I am a helper.
An avid reader.
A lover of critters and humans alike.
Yes I'm a cat person. I'm a doggo person too.
Mostly I'm a Benji person.
I'm also a devoted parent and partner, but my family is resigned to my obsession with the dog. (They're a bit obsessed too--he's really such a good dog.)
I spent 10 years working in the nonprofit industry after completing a master's degree in anthropology. I traveled the world, met brilliant people, and became quite homesick. So I came home. I earned another degree, this time in counseling. As a licensed professional counselor, I have worked hard to integrate my "anthropological lens" into my therapeutic work. It's important that my interactions with clients, staff, and students are sensitive to the cultural nuances of their lives. When I say "culture" I'm talking about our experiences doing drugs, going to church, dealing with racism, coming out of the closet, and basically everything else related to our identities.
Recently I decided to climb my biggest mountain so far. (It was almost as painful as climbing Mount Meru!)
I wrote a book.
Writing my first book was a painful process, not just because of 5am wake-up calls, writer's block, and lukewarm coffee. Don't get me wrong, that part sucked, but the truly painful part of writing a book is the vulnerability. I had to look inward and work to identify my biases and assumptions. I had to drag them into the light and inspect my "issues" from every angle before relentlessly tossing them into the text for the world to see. But it was worth it, because my hope is that what I've written will contribute to a softer, gentler world. Whether you're a reader of my clinical texts or my self-help work, I hope you'll feel lighter after reading. Be less afraid to face your own biases, more willing to embrace your vulnerability.
It's painful, but it's worth it.
Back to Benji. He's my therapy assistant at my private practice, Unleashed Counseling, and he is heckin' good at his job. He helps by playing, snuggling, going for walks, and even learning new tricks with clients. His unconditional love and calm demeanor, as well as occasional bursts of puppy energy, bring a lightness and joy into the therapy room. He reminds us (ALL the humans in the room) to be kind to ourselves. He helps us believe that we deserve such kindness. Therapy is simply better with dogs.
Life is better with dogs.
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