I am so extremely honored to be rejoining Life Skills Resource Group as a counselor, specifically a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern! Cindy Fabico, Amy Smith, Risa Bos, Kelli Skorman, and Jessica Carmean have been mentors, teachers, and friends as I completed my graduate program at the top-ten nationally-ranked University of Central Florida, and I am so glad that I can now add a new relationship to our list – colleagues!
Whether you’ve known me already or we are becoming acquainted for the first time, you may not know that counseling is a second career for me. I began my work life in the public health arena, working in both New York City and Los Angeles planning for how healthcare organizations respond when there are large-scale disasters, like earthquakes, hurricanes, or disease outbreaks. I enjoyed this work, but as I progressed in my career I discovered two things: 1. The mental health aspect of these disasters was not only one of the most interesting parts, but also one of the most important, and 2. I really missed getting to use my whole self – my combination of compassion, warmth, empathy, knowledge, logic, and love – to directly help others. Ultimately I decided that I wasn’t going to be happy sitting behind a desk, and decided to go back to school. Becoming a counselor is the culmination of that dream – I am so honored to sit with others and help them determine how to weather the “disasters”, small and large, within their lives.
A second important aspect of my history that informs my counseling is my personal experience as a caregiver and a grieving human. I know how difficult it was for me to watch a loved family member succumb to cancer, as well as to keep myself going while caring for him, and to learn to walk new paths after his death. I also know how much I grew from having that experience. This is why I now celebrate post-traumatic growth! Every grief experience is different, so I don’t know exactly how you feel, but my experiences have given me a window into some of the many feelings that are possible. I know how grief can feel overwhelming and lonely. I would welcome the opportunity to walk with you as you find your path.
Many things happen to us in life that we are unable to control. What we can do is choose how we respond emotionally and what we decide to do next. I believe strongly that each of us is the expert on ourselves. I believe that we have a fire inside of us that guides us towards what is right for us. I believe that it is never too late to stop and ask if we are actually going the direction we would like.
The opportunity to help others find their way is what has called me to counseling. I do not know the right path for you, but I do know some ways others have found their paths. Whether you are trying to find the path that brings your life happiness and meaning, struggling with grief and loss, or living with stressors like chronic disease, caregiving, dementia, memory loss, end-of-life issues, depression, or anxiety, I want to help. Please reach out to me at 407-205-2574 or firstname.lastname@example.org or to our other Orlando counselors at Life Skills Resource Group for your free phone consultation. You can also visit the Life Skills Resource Group Orlando website to find out more information about my professional background.