As a working anesthesiologist I divide my time between being a clinician who reassures and then puts people to sleep, and a clinician who actively listens as a primary responsibility. Being a therapist is a second and very welcome career, a return to home base. As a medical student I was torn between mental health and a surprise love for anesthesia which I discovered in a single day with a cardiac anesthesiologist who excelled at teaching. I followed that latter path for over two decades enjoying fine-tuning my skills in trauma, high-risk obstetrical, cardiac, and general anesthesia. Most recently our group has provided services utilizing our expertise in helping to care for critically ill covid patients, and I recognized an increasingly dire need for attention to our own well-being as clinicians.
The burnout, substance use, and suicide rates are already high in anesthesia and other areas of medicine. Clinicians effectively carry tremendous responsibility with grace and skill. But sometimes we forget that taking care of our selves is as important as taking care of our patients. Some of us never learned the importance of self-care to begin with, and don't recognize the signs and symptoms of being seriously over-extended. Some are fully aware but feel helpless to make necessary changes. With the advent of exponentially increasing challenges it has become more critical to take care of each other. Peer support, formal and informal offers some relief, but sometimes a solitary, devoted, ear with expertise in listening, empathizing, being with, can make all of the difference in the world.
I finished the formal education necessary to engage career change just as covid was hitting with all of its stunning impact. I feel grateful to be able to continue contributing as this crisis unfolds in our hospitals, as well as to be a solid base for those who decide therapy could be helpful. I love the work that both entail, reliever of pain, sometimes, on multiple levels, and with multiple skills. Therapy, though, can be a very painful process.
I've talked a lot about my expertise in medicine and health care but I also have experience in and love working with individuals who struggle with substance use disorders, depression, anxiety, and complex trauma. Much of the work I have engaged with clients has involved a recognition and coming to terms with trauma in childhood and adolescence. No matter what issues lead to seeking help, therapy can be filled with unexpected discovery, and calls for strength, perseverance, and courage. At its best it is a growth process that can be life-altering in profound ways, but it takes time.
Therapy is about the relationship, about finding a good fit. Trust is a critical component without which good therapy just doesn't happen. And sometimes trust is a long time in the building. It is key to follow your intuition in deciding who is a good fit to accompany you on your journey, should you decide to take those steps.
Please feel free to reach out and explore if we might be a good fit working together.