When I think about who I am as a therapist and why I decided to pursue this wonderful and wacky helping profession, there are three memories that seem to encapsulate something that is very difficult to put into words.
First, it was almost four years ago now that I came to Colorado on vacation for the first time and attempted, as a flatlander, to hike the Missouri Gulch Trail in the Collegiate Peaks of the Arkansas River Valley. It was so gloriously beautiful, stunning really, and one of the most terribly difficult things I’ve ever attempted. I was not in shape and not used to breathing so little air. My husband and dog were my hiking companions, both of whom could run circles around me. We took turns holding the dog’s leash because he was so eager that whoever was “walking him” was really just being pulled up the mountain. We let him off the leash a bit, but he kept walking up to the sandy edge of the switchbacks, much too close for comfort to a steep drop. I felt discouraged and overwhelmed almost immediately. We made a hiking language all our own of rhythms of hiking sticks on rock: one for “I need a break,” two for “ready to walk on.” I kept telling my husband, “You can go ahead. I’ll catch you at camp up there.” After a while he got frustrated and turned to me with the words, “I am here to do this with you! Take your time. We’re going your pace.” And so, I settled in to the fact that I had two eager companions who wanted to make the hike, yes, but wanted to make the hike with me. When we reached the gulch, I was pretty close to passing out, but had water and food and felt better. The wind rolling through the brush up in the Collegiate Peaks will always be one of the most otherworldly and peaceful memories in my life. I still feel as though words fail to describe the feeling of sitting up on top of the world with my husband and best-dog-friend.
First, I believe that therapists and clients are, as the psychiatrist Irvin Yalom coined, “fellow travelers.” In the trek of human life, we each need other to brush up against us and remind us that we are not alone. Sometimes you need someone to insist on walking with you, someone to get close to the edges, someone to pull you up the mountain, or someone to remind you: “I’m here for you. We’re going your pace.” There is a place for each soul of transcendent peace, but we all need fellow travelers to help us get there.
I’d be honored to be yours.
Second, my husband is a mountain biker and so, inevitably has scrapes and fresh wounds on his body at any given time. While he is conscientious about many things, helping those wounds to heal is not one of them. I will never forget the first time that I hugged him and dug my hand into an open wound on his back. His face screwed up into a wince, he pulled quickly away, sucking in a quick breath of pain. Something that I had meant to be loving and supportive turned quickly painful and insensitive.
Second, when our wounds are open and avoided, we walk around ready to be hurt by the humans around us, and sometimes we even go on to wound others more readily. I believe that there are safe spaces where we can face our emotional wounds, decide what kind of healing is needed, and move toward that healing. As a therapist, it is my aim to hold open that type of safe space for my clients.
I hope to do that for you.
Third, the Disney movie Cool Runnings was a seminal part of my upbringing. If you haven’t seen it, I still believe it is a worthy spending of two hours of life, though I watched it way too many times between 1993 and 1995 to be able to enjoy it anymore. Twenty-three years after the fact, I may be ready to watch it again. Maybe. It is the “based on a true story” tale of the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Bobsledding is a beyond-crazy sport where people can get badly injured or even die. The comic relief of the film, and my favorite character, Sanka, decides - for some odd reason - that he is going to keep an egg in his body suit for each run of the Olympics. He continually asks his teammates, “You want to kiss my lucky egg?” And each time they look at him, grossed out and annoyed. But when it really counts, they submit to this strange ritual. A theme through the movie is the phrase passed around from teammate to teammate, friend to friend: “Peace be the journey.” In Patois, “cool runnings” is said as someone leaves for a trip and literally translates to, you guessed it: Peace be the journey. The lucky egg is always intact, and the characters pass around this blessing of a safe and peaceful journey as they get ready to barrel down an icy track to the hope of Olympic glory.
Third, I believe that we all have a precious true-self that we carry with us as a guiding light in life. At times, it may be small and fragile, maybe a little bruised. But, like Sanka’s egg, it remains intact and points us toward hope for a full and meaningful future, and it can become a beacon for those closest to us. It fosters connection, authenticity, and hope for the days to come and stays safe and resilient through just about whatever life can throw at us. These days, it seems that our souls are thirsty for peace. I believe that this thirst comes from the need to know and live in accord with our precious true-self. As we do this more and more, we are able to experience true and steady calm as fellow travelers in the wildness and whimsy of human existence.
A wounded-healer, I look forward to walking with you toward true peace.
Krista is a Registered Psychotherapist pursuing her MA in Clinical Counseling at Adams State University working for Restoring Lives Counseling Services. She lives in Colorado Springs and loves hiking, reading, and trying not to kill succulents. She’s a Parks and Recreation (the TV show) enthusiast whose favorite movies include Cinderella Man, Captain Fantastic, and Gladiator. She can’t wait to meet you.
To inquire about scheduling sessions with Krista, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The information included on this site/article is not an attempt to provide counseling/therapy or any other form of professional treatment, not even a bit. In no way is it intended or implied to substitute counseling/therapy or any other professional services. Also, while the content of this site/ article could be based off real life circumstances, people (clients), names and situations have been changed to protect the identity/confidentiality of the person. Each client has also signed a release to allow the therapist to write about their situation for educational [not therapy] purposes only. If you need professional help, and/or have mental health questions, by golly, seek out a professional counselor...you and your family deserve it!)