Flo, You’ve Gotta Go!

How to Help When You Feel Like You Don’t Know What to Do   It’s been just at two weeks since I had to determine what was sacred, pack it into two not-so-big vehicles, and listen to my cats’ meowing for almost 3 freakin’ hours after we were told by Governor Northam we were under mandatory evacuation due to the impending Hurricane Florence. We fled to family, and they were there to receive us with open arms…which was great because we had a ton of…

Success Doesn’t Equal Happiness

With the two notable losses in the last week, a well-known and respected designer, and an irreverent, yet empathetic chef, author, and journalist, to say that I have been shocked is an understatement. But losses like these force us to look past what we consider success and to recognize these people as people – ones who have flaws, ones with troubling pasts (and possibly current), and ones who, despite all of the outward appearances of success, may have defined it differently.   I can’t say…

Fitness #4Mind4Body

As a mental health counselor, I of course understand the importance that we, as humans, have appropriate access and use of mental health services in our communities. In Virginia, where I am located, our General Assembly just (FINALLY!) passed a budget that would allow for expansion of Medicaid coverage to almost 400,000 additional citizens who lack coverage for obtaining medical and mental health care. This is a great step, and one that I hope benefits the LGBTQ folks I work with who are currently uninsured…

#CounselorsHelp – April is Counseling Awareness Month

In accordance with the American Counseling Association and Counseling Awareness Month (April), I wanted to share with you a little bit about why I do the work that I do, and more specifically, why I choose to devote much of my practice to transgender and gender variant people. I alluded to a conversation I had with a dear friend from graduate school (on our way to see Justin Timberlake!!!) about my “Whys”. She and I met in our first year of our counseling graduate program,…

#LetThemServe – Gender Variance and Military Service

As you may know, I serve many transgender and gender variant persons, and find it to be very fulfilling for me to see the transformations these people make when they are affirmed, supported, and able to create their lives the way they believe were intended. This does not come without fear, anxiety, and sacrifice, but a very high majority would not regret their decision to transition. I will go into the why I treat this population in a later post, but time is of the…

The Parent (Guilt) Trap

Who here has felt guilt in being a parent? Guilt about working too much outside of the home? Working out of a home office or home-based business? Not working, and feeling like your contributions aren’t as important to your family as those that might be a source of income or otherwise providing for your family? I know it’s a loaded concept, but I would bet that 100% of you, no matter your gender, work, or family make-up, have felt guilty about something related to parenting…

Mom-agement

While the title of this post is centered around moms, I will be less gendered in my language here. Speaking in generalities, it is typically the mother/female figure in a heteronormative couple that takes care of the detail-oriented day-to-day mess that is a household. Literal and figurative messes. Emotional messes, poop messes, food messes, scheduling messes, and financial messes. HOWEVER, many more couples and families have different make-ups to include same gender partners, single parents, stay at home dads, DINKs, etc, which is awesome! A…

June is Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month, which does actually include mental health! Women’s Health Month was in May, and it makes sense in corresponding to Mother’s Day, and June for Father’s Day. With so many ills in our world, and changes in gender roles, responsibilities, and hope for the future for many, it is understandable that many struggle with mental health issues, like depression, anxiety, phobias, and avoidance. Men are no different, and in fact are usually less likely to report these struggles, for fear of…

Who is to blame?

With news of recent events out of Roanoke, Virginia, regarding a seeming workplace issue became much more yesterday, I am stuck at the intersection of many roads. First, I am a daughter, and three sets of parents lost their children yesterday in a senseless crime. I cannot imagine the families’ collective grief of losing bright stars to something that did not need to happen. Second, I am a sister. I can now, unfortunately, count myself in the club of having lost a sibling, albeit to…

Pregnancy and Gender Awareness

As most of my clients know, I am pregnant and due in January 2016; although let’s be real…this baby will come whenever they please (yes, there’s only one…just trying to be gender neutral)! Aside from the many different pieces of advice, things to know and read and become “experts” on, as well as the “You’re going to do what with my what?!?” moments, it’s been pretty great so far. My husband, who is not a counselor, has also schooled me on a few things. We spilled…