Because of my journey, I know what it is like to question one’s belonging. Maybe it’s career, relationships, or a general mindset. For example, I liked math growing up and chose an engineering college. A year later I transferred and graduated with a degree in Math and always assumed I would pursue a math career.
But we can have shifts even if not predicted, as in, it doesn’t feel quite right. Shortly after graduation a friend asked me to join them at a crisis counselor training, and that work resonated with me and my earlier life experiences. It profoundly shifted my perspective on myself and what I wanted to explore, and almost instantly altered my career path. Instead of a corporate accountant, I was drawn to jobs that directly helped people, and then worked in settings with adults with severe and persistent mental illness. Two years later, I knew social work was my calling. I still can’t pinpoint a specific reason for having the feeling, but this was the right path for me.
I utilize a Focusing-oriented approach in my practice. Focusing helps me have a better sense of both the good and bad happening in the body. It’s a key tool for helping me understand my own needs. This model helps me obtain a deeper sense of my client’s life, and in turn, this helps them connect more closely with their experience. Clients report feeling that I am more attuned to their issues.
I value lifelong learning in my therapy practice, and believe that my job is to grow as a therapist. This means that I do training on a consistent basis and on a wide range of topics. Being a therapist, and a person, is a “process,” and not simply an “outcome.”
Above all, as described in the first book I read for Social Work school, Where to Start and What to Ask, my goal, from the beginning of our work, is for you to feel that I understand where you are, not where anyone else wants you to be.