I am a counselor by trade, working with individuals, families and couples. Although I learned a great deal through my academic endeavors, the majority of learning came from the hours spent with my clients. Like you, they come from varied backgrounds but share many of the same struggles. The hours spent in conversation, listening to history, hurts, frustrations and oftentimes hopelessness, has taught me to listen, not judge, and have compassion for the hardships individuals face in these difficult times. It has also taught me to have a sense of humor and roll with life because it keeps moving despite us.
I have had the benefit of working with the most difficult populations which has honed my skills beyond what a classroom could, and brought me face to face with the reality that I have no control over anything except my choices. We only change if we choose to, and no one can make us. So I can only lead and wait, and in this process I hope to lead you in directions that promote growth and peace.
In addition to my clinical work I am also an author. I recently published Relax, It’s Just Life (Finding Healthy Control Through Self-Acceptance) and much of the theory I adhere to in my work is shared in my book. (www.relaxitsjustlife.com)
As a gay man, a father and a partner, I have had to learn just like you how to navigate life and relationships in healthier ways. I always say, “We just don’t know what we know until we know it!” We learn as we go and life forces us into growing or ultimately crashing. Some of us, namely me, have to crash a few times before we succumb to the direction that is needed for growth and increased maturity. Others may learn easier. But even with the occasional crash, we can pick up, evaluate our situation and learn.
In this weekly column I would like to address the issues that may face our community. Relationships are often strained and difficult to maintain long term. Frustration and depression are commonplace in an environment where prejudice and judgment are prevalent. These things often lead to maladaptive behaviors. Behaviors that just don’t get us what we want in this life. Or maybe we can’t even identify what we want. Regardless, I would like to help open the door to some of these topics and share what I have learned in my work and journey with you.
In my work I am very interactive, which has been both rewarding and enlightening. I would love this column to be the same. Your thoughts and questions are welcomed, as I would like this to be a beneficial read for you all. The scope of human growth and development is broad, and I am open to addressing any areas of life that promote growth and maturity. As you read through the weeks you will see that there is no aspect of our lives that do not point us toward growth, personal change, and if we follow that course, healthy control.
I look forward to the future and sharing with you what I have learned, and learning form you as well.
Questions for Warren? Email him.