My Journey to Mental Health Counseling & Blogging

My calling to be a mental health counselor and advocate began years ago when I was in a local after-school program called “Unitas.” Invited by my 7th grade teacher, I instantly found an escape from the noise at home. I found a place where I was accepted as is and was called amazing.

I met a young woman there named Valerie (D.) who was a Fordham University student at the time. She was awesome! And she took the time to show a geeky, little girl with the nerd trifecta (bad hair, bad vision and bad teeth) – that she was awesome, too! Valerie was in Unitas for only a school year. I stayed on for 10 years.

When I left it was to go to work because I didn’t want to go to school. I realized later that I was looking to re-create my time in Unitas. I felt comfortable and confident in my abilities as an after-school counselor. I gained intrinsic value (as Doc like to put it) from just being there for others. Though I’d worked for years in the corporate setting, I was not happy.

During my pregnancy, I was depressed about my situation and was referred for therapy. It was then that I met Alma. For once, I felt like it was all about me. I thrived and grew in the process. And I was inspired.

And after having my son and losing my mother by my 25th birthday, I decided to stop looking for my calling because it had found me years before. I prayed on it and God made it happen. I ended up finishing my last year of undergrad at the Adult Degree Completion Program (ADCP) at Nyack College. It was there that a fellow alumnus told me to check out the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling (AGSC) because he felt that “it was meant for me.” He was right. (I need to thank him for that someday.)

Graduating in 2008 and earning my license as a mental health counselor in 2011, brought me so far. But, it wasn’t until May of 2012 that I’d found the job that was a good fit for me. My current job is at a small non-profit and has me working as a Bilingual Child & Family Therapist. And I LOVE IT!

Along the way, I picked up blogging as a hobby and now have blended my two loves (Mental Health  and Blogging) to advocate & educate others on Mental Health and Wellness. My goal is to mainstream Mental Health by writing and speaking about it as well as continuing my counseling work. This blog will help me do that. I hope you enjoy the ride. Thanks for your support!

New Job: First Month Report

Well, it has been a whole month since I started my new job. I’m a child & family therapist with a small non-profit in my hometown.
It has been quite a learning curve since I was out of the workforce for four months. Yes, only four months. It was the first time since age 19 that I’d not worked at all. I went back to work when kiddo was six weeks old. (Another post on that some other time.)
So after four months of being home, bummed out because I felt so rejected (even spent 2 weeks so depressed my social work bff was so worried about me) and feeling like I wanted to quit the field entirely – a job came my way.
And I’ve been working it.
The hours feel long, but I’m slowly adjusting to it. I’m getting used to having a work routine (though I think it’ll take longer because I’ve not worked this schedule before) and because I’m putting pressure on myself. I know this will get easier with time (have to repeat this to myself everyday; several times a day in fact).
In the meantime, early bedtimes and lots of coffee will keep me going. Lol Wonder what next month will bring?
PS – thanks to all of my pals online and off that supported and carried me through this challenging time. Couldn’t have done it without you! Love you! 🙂

New Job, New Chapter

I don’t often write about my daytime work (counseling). This week finds me beginning the next chapter of my life – a new job. While I can’t go into the specifics of the job here, I will say that it is a major shift in work for me.
My previous job had me running around on a crazy schedule, commuting everywhere and underpaid. This new one, while still crazy, will have me on a consistent weekly schedule, in an office (omg! My very first!) and with better pay. I know that I’ll be crazy busy from start to finish, but it’ll be a welcome one after the four years I’ve had at the other job.
I know that this job will lead me closer to my professional goals, but I also hope that it’ll give me the extra motivation I need to move my writing career forward. Wish me luck!