carmela

drummer-12-01-14

Here’s a brief summary of my personal story.

After three grueling years of illness, my first husband died of cancer at the age of thirty-three. I was twenty-seven at the time.

We had built a successful radiator and muffler repair service, and I was now the sole owner and manager of this thriving little business. Outwardly, I appeared to be surviving my loss and took charge of my responsibilities at the repair shop with enthusiasm. I received training in repairing radiators and mufflers and did repair work in addition to managing the employees and other administrative duties. I became quite a good hand with an acetylene torch. New customers were often surprised to find a young woman under the coveralls and welding mask.

However, I wasn’t as sound on the inside as I appeared on the outside. Finally, I was unable to ignore the feelings that were keeping me from accepting my loss. I asked around and found a therapist I felt that I could talk with. That therapist provided me with insight and counseling that set me on a path of healing myself, allowing me to move forward with my life in positive ways.

I was so impressed with the effectiveness and the power of the therapy that I received, that I decided I wanted to be a counselor myself. Four years after my husband died, I sold our little shop and moved from Lewiston, ID to Spokane, WA to pursue a degree in counseling. It took me 10 years, including internships (I cleaned houses to pay for it), and I became a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and started my practice.

My favorite not-so-secret secret, is that I’ve been a professional drummer, playing with several R&R bands over the years. My drumming career began when I started playing in the jazz band in college.  I have been playing drums with the “Oldies But Goodies” band in Las Cruces since 2009 and it is the best time of my life!

Then there’s golf! Who would think that hitting a little white ball into a hole in a lawn could become an addiction? At least it’s legal and healthy.

I believe the secret to happiness and high self-esteem is directly related to making choices that are in integrity with who we are. This is the basis of my counseling philosophy. It is the direction in which I attempt to guide my clients; it is why I called my practice Integrity Counseling.

My professional credentials and experience can be found on the About page.