By Cheryl Heppard, Examiner.com July 31, 2010
Can you please tell us about your field of expertise, and explain your personal mission?
My field of expertise is working with individuals (students of all ages, as well as adults) who have characteristics or diagnoses of ADHD, anxiety, Autism Spectrum, Aspergers Syndrome, learning style differences and other IEP or 504 conditions. My intention when providing psychotherapy or academic support is to facilitate each client’s journey toward their most complete expression of their truest self.
What is your background and what led you to this business?
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. My primary career for over 30 years, was working in public education (special education and counseling). I had begun my private practice, Spiral Wisdom LLC, in 2002. When I was recently offered an opportunity to expand the time dedicated to my business, I welcomed the opportunity to increase the number of students and schools that I could assist – offering academic strategies, recommending accommodations / modifications for teachers and parents, and providing counseling to improve student’s self-esteem and motivation. Devoting more time to my business has also allowed me to expand the holistic and metaphysical aspects of my therapy practice. When appropriate, I utilize Guided Imagery. This is a meditative state that allows people to access their Inner Wisdom, heal their Inner Child, and access past (life) experiences. Since clients are able to share their experiences verbally during the Guided Imagery, I can effectively guide their journey into self-understanding.
How does holistic health apply to your business and your lifestyle?
I look at my clients as whole beings – recognizing the many facets that have created who they are (society, family, peers, self, soul purpose). I also strive to recognize and identify any difficulties that may be apparent with other systems (i.e.: educational, of which I have considerable knowledge). I also apply mind/body/spirit principles during counseling. In my own life, I strive to be environmentally responsible and take a holistic approach to my health. I am aware of the mind – body connection for myself and use spiritual principles to direct my activities and personal inner voyage.
What makes your business unique and sets you apart from your competition?
Trust: My clients (adults and children) feel at ease in my presence and trust me with the uncomfortable aspects of themselves.
Intuition: I hear the client’s words, but I also hear the messages between the words and in their body language.
Gestalt: When evaluating an educational or therapeutic situation, I look at the gestalt (how the parts contribute to the whole; recognizing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts).
Knowledge: I have worked as a special education teacher, teacher consultant and crisis counselor in the schools. I have worked with children of all ages from elementary thru senior high, and assisted with their transitions to college. I have been the 504 building coordinator and the building Accommodations Coordinator for ACT testing. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Experience: 30 years in various schools has provided me with the knowledge of what is really important to help a student to succeed, what they likely encounter in classes and curriculum, and what types of accommodations the staff will find reasonable and realistic.
Communication: I have a gift for explaining a situation or an individual – to that client, their family, and to the school people – in a way that is understood.
Does this (your services) work for everyone?
I am most effective with verbal clients. When working with non-verbal clients (for instance a child with autism) I support the client indirectly by providing the family and educational system with information to help them to understand the child and with effective, reasonable interventions to be considered.
Has the recession impacted your business, and if so, how have you adapted?
I am a fee-for-service provider and have always been aware of financial challenges that face families. I am able to reduce my fee when necessary. Also, I can offer a reasonably priced, one-time consultation with a student and provide academic strategies and numerous recommendations.
Is there anything you wish people knew about your business that they probably don’t know?
I provide Guided Imagery for people prior to medical procedures, I facilitate a parent support group, teach a meditation class, have a professionally recorded Meditation CD, and speak on many topics including There Are No Lazy Students, anxiety, bullying, the inherent gifts of autism, and de-stressing methods.
What is one of your favorite stories about a client who benefited from your service?
An adolescent student with significant ADHD was brought to me for strategies and recommendations. On-going support was requested to increase motivation. During these sessions the student began to talk openly. As the underlying issues were revealed, he learned to express his feelings. As his anger decreased, his ADHD symptoms reduced. Subsequently his school performance and relationships (with family and peers) improved.
What resources would you recommend for those who would like more information about your field?
I love the following books:
Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Ratey’s Delivered from Distraction (ADHD adults and children)
Doreen Virtue’s The Care and Feeding of Indigo Children
Dr. Brian Weiss’s books including Many Lives, Many Masters