Personal Note to my Clients
It seems hardly possible that I have been counseling professionally since 1985. Actually there are many more years than that if you count my college peers lining up to speak with the “Doc” for the sometimes very unusual college problems, followed by 10 years in industry and 12 more in teaching.
I love being there for people. I believe that all of my clients should receive merit badges for courage as they face the difficult obstacles that prevent them from being happy and achieving their goals.
Individual counseling covers just about everything. Depression comes to my door most often (I specialize in Depression and Grief Counseling), followed by pornography (usually the wives drag in their husbands), last the family of origin issues like codependency and relationship problems caused by childhood abuse or neglect.
I hate it the most when women come to me beaten down by what has come against them. I love it the most when they complete counseling and leave my office singing, “I am woman. Hear me roar.”
Sex, “If you can’t make it there you can’t make it anywhere.” What I mean is that the bedroom doesn’t lie. If it stinks there the relationship stinks also. There aren’t many Certified Sex Therapists around so I thought that would be an important thing to do. Sex therapy also covers such topics as sexual addiction (cyber sex), sexual enhancement, and gender identify.
Marriage Counseling, now that is another story. I love using couple’s counseling to heal childhood wounds. Isn’t that what real love is meant for? Isn’t poor communication an emotional hiding out? Isn’t that abusive husband the little bully boy and the enabling wife the little lost girl?
Your teenager holds a special place in my heart. They are having such a difficult time of it. Today more than ever teens are being pulled in every direction, most of which are unhealthy and immortal. Please remember that I am not replacing you the parent, rather am an advocate to help the teen figure things out.
I care for all my clients regardless of who they are, but because of my personal background, I have a special understanding of some groups that can be very helpful. So I will address them below.
I began serving as a hospital chaplain in the Emergency Room, then onto the floor and finally into the intensive care unit.
Most of the work was very gratifying despite having to comfort both staff and patients during some rather difficult times. It seemed that I was particularly good at helping patients and their families preparing for death and processing short and long term grief. Consequently I was later employed with Hospice of Stokes County as a Social Worker/Grief Counselor and later volunteer Chaplain.
The Hospice team approach to patient care was a wonderful experience into healthcare at its best. It was there that I was able to influence local physicians and nurses, as well as community leaders on the advantage of palliative care.
The respect and understanding of the medical profession has greatly influenced my counseling and has helped me to better understand the stresses and strains of this very difficult profession and how it impacts the health professional’s personal life.
For a period of 11 years, I was the hiring and traning expert and business consultant for three large American companies. Not only did I give business seminars but also wrote hiring manuals and interpreted placement testing outcomes.
Currently, I consult with a number of companies as the “outsource” HR department and mentor counselors and religious and business leaders from around the world.
Counseling business professionals often contains elements on strategies for business and financial success, as well as reaching personal and relationship goals.
It is difficult to say what I liked more, working with the rural poor, doing hospital and nursing home pastoral work, conducting evangelical religious services throughout the East Coast of the USA, or having my own church community.
I guess it could be said that it was “the best of times and the worst of times.”
I know what it is like to be on call 24/7, 365 days; to be interrupted during dinner with the family to answer, “what time is Sunday service?”, or to be called in the middle of the night for an emergency hospital visit. I remember the hundreds of thank yous and the all too many unjust criticisms. I remember not getting the leadership support that I was promised. And I remember how Christ always kept His promises.
When pastors, and often their wives, sit with me for counseling my heart goes out to them. I am honored and humbled to stand with them. These are the people on the front lines and the glue of our society.
I know their life and can contribute in ways that few counselors can.
As a high school student the prospect of studying 8-12 more years to get where I wanted to go was akin to walking on hot coals. Now some 50 years later it seems like a walk in the park. I never did stop studying something.
During my first year teaching I was a “Lower School Teacher” and Vice Principal at a private school. Now there is a killer start. Subsequently I have taught at a number of private and public secondary schools. My teaching career ended after eight years teaching at various local Community Colleges.
I know what it is like to stay up late to correct papers that students did not want to write and then complained later about their poor grades. I know what it is like to spend more time on classroom management than instruction only to have administration unjustly on your back for student failures. I know what it is like not to have enough money to pay your own bills but still buy school supplies for other peoples’ children.
I also know the thrill of seeing the lights go on in a student who begins to ask the really excellent questions. I still remember the time almost 43 years ago when a student came into my classroom after school and asked me to help him with a poem he was writing about his motorcycle.
So today when a teacher sits in my counseling room, they know that they have an advocate and fellow traveler sitting with them. I get it.