what exactly happens in that room. All I know is that it’s deep transformation. And it just shows up if we pay really close attention to exactly what’s happening right now, rather than aiming for some future vision of ourselves. When we can be with who we are… the whole enchilada fully, we strengthen our very foundation. And that foundation becomes a solid jumping off point for the change we desire for ourselves.
This is a truth I’ve observed. And so… when you are feeling hopeless… I’ll hold this knowing for you. You are going to be ok. We can find our way together.