As human beings we all lose our way from time to time along the journey of life. We find ourselves feeling isolated and in pain and nothing that has worked in the past seems to help. I get it. I’ve been in the wilderness too. I am grateful to have found people along the way who have guided me back home to myself. If you found your way to this site you may have summoned up the courage and willingness to seek out a guide of your own.
It is a tremendous honor to serve as a supportive witness to the transformation of another human being. Through my own struggles and as a witness to the journeys of others I have come to understand that our stories are more similar than different.
Here is what I have learned:
When we were tiny little humans we were aware that we were spectacular. We had no qualms about receiving the love we richly deserved. We lived utterly in the moment. We were free.
As we grew older we learned that some behavior was acceptable and some wasn’t. The job of our parents and teachers was to help us respect ourselves and others by abiding by certain rules and norms. If we were fortunate, these adults taught us by modeling respect for themselves and respect for us as human children.
Many of us, however, were taught by other methods. We were scolded and teased and bullied into submission. We were told outright that we were not spectacular at all and we should be ashamed for thinking that we were. Some of us were exploited and abused by the very people we depended on to meet our basic needs of love and nourishment.
We learned it was not safe for us to show anger or sadness.
We turned our anger on ourselves. We repeated hateful messages again and again to ourselves in the secret space of our own minds.
We became DEPRESSED.
We learned that love and nourishment from others was conditional on how we behaved. We channeled our longing to be cherished into a need to be perfect. We pushed ourselves to achieve and always fell short of our own expectations.
We became ANXIOUS.
We learned that we needed to dress and act a certain way to be appreciated by others. We became chameleons and pushed ourselves mercilessly to be everything for everyone.
We became CODEPENDENT.
We found that suppressing our emotions and trying to be perfect left us with a vast empty space inside and a feeling of restless discontent. Some of us turned to sugar, some to alcohol, some to drugs to fill the void. We discovered that sex, pornography, unhealthy relationships and even excessive work gave us a temporary relief from the emptiness. Once we found what worked for us we “acted out” more and more frequently only to discover that the more we used it, watched it or engaged in it we were left more empty than before.
We became ADDICTED.
We had lost hope. We didn’t know where to turn. We had forgotten what we instinctively knew as tiny humans: our own WORTHINESS.
Recovery is the process of forging a path back to a place of awareness that we are still spectacular at our core. Nothing we have ever thought or done has changed our essence. We simply forgot our Self.
When we are ready to take the path back to ourselves we may seek out a guide to help us clear out the briars and brush that have kept our path hidden. A useful guide has tools handy that help us stay safe and pace ourselves as we clear our way.
We learn to let go of the past and welcome the challenges of the future. We live in the moment through the practice of MINDFULNESS.
We learn to nurture our own hearts and heal our own wounds through the art of SELF-COMPASSION.
We are no longer driven by fear. We no longer need to please or manipulate others to get our needs met. We view our own imperfections, circumstances and the people around us with ACCEPTANCE.
We discover that we can trust ourselves to make healthy choices. We realize our own WISDOM.
If you recognize yourself in this story you are already on the path to rediscovering your Self. You are already searching for a guide to help you along the way. You already have HOPE.
Kathleen is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). She began working as an addiction specialist in providing support to adolescents in the juvenile justice system. Her interest in trauma recovery led her to work in the day hospital for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at the Michael Debakey Veteran’s Hospital in Houston. She is certified to teach parenting skills and has experience as a parenting coach for mothers in recovery. She is the author of a study- manual the National Counselor Exam required for LPC licensure. Kathleen is an artist and enjoys writing poetry and spending time with friends. She moved to Austin three years ago to be closer to her three adult children and two grandchildren.
$120 per 50 minute session
Payment is due at the beginning of each session. Cash, check, and credit cards are accepted.
BCBS, Cigna, Seton and Sendero/Beacon insurance plans are accepted.
Areas of Specialization:
Anxiety and Trauma
Parenting and Blended Families
Senior Life Transition