I have over thirty years of lived experience with a co-occurring condition (bipolar 1 disorder/alcohol misuse). I practice wellness, especially as it pertains to my condition. I have used the experiences and challenges that have come with the condition as opportunities to explore my life further, always looking for better ways to practice wellness. I strive for this ongoing goal professionally, as well as with my personal relationships.
I did my internship as an undergraduate, volunteering at a battered women's shelter. I spent time with young children so their mothers could use that time to take care of their basic needs. After graduating, I worked with at-risk youth in the San Francisco Bay Area, California (in group homes and a substance use rehabilitation center). After that, I worked with adults in San Francisco at a recreational center, and later in group homes In Albuquerque, New Mexico. I became an educator and taught in a traditional middle school in Albuquerque for one year, and in an alternative high school for fourteen years in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Along with being a mental wellness life coach, I am a peer supporter specialist and worked on the peer support line at the crisis center in Denver, supporting others of all demographics with mental health and/or substance use challenges, and psychological trauma, as well as supporting concerned others (those who are family members or acquaintances who seek support for those close to them and/or themselves).
Looking back, I see that my ongoing journey has taken me to a place of my highest passion, where I am at my very best as a mental wellness life coach. As a coach, I pull from the entire range of my background, especially my life experience. I work with a client's strengths in an alliance to support them with tools, strategies, skills, and structure so they can accomplish more as they move forward and gain hope as part of their wellness journey. I view mental wellness in a holistic way. I work with clients who are seeking or would like to maintain balance as it pertains to such things as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety or co-occurring challenges (a mental health condition(s) compounded with a substance use condition), as well as those who have been directly affected by suicide in any way. A very important part of the work I do is to help others create goals which can alleviate the discrimination often connected to these types of challenges.
I have found that the thread that runs through any type of wellness is taking care of oneself by learning the skills and tools to transform “reactive” energy (based on such things as fear and anger) into powerful energy based on stepping back, waiting, being patient, and thus responding from a more centered place. We all have strengths. Building on those strengths, the client becomes more aware of their power. From there comes resilience: the transformation of so-called "obstacles" into opportunities for growth.
As a coach, I am not a therapist or doctor. I sometimes work with clients who have therapists, doctors, mentors, and/or others who help support them, depending on what the client finds to be the most helpful. As a mental wellness life coach, I practice empathy, compassion, and patience as we move through the process together!
I have lived in Colorado for many years. I enjoy writing, reading, hiking, traveling, and spending time with my family; my wife, teenage daughter, a cat and a dog!
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
--Ursula K. Le Guin