My journey in mental health practice began many years before I started my current program at Aurora University. Growing up was tough. I could never sit in my chair without talking. When I got in trouble, it was because I did not know my limits. My behavior was stressful to deal with. I remember the only way my Mom could get me to be quiet was yelling at me.
I also had trouble remembering to do things. As a student, I never utilized my assignment notebook, and I was late turning in homework. The only way I could look smart was when Mom did the homework with me. My family communication was built on love, but tough love. I did not get away with acting out, and my Mom was not afraid to let the family show it. Arguments about video game usage, tv usage, and computer usage filled the air with tension. By the time high school rolled around I would watch tv on my computer, hiding while I said I was doing my homework.
I never felt anxious or depressed, but these feelings were slowly growing inside of me. I was barely able to meet my parents’ expectations. As a struggling student in high-school, I was burned out from the lack of self-care. Finally, I took an alternative route to healing, undergoing an advanced brainwave-rebalancing technology to get back on track. The company, now franchised as CeresetTM, is a computer- aided approach to balance the brainwaves in both hemispheres of the brain which may become imbalanced due to stress or trauma and then remain ‘stuck’ in the imbalanced mode. Eventually using this technology helped recreate natural balance in my brain, and I started to see myself organize and think through things. The picture of who I wanted to be and the steps I needed to take to get there became clearer. Understanding the functions of the eight areas of the brain CeresetTM aims to balance also helped me tremendously.
I was able to advance my career, becoming a tech coach for the same brain-based neuro-balancing company, Cereset Naperville. After working closely with clients, tracking their wellness scores, and coaching these individuals through their journey into wellness, I decided I was ready to take my basic skills to the next level.
An acquaintance recommended Aurora University for its promising career options in Psychology and Social Work. The Social Work program appealed to me as it offered me further opportunities to build on the work with clients I had begun previously.
My primary objective as an intern at Dunham Counseling has been to bring a therapeutic relationship to youth. Listening to their stories and realizing how so much has changed since I graduated, I cannot help but feel that young people are suffering tremendous stress right now. My discussions with them center on allowing them to vent their frustrations, or open up about their nervousness when it comes to getting back to school, or about how they will build their careers in the future.
I find that each client has needs that can be met by helping them find creative ways to model good behavior and do well in school. While most of them understand the concept of survival, learning to regulate their emotional responses will help them become their ideal person. We discuss ways to balance their lives- for example, we talk about how in relationships, like being on a seesaw, one needs to understand the weight of the other person.
Joining a University community that has supported underprivileged people since the early 1900’s gave me a chance to learn why the mental health system needs serious change. Recent national events and the effect individual behavior can have on so many others have really showed me the importance of mental health. The effect that the pandemic has had on the most vulnerable populations sparked my interest in helping the community on a larger scale.
Individuals, families, and their community have been hit hard by the pandemic. Those at an economic disadvantage who are struggling to find the resources need help. A variety of changes in the approach to rebuilding in a post-pandemic world has challenged the way people live life. Therefore, counseling as a system of alliance can support those in need. Dunham Counseling Center has expanded services to help members of the adolescent population, who may feel that “getting back to normal” seems like just a dream. As a young adult myself, finding ways to connect to youth is what I intend to accomplish. I believe my youth can help transform the mental health and well-being of youth.
I work with adolescents/teens and their parents on a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, mood disorders, stress management, suicidality, self-esteem, bullying, problems at home and school, academic issues, emotional self-regulation, and spirituality. Having overcome many of my own personal issues, growing up in this community, I connect with youth in a way they respond to. I create an environment where openly conversing can lead the client to a more optimistic perspective about him/her/their self and their environment. The sessions I conduct are reviewed regularly with a seasoned mental health professional supervisor, assuring the quality of the services. The therapeutic alliance is formed over the duration of sessions. The content of the sessions is confidential and can be disclosed to parents/ family members with the client’s approval. The outcomes of the client relationship are focused on achieving client goals, creating wellness, and safety.
Call Dunham Counseling at 630-799-0100 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org today to learn how our expanded adolescent/youth services can benefit your struggling loved one.