We’re going to talk a little bit today about your practice and what you do and how you got into doing the work that you do. I first wanted to talk with you a little bit about what I saw on your website and I really loved what you said I think mostly because it resonated with me and this idea of how we’ve become human doings but not human beings. You mentioned that your mission is to provide healing with presence and passion and that by truly being ourselves we can reclaim a free and joyful life and I just loved that. I thought that was so well written and it really did speak to me so I’m curious, first of all it seems like this would be the origin of where your practice name came from and why do you think that’s so important right now?
Well, I think that we really need some, we need some opportunities to reconnect to ourselves. We have plenty of opportunities to disconnect whether that be through, whether that’s through addiction, whether that’s through technology, people we spend more and more time on our phones and that’s where we’re looking but not a lot of time listening to our intuition, listening to our inner wisdom and opening up that channel. I think it’s a skill that needs to be taught because it’s not something that we do naturally so I love helping people with that. First of all I love doing it myself but I also love bringing that to other people and whether there route is through meditation, whether it’s through mindfulness, whether it’s through spending time in nature. Those are just a few of the ways and it really helps us to rebuild that trust with ourselves that’s often been broken when we’ve struggled with mental health issues or certainly with addiction.
It’s funny because it’s almost giving yourself permission to do the work that you need to do to take care of yourself and oftentimes it feels like there’s a lot of shame that’s affiliated with people doing that. Most people don’t think about how taking a half a day off from work and giving yourself some time to just decompress and disconnect seems almost gluttonous to some folks but absolutely so necessary.
It is. I think there’s a huge cost when we don’t do that. Yeah, I like to really normalize it and I think more and more people are talking about self care but I find it helpful to make that real in someone’s life. What does self care look like for you and-
What does that look like for you Erin when you say self care?
For me, I’m very protective of my schedule because if I schedule too much then I’m not present for each thing that I have to show up for. That’s with clients so I don’t see more than four clients in a day because I don’t want for that last client for me to not be really there for them. It means being mindful of my social calendar and I’m an introvert so if I have spent a lot of time talking to a lot of people or in a group I know that I’m going to need some time by myself to have some solitude and reflection. I love nature, I love hiking. That’s just, I’m looking forward to when it’s a little bit warmer and I can get out there and do more of that.
That’s a perfect segue into my next question which is you love nature and you moved here from Chicago, not too long ago actually.
Right, yeah it’s been-It’s been almost a year.
Not a native of Colorado but sounds like you’re taking full advantage of the Colorado lifestyle which is great. You worked at Hazelton and Betty Ford and really impressive how you worked at this really, huge organization that had a model of treatment that was very focused on just a very traditional way of doing addiction treatment work and so what you’ve talked about is this idea of shifting away from this acute care model of working with addiction to really looking at recovery management and looking how that integration plays a part with somebody’s long term recovery. What first got you thinking that this was the shift that needed to happen in working with addiction and what have been some of the benefits from it?
Oh sure. Yeah, I think that recovery management first of all and my time at Hazelton I observed when we really weren’t thinking of it that way and the all of the sudden it getting on our radar. We really need to transition this and we need to think about what folks are doing once they leave treatment and the for me personally to be aligned with that, I wanted to be one of those resources to help people with longer term recovery so after someone’s completed treatment and they want to work through the things in their lives that are still barriers whether that’s family issues, whether that’s ongoing self esteem just a lot of the tremendous work that needs to be done. I wanted to help a person with that and I will always say I am not the solution, I am just one part and I really believe in helping individuals build community and so that’s very much aligned with recovery management is don’t turn to your therapist as the end all be all, this is where I get my answers. This is where I get my solutions is what are some other places where you gain clarity or you…That’s very much supported in treatment community with event things like saying, “Well why don’t you talk to your group about this. Go do group therapy. See what group thinks.” In 12 step community it’s well that might be something to talk to your sponsor about or why don’t you make some outreach calls to sober peers. For me, I’m helping a person to, I’m also looking at the health of what are those other places that they are drawing resources from and are they stepping into AA once every three months or is it an ongoing relationship. What’s the work that’s being done there and ultimately it’s leading toward where a person is in the self management where they’re really tuned into these are my needs. This is what I’m feeling and this is what I can do with this.
Which is so important to help people take accountability for their own recovery and not feeling like they have to lean on one person to be, like you said, the solution but allowing them to realize there’s multiple ways that they can really build that safety net for themselves and that they can be in charge of that.
That’s great. I love it. We always love to get to know the person behind the program and so I’m going to ask you a couple questions. The first is if you had a billboard that you can put anything or any saying on it, what would you want the world to know?
That’s a tough one. I think I’m going to say, I would say something about it’s the most important relationship we have is the relationship with self and I might just leave it at that. Something with dot dot dot at the end and get people thinking because I think we don’t spend enough time in reflection. How am I talking to myself, can I improve this relationship with myself?
Really nice. You mentioned and we talked a little bit earlier about this, about the importance of self care. You’re a year into living in Colorado and I’m a big hiker myself so what’s your favorite place to hike?
Last year I did twice the hike called Herman Gulch. It’s right off of I-70. It’s around Georgetown-ish. There’s quite a bit of elevation gains. It’s an out and back trail but it arrives at this beautiful high altitude lake which just surrounded by some other mountains and it’s really just breathtaking and in the summer tons of wildflowers and yeah, I definitely recommend if you have hiking poles that’s one you might want to bring them for.
Okay, I do. I do have those and admittedly I like to hike to destinations that are usually way tucked in the back somewhere that it takes a little while and a little bit more effort to get to. Those are the best hikes because you know that it’s worth it when you get to the top.
Yeah, then you’ll like this one.
If I were to throw out the word harmony, what you do think it means to live a life in harmony?
I think that means it’s about integrating these different parts of our lives and having them not competing with each other, not throwing any one part of our life out. I think harmony in that was is very much like recovery. It’s not having to compartmentalize that anymore but having them all playing well together. Yeah, and having alignment too is what I think about.
That’s good. Yeah, I agree with that. If someone wanted to access services at Truly Being therapy, how can they get in touch with you?
Best way would probably be to give me a call. My number is 720-548-1794. Alternatively you can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org