There is a certain level of creative skills that are necessary when it comes to choosing our best life. I believe that we each need to find that direction as we move one day into the next and I have found my role in life to be that extra support that can be so pivotal in challenging times.
If you know it’s time for a change, I can relate.
I quit college….3 years in. It was the mid 90’s and I felt I had spent my entire life in a classroom (I’m sure I wasn’t alone in feeling this way). I needed to meet new people and experience life in other areas. I packed up my car with one, VERY large bag of clothes and 500 CD’s at my side to travel the U.S. Five days in I landed in upstate New York.
I had immersed myself into a completely different culture, learned how to love the mountains through hiking and explored the cities that held so much history and character.
Even though I had fallen in love with living out east, I knew I needed to continue my initial plans to see as many states as possible. I left 8 months later to explore the rest of the country on an open ended road trip.
While spending a few days at an outdoor festival, I was introduced to massage therapy and weeks later energy healing therapy. I was immediately drawn to both and moved to Detroit to complete a certification program that included a wide range of alternative health modalities including holistic nutrition, aromatherapy, several energy healing practices and various massage styles.
Luckily, meditation had been a common practice for me years prior to massage school and it easily fit into the other mindfulness practices of every alternative therapy I studied.
Working as a massage therapist opened up unique opportunities for me. I was able to practice massage in high end spas, ski towns in Colorado, private practice, and even massaging touring musicians throughout the country.
Because of the body therapy training I had also spent time as a live in caregiver and travel partner with friends who were wheelchair bound. Being able to work with so many different body types helped me to become more exposed to each person’s uniqueness, strengths and weaknesses and I carry that knowledge into my mental health practice.
In 2003 I returned, for the third time, to live in upstate New York, completed further massage training and became licensed to work in that state. It was during this time that I found myself experiencing debilitating physical symptoms that my doctor could not determine the source of and kept me from making it to my massage appointments. I then made the decision to return to study my love of psychology and finish the college degree that I had walked away from years before.
In the years following, I graduated with my B.S.in Psychology- special focus on Death and Dying (end-of-life care) and my M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I would also find myself managing worsening physical symptoms and eventually receiving a diagnosis of Lyme Disease.
Living with a chronic illness that is unknown or unfamiliar to most doctors can create a great deal of fear and uncertainty. Because I have lived experience in that type of stress, I have learned what can work to manage those anxieties.
I now help people put their fears and worries in perspective through mental health counseling, massage therapy, energy healing modalities and mindfulness practices.
After intensive treatments for Lyme disease, I am now back to my active lifestyle, feeling healthy again and ready to assist those who are also struggling with chronic illness, chronic pain or undiagnosed illness.
As a licensed professional counselor I am able to work with clients to challenge any mental health issues they face. I have found that it has been my life experience in changing living environments, meeting interesting new people, and opportunities to explore my interests, that has helped me to connect with my clients.
I work to create a comfortable space to hold difficult and challenging discussions, the kind that can help us feel safe in moving beyond who we know ourselves to be and into the person we want to become.