The story of how I became a therapist is a bit unique. As a young woman, I lost my father to cancer, which was life changing for me. I began doing volunteer work at a local hospice because it provided comfort for me in some way. In doing this work, I heard a lot of stories from those I worked with. Stories about regrets, mistakes, compassion, and an emerging understanding of the incredible beauty and value of life. These stories gave me an understanding of the enormous importance of having compassion for those we share life with, and for striving for our potential.
Our relationships often provide so many opportunities to learn about others and about ourselves. They knit us into the human fabric. Look at your own family history. Can you see the relationships, the mistakes, the responses to those mistakes, the striving, the compassion through the generations? These make up your family fabric. Think of your family history as the circumstances that each generation faced, and the responses to those circumstances as the fabric.
Family and individual challenges can arrive as soon as early childhood, in forms such as autism, non-conforming gender identity, and relationship trauma. Childhood is such an important time for us, as this is the time we learn about ourselves, others, and the world around us. These circumstances can be incredibly hard to navigate, especially if we feel excluded in our community.
Circumstances such as autism within the family will often show us a family history of ridicule and exclusion. The price a family pays for this response can be a huge loss of the gifts and potential of the autistic member. Autistic members then are denied the benefit of loving relationships, and much work may be required to build their own self esteem. And a lifetime spent trying to discover and believe in one’s own self worth can take precious time away from developing one’s own gifts and talents.
Family members with an L,G,B,T or Q identity can face very similar responses, to which they might very well spend a whole life time trying to believe in their value and worth, creating casualties of their own gifts and talents.
When we don’t value and embrace our family members, grief is woven into the family fabric, which can last many generations.
Are you in a position to change your family fabric? This is where I can help. I provide services for children with Autism, Level 1, their caregivers, adults with Autism, Level 1, their partners, people with an LGBT or Q identity and their partners and/or caregivers, as well as those suffering from relational trauma.
I have moved past the parenting phase of my life, and am enjoying a long-term marriage. I seem to many to be a soft-hearted, traditional woman. But those that know me will tell you I am a non-conforming person, and that I very much value authentic identities, and diverse communities, not to mention live music, genealogy, and gardening. And I do believe that we can weave our families together in ways that create beautifully loving gifts for ourselves, and our descendents.
If you would like support in any of these areas, I welcome you to schedule a free, online 20 minute consultation with me. During this time, we can both get a feel for whether or not I might be the right person to help you achieve your goals.
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Minnesota
- M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Stout
- B.S. in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
- Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapists