My Experiences in Service Work

I have been drawn to service throughout my adult life, as both a clinical social worker and an ordained interfaith minister. My work has included psychotherapy for individual adults, couples, families, teens, and children, art/dance therapy in the psychiatric units of a hospital, caring for autistic children in a residential center, tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth, teaching sexual abuse prevention curriculum, answering calls on a rape crisis hotline, counseling women and children in a domestic violence shelter, teaching creative arts to teens from impoverished urban areas, school counseling and teaching at alternative schools (secondary and graduate-level), leading community service and mindfulness education for youth, facilitating meditation and support groups, officiating weddings and funerals, and offering spiritual care as a hospice chaplain for dying patients and their loved ones. I am also the mother of three children, a role that requires serving beyond any boundaries that work can provide.

I know both the fulfillment and the emotional drain service can involve. It is work of the heart, and it requires continual re-sourcing. Over and over again, we have to find ways to release other people’s energies and replenish our spirits. I have always been most effective when I am centered, open-hearted, and strong, but that inner well-being doesn’t always come easy. There are real pressures in the systems of healthcare, education, and social service, not to mention the never-ending learning curve of motherhood. The care of the caregiver work I do now is created in honor of all the dedicated, heartfelt individuals I have known over the years. I use tools of meditation, writing, deep conversation, energy work, and movement to bring us all back to center, to unblock the flow of giving and receiving, and to bring passion, authenticity, and freedom to our lives and to all the lives we touch. I hope you’ll join me in caring for yourself in this way.