In my personal life, often times people will ask how I became a counselor. I usually share that my intentions going into college were to go into physical therapy while majoring in psychology. Well, it turns out that the pre-PT science classes and I did not get along, but, go figure, I had no problems in my neuroscience classes. So I made the decision to let go of PT, and fully explore what my options were, which led me to social work. My original goal had been to help people recuperate from physical injuries. For the past ten years, I’ve been helping people achieve a different kind of healing, and also to maximize their potential, transform, and find answers/solutions.
I have always been drawn to collaborative work and to team sports. I was never the class president, but always the treasurer. I was never the star athlete, but always tried to find a role that contributed to the success of the team. I enjoyed playing in the orchestra, but did not enjoy playing in solo recitals. One would assume that I joined a fraternity in college for the brotherhood and camaraderie, instead I was drawn to another quasi-fraternity: Residence Life which hired me as an RA (resident advisor) where I guided young men in making adjustments to being in college, and raising the awareness of their new responsibilities as a student, roommate, friend, and member of a larger community.
Even biking presented an opportunity for camaraderie for me. The shared experience of commuting by bicycle with others while stopped at an intersection, or even in passing one daily going in opposite directions was my favorite part of going to and from work. Currently I enjoy the friendly acknowledgment from motorcyclists when we pass one another, without any judgments that I’m on a scooter, while they roar by on their Harley.
I used to see as many clients as my boss would tell me that I needed to within the confines of office policies and protocol. Today I enjoy the freedom to work with a set number of clients that I choose, and have the freedom to completely align myself in working with a client to make mountains move.
I respect a stay at home parent who deems themselves the CEO of their household/family. Every successful company has its “Board,” and the leaders of such companies have their consultants, special assistants, or advisors.Outside of parents and in-laws it is quite rare for a parent to have their own trusted advisors or a board of directors to assist in making the difficult decisions related to a family.
Commonly when a parent is seeking me out, it is to provide a safe place for their child to “open up,” someone to assist with the difficulties and challenges at home/school or young adults are feeling anxious about careers, relationships, or responsibilities, and adults are similarly trying to feel fulfillment in their busy life or something that was once ignored is needing attention. I admire the strength and courage of those who allow oneself to admit they need help, be vulnerable, and collaboratively work together with someone else.
Who are you regularly collaborating with?