When I started this page over a year ago, my first blog was about taking a different path in life. I was at a career crossroad, and decided to take my own, “Roadless traveled.” The hope to become a mental health therapist was one of the primary reasons I went into the Social Work Profession. A profession that has become so much apart of my character, that it defines who I am. But as in all long journeys, I became lost and confused with my direction.
What happened? Life did. Being a therapist seemed so far out of my reach…Once I graduated with my degree(s) I had a wake up call that most therapy positions required extensive experience. And in the shuffle of adulthood and everything that comes with it, that dream became distant. But thankfully, as a Social Worker, I was able to dedicate my life to helping others. Counseling is always apart of the process, no matter your job title or location. Through the medical field I learned about the process of death and grief. In inpatient psychiatric hospitals, I was able to see the impact of severe mental illness. In management, I learned the importance billing and time management. And that it was certainly not a strength of mine! Each new role and experience taught me lessons that no book or class ever could. I am thankful for each experience.
And then I questioned what made me have the calling in the first place? I wanted to be a mental health therapist in a private practice setting. But again the experience was lacking in this area. I did not know where to begin… and thankfully an agency agreed to help me. It was a difficult transition. I have definitely had to go back to where it all began. Relearning how to provide quality therapy. Remembering how to use the “empty chair” technique. How to engage a child in sand tray play therapy. Recognizing my own weaknesses and how they impact others. Then I hit a big wall. I knew that I was finding my path. But I no longer felt capable of doing it in an agency setting. It became uncomfortable.
I knew that this was a sign, that it was finally time. Time that I listened to my gut. Time that I fulfilled what I have been dreaming of since a young student. Time to become independent, with the ability to make my own choices. Time to go into Private Practice.
Of course, I was not able to do this alone. There are too many people to thank. But you know who you are. I appreciate everything that you have done to assist me with this journey. I appreciate the phone calls, the technical assistance, the movers, the emotional support, the financial support, and the professional support. I am so thankful to everyone. And I recognize that I am not an island, and will continue to require guidance from others.
I am thrilled to be able to say that I am in Private Practice! It’s extremely exciting and positive. Of course, it’s not perfect..It’s very much, “a work in progress.” And will continue to be so. But above all, is that I am finally back on the path. With the passion to help others and the ability to do so. And that is what truly matters.
Angie Simonton, LCSW-BACS