Do you really do this stuff? I don’t know if I really believe it works. Does it really work or are you just weird?
I try to do all of this stuff. I don’t get it perfect, and I wish I could say I practice what I preach all of the time. But I don’t. I might be up there to about 85%. Sometimes I slip up. Sometimes I don’t take the time to journal, or meditate, or communicate well, or connect with my feelings, or implement the strategies that I know are beneficial. But none of us are perfect. So, I keep going. When I notice that I didn’t use a skill that works, I adjust. I apologize when I need to. I own up to my part of my life. I take responsibility for my feelings, and work to improve them. This stuff works. The things I share in counseling are concepts that are research backed. Some would say they seem simple, or ridiculous, or whatever, but I believe in them enough to consistently apply them to my own life. And, I probably am a little weird. like, in quirky fun kind of way. I can’t take myself for my life too seriously.
Are you a real person outside of your office?
Absolutely. There’s a lot I don’t share in my Atlanta counseling office. Because, counseling is about you. I’m here to help and support you. I’m a real person in the office, and out of the office. I have my problems. I have my challenges. I’m sometimes a little cheesy and laugh at silly things. When I really smile, my eyes practically close. I’m just so happy It makes it hard taking pictures. I’m clumsy, and have to be cautious when trying new sports because of my propensity to fall. I work out, but could do more of that. I eat healthy, but also eat pizza and cookies when I know better. I binge watch Netflix shows on occasion. I try to write, but feel like I’m better at communicating and connecting in person than on paper. I love trying new activities and having fun. I can be shy when I first meet people, but am getting better at being my true self 100% of the time. I have conflict with others and have to use healthy communication to get through it. I can feel happy, sad, disappointed ….I feel feelings. And, I try to take care of them in the best way I can. I struggle with having little sense of geographic direction, and use GPS to get around a lot of the time. I’m normal. And I also have a lot of training and experience in helping people overcome challenges in life.
Do you like cats or dogs?
Am I allowed to avoid this one? My counselor answer would be, I think which ever helps you feel supported and brings you joy and is healthy for your life is great. The truth, I can’t keep pets. My schedule doesn’t allow me to be home enough to care for them in a way that is fair. So, I grew up with dogs. I know people with cats. And I choose to not have either because I spend so much time away from the house.
Are you judging me?
I’m generally not judging you. Every once in a while I’ll see a look in a client’s eye, and whether or not they say it, I know they’re wondering if I’m judging them. I can tend to look younger and maybe less experienced than I am, and since I don’t share everything there is to know about me some people can have the misconception that I’ve got all of the answers and that I think I’m perfect and I’ve never been through anything.
So far from the truth.
I’ve had challenges and pains in my life, and I apply the skills I’ve learned to get through them.
I’ve worked with a variety of counseling clients in private practice, outpatient counseling centers, and residential treatment. I’ve worked with a variety of issues that people deal with and with a diverse mix of people. I’ve even served as Clinical Director in residential treatment, meaning I managed teams of counselors and provided supervision for them.
And, I had another career prior to becoming an Atlanta counselor. I worked in the business world, so I have a healthy understanding of the complexities of working in corporate America.
I’ve learned in life that people are human. We all have pain. We all have hangups. We all struggle with life. It’s not my job to judge, and the more I judge you the more I judge myself. I have not found judgment to be helpful or healthy in my life.
I really try to connect with where you are at. How you are feeling. What your struggle might be like. I’m curious about what’s worked for you and what hasn’t. I would like to know how things have impacted you. I’m listening for your strengths, and often times my clients who wonder if I’m judging struggle to really connect with their own strengths. Because, it’s not the judgment from me they’re feeling. It’s their own judgement of themselves that their feeling.
I’m sure there are more questions. Feel free to send them my way. Maybe I’ll do a second post…