I was recently approached for an interview by a student who is considering social work as a career. I appreciated the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on these questions, which were very thought provoking and helped give me a sense of perspective. It's my hope that, by sharing some of this interview, I might share a bit of why this work is so important to me.
It seems that this career has actually chosen me. I have proceeded down a long and arduous path that led me to where I am today. There were many twists and turns. And then I took a life altering turn in 2006 when I lost my husband to an accidental overdose of anxiety medication. I had never felt so helpless in my entire life. Devastated and defeated, I just let myself fall apart. I didn't know how life could go on. But it did go on and the dreadful pain gave way to a deep sense of love and compassion as I found myself healing in service to others. Seeing others heal from their pain has been and continues to be life affirming. I am grateful to be doing the work I know I'm meant to be doing.
According to your website, you have quite a lot of experience in what you do. How long did it take you to get to where you are now?
I can trace it back to when I had my first massage. I didn't know that my body had been carrying so much tension until that day. It opened up a world for me that I hadn't known before and I was compelled to learn more. Much of my experience draws upon my experiential learning over the course of a lifetime. I made many mistakes more than once until I learned the lessons.
It also says in your website that you have been through much of what your patients have experienced. When you first started, was it difficult for you to hear similar experiences?
Actually it wasn't at all difficult. Hearing people tell their story and witnessing their pain just evokes an immediate sense of love and compassion. It's a healing energy. I've also found that many of my clients share my Myers-Briggs type. The Idealists, as we are called by Dr. David Keirsey in Please Understand Me, are creative, sensitive types who make up only 10 percent of the population. Statistically, we don't fit in. Being surrounded by so many others who don't understand how we think or feel can make one feel that there is something wrong with them. When I share this information with these clients, it's so cool when the light bulb goes on and the realization as to why they are different gives them a new perspective about who they are and how they can shape their lives based on their own unique talents.
What is a typical work day for you? That's what I love about my job, it is anything but typical. Instead of “Days of Our Lives”, I see it as “Lives in My Days”. Though many themes are consistent, everyone is unique and I experience the world through many pairs of eyes. As a result, I am constantly learning. There is always something new to discover about the mysterious workings of the mind, which appeals to my curious nature.