Welcome to my first professional blog. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and I’m excited about opening a new office in my small town of Hollister, California. It’s nearly 4:30 am, and I should be sleeping. But instead I am writing about my excitement and joy filled expectations surrounding the professional changes I am making. But first, let me say a big thank you to my darling husband, Chris Nash, for setting up this web site for me. I am good at many things, but technology is not one of them. Thankfully, I am married to someone who knows things I don’t.
I have been a Marriage and Family Therapist for 10 years. Since I’m no spring chicken, I may as well get this out of the way…yes, this is my second profession. I am also a Registered Nurse with 31 years of experience. When I was 35 and had been working as a nurse for 12 years, I decided to return to school and study psychology. My years working as a bedside nurse had taught me that the part about nursing I loved the most was connecting with people on an individual level. When people are in the hospital, they are vulnerable. Sometimes, they let their vulnerability open a tunnel of connection…if they find someone who honors them and is fully present with them in their vulnerability.
So I went back to school at the age of 35, when I was married, working as an RN, and raising two children. I took night classes and squeezed studying into my already busy schedule. Along the way, my marriage of 20 years imploded. I became a single Mom, working, raising two children, and working my way through an intense program of study. Still, I graduated with honors from a Masters program in counseling psychology. I continued to learn as I took internships with a variety of social agencies, working for little or no pay in order to accrue the experience needed to become licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I completed my hours, I passed my exams, and I became licensed to connect with people for a living, and honor their vulnerability.
The years since I became licensed have been eventful. My children have been adults for quite some time. I have continued to work as a Registered Nurse, finding myself somewhat addicted to a regular paycheck and healthcare benefits. I became a grandmother (or Nana). I struggled through being single and kissed too many frogs, then I found and fell deeply in love with my prince. I married for the second (and last) time last October. I am blissfully happy in my personal life. Now, I must listen to my heart.
I always believed that some day I would build a full time therapy practice. I have worked in private practice for the past 10 years, but never yet full time. I am ready to re-commit to building a full time practice. I am ready to honor the calling of my heart, to build tunnels of connection with the people who feel my presence in the midst of their vulnerability. Last week I was watching a you tube video of Oprah Winfrey interviewing Vietnamese Zen Monk and best selling author, Thich Nhat Hanh. In the course of the interview, she asks him what his mantra is, or if he has a favorite mantra. His answer stirred my soul and put joy into my heart. He replied that his mantra is, “My darling, I am here for you.” The interview was made available to me via SoulfulLiving.com. I am not a practicing Buddhist, but many of Thich Nhat Hanh’s views resonate with me. This interview has become a symbol of my new excitement about practicing therapy.
To my heart, I say, “My darling, I am here for you.” To my clients, past and future, I say, “My darling, I am here for you.” To my family, I say, “My darlings, I am here for you.” I am here, filled with joy and amazed at the twists and turns that have brought me back to myself. I am here.