A Therapist’s Take on Blogging

My name is Kristina and I have decided…after much thought, advice and worrying, to write a blog. Blogging has been a past hobby, one that I started for fun with friends years ago. It was really fun to write non-sense humor…even more fun when someone in Internet-land would read it and comment. I looked forward to blogging as a release, for entertainment, and to entertain.  Well, then life happened as it tends to. Grad school. Babies. Home duties. Starting a private practice. Counseling. Mothering. Wife-ing. More counseling. Who has time to think let alone write it down, right?

My background is semi-diverse, yet solely liberal artsy. After a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I took a “real” job in the world of adult learning and training. I edited, co-wrote and developed computer “eLearning” based courses for companies to use for training. I really enjoyed the educational bend I was learning in writing: how to engage an audience and persuade them to retain your information. Writing has always come naturally to me but that position challenged me to organize, prioritize, and develop dry content into something readable. I also (almost) got used to others reading what I wrote, editing it, critiquing it and sometimes rejecting it. Desensitization is key and hopefully I can relearn that here.

Beyond that career, I have achieved 7 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, families and school aged children. Learning to fill one hour with reflective listening, thoughtful questions and challenges has been daunting, but so rewarding. Desensitizing my nerves to conflict, arguing and pain has developed this side of me that has become confident where I was once meek. Learning to fill one hour with all of this six times in a day has taught me stamina and balance. And, occasionally, filling a week with 6 hours a day of counseling has led me to burnout, the need for self-care and asking for support.

Above and beyond both of my careers, I am a wife to a firefighter/EMT and a mom to two great kids. Being a “fire wife” is not always easy, but it’s not always hard either. It takes two people committed to unusual scheduled life, alternative plans for birthdays and holidays, dealing with cumulative stress from the job, and sometimes feeling like single parents who pass the kids off to each other so the other can work. My husband and I have to continually and purposefully connect in a way that is honest and non-withholding or our relationship would suffer. We have to cherish the oddity of our life’s schedule and love the weird Tuesday-morning coffee date (which is really our Saturday morning for the week).

Finally, I am, without question or reservation, a quirky, fun, anxious, occasionally overwhelmed, occasionally mad and yelly, emotional, hard-working, sleep deprived, Barbie-playing, Transformers building, Frozen watching mom. I love being a mom. Sometimes I hate it and feel like I’m failing. Sometimes I spend a work day helping others with their parenting and come home only to fail at it myself. It happens…I’m real. Parenting is hard and I almost always frame a parenting session with “I’m going to start with this statement: We are all doing the best we can. I’m not judging your parenting style or telling you how to parent your kid. I’m going to ask you questions and challenge you to reach YOUR goals. I’m not a perfect parent, and am working on goals of my own.”

Anyway, back to blogging. I started getting the writing bug a few years ago. I considered trying to write a book, but that seems so rigid and involves a whole arena of publishing and advertising that I know nothing about. Plus, how would I narrow down all that I want to write about into one organized subject matter? Therapy work seemed too broad a subject matter and too saturated of an industry. So, a dear friend of mine who has successfully blogged AND written a book reminded me that I know how to blog. I like to blog. It fits my style…my casual, witty, slightly snarky, sometimes funny, direct and real style (thank you very much).

So, my husband then asked a good question. “Who’s your audience though?”

Me: “Uh, people who read.”

Hub: “Ohhhhhh-kay. But who is going to come to this blog just to read yo stuff?”

Good point. Not quite sure yet. I know that I’ve sat on about 15 post titles in a notebook for a few months. I’m going to just get started and maybe develop a dialogue with a specifically defined audience. Or, I’m going to write for a general population of people who like to be encouraged and challenged.

Here’s a goal too. I would like to normalize the idea of going to therapy. I want my audience to read a blog written by a real therapist (who is accepting new clients, FYI…wink, wink). Nothing has to be fundamentally wrong with you to make an appointment to talk to a therapist. The best clients to have are those who are either ready for a check-up or who have awareness of a problem behavior, relationship style or destructive thought pattern and are ready to make goals to try something new. Maybe reading a blog written by a real therapist can make someone feel more comfortable with the whole idea of therapy.

“A Therapist’s Take” plans to tackle hard topics, funny or weird ones, movies and books that are interesting to mental health, articles/studies that are interesting and really anything that is selfishly inspiring or helpful. The voice you read here will be from a therapist, a wife and a mother. Hope you enjoy!

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