To Begin Again

It’s raw and delicate

to begin again

Sometimes I write poetry. It might not be great – in fact, most of it is probably terrible – but I like to play with words. And it’s okay for us to do things imperfectly, even messily (myself included).
Anyway, I share these lines from a recent poem I was working on. I was thinking about how it can feel raw and delicate to begin again. For example, after a medical event, we transition from healing up inside a safe and cozy cocoon to joining back into the real world. It happens in trauma recovery, too, when we move from the initial stages to re-joining the world in a new way. There’s relief, but also there’s reduced stamina. We might feel less strong, or even impatient to skip a few steps on the road to healing.
I think this is also true when we are recovering from a mental health episode of anxiety, depression, or grief. I think it’s true when we make a personal choice – a job, moving, choosing to end or begin a relationship.  I think it’s true when we vote and our country takes a step to begin again, each election cycle.
There is vulnerability in beginning again. Sometimes it is vulnerability to ourselves and our own hopes, sometimes it is vulnerability as we let others in to assist us in our healing.
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Q&A with Johanna

You’ve been in private practice for a few years now. What’s changed? What hasn’t?

Well, first off there are now two locations, one in Brighton and one in Webster. Something else that has changed is my own growth as a therapist and deepening interest in areas of specialty, including medical trauma, gender identity exploration, social anxiety, and grief. I also work with more adolescents in my practice than when I first opened.

I’m continuing to also see clients with general anxiety, grief, trauma, and depression, as well as areas of specialty. What has stayed the same is my interest in hearing people’s stories and witnessing positive change in their lives.

What helps to keep your practice sustainable?

Community! While I practice individually and the business itself is just me, I could not do this without community. In my physical office locations, I share community with the other professionals in the space. In the therapist community, I collaborate and learn from other local therapists (and with such varied strengths here in Rochester, there is always something to learn!). And more broadly, collaborating with other disciplines such as spiritual leaders and medical providers is hugely important both for the health of my practice and for the health of my clients.

I would also say continued learning is important. The more I am engaged in learning, the more I can share with my clients the most relevant and recent research on why we do what we do in therapy. There’s always something new to learn.

And finally, focusing on the most important part – the growth and the healing that happens in the office with a client. That’s the best part of the practice, without a doubt.

Upcoming: January Retreat on Letting Go

Johanna will be co-facilitating a retreat with the Rev. Virginia Tyler Smith on letting go. This retreat will provide space for education, reflection, and sharing about letting go and is open to anyone who may be facing a transition, dealing with a loss, or wrestling with something difficult at the start of the new year.

Please call (585)624-4074 to register.

When: Saturday, January 7th, 2017 from 10am-3pm (light lunch included)

Where: St. John’s Episcopal Church, 11 Episcopal Ave, Honeoye Falls NY

Cost: Suggested donation of $20, $30 for couples

All are welcome.

Upcoming Groups!

In August, the Mindfulness Group will begin (starting on Thursday 8/13).  This group will run for 6 weeks on Thursday evenings and will involve increasing mindful awareness in daily life to improve various issues and stressors you may face.  Building mindfulness skills may help you to create healthy perspective in your life.  In September and October, groups for grief and for cognitive-behavioral therapy will begin.  See the “Groups” page under “About Perspectives” for more information, or call Johanna at (585)406-3012 to sign up!