This week's thoughts posted on the Blog page!
Welcome to my website and thank you for your presence here. A little about me. I've done several things in my life – from being a public health professional to stay at home mom to adjunct faculty to Religious Education Director to author of a religious novella to licensed mental health counselor. This last piece, going back to school to get a PhD in counselor education and supervision from the Pastoral Counseling Department of Loyola University, Maryland, helped bring all the pieces together. I work now to understand human beings, our place in the world, what we're up against, and how a person can become more herself while staying connected with others.
Being yourself while keeping in touch with family and friends is an example of a universal process sometimes called Individuality and Togetherness, a process found in all living things. An atom, apparently, is built with a balance of parts so that it can maintain its own identity – but can also become part of something larger. Think H2O. The process is everywhere. Watch dogs in the park, playfully running towards and away from one another. Watch a toddler, wanting so much to be a part of the family, but at the same time imploding in a tantrum as he tries to establish his own identity.
All of us grow up in families, where we first absorb what becomes automatic for us across our life span. Family systems, a framework for conceptualizing what is happening within and between people, is the theoretical perspective I follow in my clinical practice. Sometimes called living systems, it is more than a way of understanding humans, but a way of describing life on this planet: the entangled bank of living things writ large.
I try to write and talk about these ideas in several formats. My blog posts and podcasts take look at the human side of stories in scripture. My first book was an early effort to think about what humans are up against, and I'm working on my second. In public health, I focus on place-based determinants of health, a way of thinking about health from a living systems view. Thank you for reading my work!