I am often asked, “Why did you get your Masters in Mental Health Counseling and open a private practice?”
My whole life, I have listened to others’ problems, given support and offered advice. This started on the playground and developed further during single life in Manhattan – in fact, there were six couples married through my matchmaking efforts. As a married, mother of two, I still enjoyed being there for others and had experienced many of the difficulties and challenges facing my peers – marital struggles, child-raising difficulties and feelings of dissatisfaction, loneliness and frustration.
On the professional side, experience developed as a recruiter through working with hundreds of candidates on strength accentuation and goal pursuit. Mentoring became part of the job in sales, as a corporate trainer – and I loved it.
I’ve never been shy and have always been full of advice and a desire to be helpful. So, I could have done any number of things that combined my passions without going back for a master’s degree.
But I realized I could be biased and over-zealous in my efforts to help someone. I needed to learn to see things, not just from my point of view, but through demonstrated methods and researched techniques. I wanted to learn from professionals – in school, during internship and through entry-level counseling jobs.
I also realized that sometimes, even with the best intentions, when given advice, it is human nature to fight against it – especially if we feel the other person isn’t being objective. I needed to learn how to work with clients to help them solve their own problems.
Yes. I am a very directive counselor. I offer suggestions and scenarios. “What if” scenarios are played out in many different directions. Yes, sometimes clients know where I stand on an issue, but they know there is no judgment – no right and wrong. We are collaborating to find the right solutions for that person. In my practice, I get to work with people with their own, unique problems, and use life, school and work experience to help them have a happier more fulfilling life. That is why I became a Mental Health Counselor with my own practice.