My Approach to Helping
I am old enough to know that life does not lend itself to simplistic answers.
As a counselor I am committed to helping you lead the life you want to live by tackling the difficulties that can be solved with solutions, providing life and coping skills for situations that exist outside the bounds of control, and exploring how to live a life congruent with your values and beliefs. Our relationship will be one of complete confidentiality, nonjudgmental, accepting of whatever you bring and totally focused on your needs.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
Life is hard! Nobody goes through life without a degree of challenge and struggle; some are caused by our own poor choices and some are caused by circumstances outside of our control. Regardless of what leads to difficulties we must either find solutions or learn to cope.
Like everyone, I have had my share of troubles. Probably for me the most pivotal, life-changing difficulty I have dealt with was when my 2-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer in both of his kidneys and it spread to his lungs at the end of the first treatment. His treatments of inpatient chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and multiple surgeries took over our lives instantly with no easing into it. Even more difficult to deal with than the treatments was the constant complications, worrying about "what-ifs" and frequent bad news.
The traumatic experience of dealing with the relapsed cancer of my toddler child was the catalyst for a great deal of soul-searching and grief for me. The incessant worry that my son might not live to even go to kindergarten was draining both physically and emotionally. Subjects having to do with the meaning of life and what comes next became more important than they had ever been. Another source of torture for me during that time, in particular, was seeing other families with healthy children near in age to my kids and knowing that those families were completely free from the medical turmoil that we lived through daily. Those healthy families represented what I used to have and no longer did. The veil of innocence had been lifted forever it seemed and I wanted it back.
To add to the difficulties we lived with during and since our son's cancer journey is that fact that countless other families of kids with cancer that we had developed a relationship with lost a child to the disease. How do you make that right?
People like to say, "you are so strong," but in reality, we survived like so many other people do all the time, whether it is cancer, a horrific life-changing accident, a cruel addiction, chronic pain, divorce, suicide or some other catastrophic life event. As hard as life can be sometimes we can get to the other side of it one step at a time. Some difficulties, like my son's cancer, will end with a positive solution eventually. Some difficulties are lifelong and chronic and must be coped with or managed. My training as a therapist along with my own difficulties have been invaluable to me as I have learned to cope with and manage the challenges of life.