Are you able to find time to really focus on taking care of yourself? You’re usually the strong one, but these days you don’t feel so strong. Maybe you’re so busy taking care of others or staying afloat with a big change that you’re losing part of yourself. Maybe your physical health is starting to suffer. In fact, you feel kind of lost right now.
Transition or change is a natural part of life, and can bring with it stress, anxiety, and challenge our identity and roles. Counseling provides a safe space to explore the change occurring in your life. I help adults, caregivers, and those going through major life changes express and cope with their feelings and prioritize things in order to live in a way consistent with their values.
I help clients from all walks of life. Some of my specialties include helping people cope with:
- Challenges of chronic/terminal illness
- Grief, loss & bereavement
- Expected or unexpected loss or change in role/identity (ex: becoming a parent, caregiving for a loved one, move, etc.)
- Difficulty finding time/energy to prioritize self-care
- Social isolation/loneliness due to care giving
- Chronic stress
- Difficulty adjusting to change
A Supportive Approach to Counseling & Therapy
My experience working in healthcare, hospice and palliative care support my therapeutic perspective of the whole self: individuals are made up of the self, environment, family, friends, and larger community. I do not believe balance means equal time and space for all the things in your life. I believe that balance means congruence between thoughts, actions, and values. This congruence shifts and changes as the demands of life do and sometimes, we struggle with what that means for our roles, identity, and well-being. Incongruence can lead to anxiety, depression, and other problems of living.
In counseling sessions, I will help you acknowledge and respect the self of the past that has gotten you to this point. We’ll discuss the strengths that help you in each role you currently occupy and help you nurture the strengths you already have to reinvest in yourself. Then, we’ll be able to explore the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behavior, and how that impacts your identity. We will use problem solving, identify unhelpful thoughts and mindsets, and discover a new perspective that offers support, empowerment, and meaning to your life. Through counseling sessions, we will add tools to your toolbox so you can cope with the stress you are facing.
By using mindfulness techniques, problem solving, and motivational interviewing, it is my hope that you will allow me to walk with you as you get to know yourself and reconstruct life meaning after experiencing transition or loss.
My Education & Mental Health Experience
I am a strong proponent of supporting evidence and transparency. Here, I share with you my supporting evidence of what qualifies me to work as a therapist! I earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia and worked as a Hospice and Palliative Care Social Worker where I completed clinical supervision and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). I maintain network and academic connections and participate in guest panel lectures and individual lectures on the state of end of life care, non-pharmaceutical comfort measures, hospice, and palliative care. In addition, I have served as a presenter at state and regional conferences. I also maintain membership with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) where I sit on the Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE) committee. I also sit on the Social Work Committee for the Missouri Hospice & Palliative Care Association (MHPCA). I continue to work alongside researchers to identify supports and treatments for caregivers of folks with chronic or terminal illness.
In the past six years, I have worked in care facilities and in the community with people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and in hospice and palliative care. It has been my privilege to work with the dying and their families and understand the physical, emotional, and psychological tole of being a caregiver. I have seen firsthand the challenges faced by those at significant life transitions. I understand that grief and loss are not isolated to death and dying, but we are impacted by loss at several points in our lives.
I use a person-centered, mindfulness-based approach. I am currently seeking certification in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and using techniques based in Action and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and motivational interviewing (MI).
Begin Counseling with Christi
You don’t have to continue to walk the path through this stressful time in your life alone. Counseling can help you fully accept the complicated feelings you’re experiencing, help you find new meaning in your life, feel confident in your ability to manage the different roles you play and help you be more confident in who you are in this moment in time.