Continuing the story of my life and how my experiences led me to become a counselor by taking my life back.
This Isn’t What I Need
Initially, my therapy was like talking to a good friend. In fact, I honestly didn’t think it was for me. I saw two different female counselors. Basically, both assured me “everything would be alright.” A “BANDAID” (extremely co-dependent and mothering)! That’s not what I needed; I felt better, but I wasn’t growing I needed more than just to talk; I NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING.
This Is It – Working Hard
I realized that I needed a male therapist, a mentor, someone that I could relate to. I needed someone who would make me work on myself, not just show up to talk. Males NEED “to do!” I found a male counselor who specialized in work with men and he was exactly what I was looking for. He put me to work, I did group work with other men; hard work to heal the deep wound that was burdening me and my life. Over the next couple of years, I would learn exactly what had to be done. I spent an entire year “re-parenting” myself by research, reading parenting books, retreats and a regimen of homework from my therapist. I learned to do and give myself what my parents didn’t.
I was healing. I began to put meaning to the suffering. I realized that my troubled past would guide me to make the decision that I wanted to help others, especially young boys carrying wounds from their fathers. I accepted that my dad was a gift in my life. His abuse and inability to be a good father would make me want to be a better man and teach other young men.
Change Is Good
My entire life and career would change. I discovered and formulated my mission: to create healthy lifestyles by teaching, facilitating, and example. I returned to school to get my Masters degree in Counseling. I felt better than I had in years. In my quest to heal myself, I found I could help others, and that was rewarding! I was working closely with Dr. Sam Marwit on grief work; Role of Deceased Mentors in the Ongoing Lives of Protégés, published in Omega: Journal of Death and Dying. I spent enormous amounts of time doing research and development. I traveled the country to meet with and co-facilitate various teen programs, constantly learning and growing.
I’m On The Right Path
I opened my first office in 1996. At that time, much of my time was spent co-facilitating group work with adults as well as adolescent boys. It was soon after The Quest Project would begin to evolve. I had taken not only my personal experience but the knowledge and research I had accumulated, and I knew exactly how to help these young boys in their transition to becoming men.
I highly recommend and encourage anyone needing therapy to find a therapist who you can relate to. It’s not only okay to take the time to do that, but it can also be imperative to your progress. Have you had a similar experience, please share your comments?