My childhood ambitions were to be a mother and have four children (I am the youngest of four) and to be a teacher. I remember coming home from school and going down to the basement to play school. My “classroom” was made of egg crates, the kind that carries many dozens of eggs. I loved sports and dance.
I’d had jobs, such as working on my parent’s farm, collecting, washing and packing eggs, driving the tractor, taking the lunch out to the crew during harvest season. Going to university I had summer jobs such as waitressing, filing clerk, and newspaper assistant.
My first career job was physical education teacher. I knew I would not want to be a Phys. Ed. teacher for the rest of my life, so I had taken a double degree B.A. and B.P.H.E. I enjoyed teaching Phys. Ed and loved coaching the senior girls volleyball team.
When I was pregnant with my first child I quit teaching and settled in to raise my children. I had always longed to be a mother so I was in my element at home with my kids.
The problem for me was parenting. I did not like how I was parented. In the decades when I was raised proper parenting was spankings, strappings and harsh punishments. A frequent phrase quoted from the Bible was “Spare the Rod and Spoil the child.” It was too harsh for me, and I was traumatized from it. I was afraid of my mother who would discipline harshly. I did not want to do that to my children. I vowed I would never hit my children. Yet I knew children needed discipline and I had no idea how to do it. I started going to parenting courses. The Adlerian S.T.E.P. program was very strong in the 70’s and 80’s. I found the courses so helpful that I kept going to them. After a while I started leading the courses. I enjoyed working with parents and families. This was the lead in to my next career – counselling.
When my youngest child started kindergarten, I started a Master’s in Counselling Psychology. Once in the program, I had this sense that I was “home” – that is, I’d found the career I was always meant to do. I loved working with people and helping them change their lives for the better. Counselling is like another dimension of parenting but in a profound way. I went on to get a Ph.D. and get registered as a psychologist.
What I enjoy most about my work is helping people help themselves. By working with clients and their emotions, I facilitate their ability to access and express emotions in ways that help them learn how to handle their emotions in a positive way by themselves. I help clients interpret their dreams and teach them how to work with dreams without needing to interpret them. I guide clients through trauma, past and present, helping them heal and become emotionally healthy. Often reframing a client’s situation and experience can make a huge positive impact. I provide a ‘container’ for clients as they process trauma. I make it safe for them to access and express emotions to a deep level and not have to do it alone. I enjoy watching the changes people go through as they heal and come into their own in a way they couldn’t do before. This enables them to achieve their goals and life dreams. I often say, “ If I’m doing my job, I work myself out of a job.”
I have always been very aware that many people do not want or need to see a therapist. That does not mean they couldn’t benefit from counselling or therapy. My motivation for starting a blog, quizzes and giving advice, is to provide resources for people who are not interested in counselling but are seeking help. The quizzes were designed to help people sort through their relationship and career/job conflicts in privacy and anonymity of their home. Also, I hope that by experiencing benefits from the information and tools on Bea in Balance, if there is a need for more help, people would be more open to therapy as a useful resource.
I have learned so much over the years through study and working with clients. I want to share what I know with others through Bea in Balance.See what Bea can do for you