Friday, October 28, 2011

A Change of Perspective and a Journey through Time

The view from my new desk

Amazing what a change in perspective can do. Of course, in my case, it took two months, being shoved into a dark office and the loss of a window to realize how oppressive a 4 ft x 10 ft office can be. Previously, I could not stand without my chair hitting the wall. I had a double door which clients referred to as the barn door. The connotations are not good.

To the left of my desk

The first class I took when I started this journey was Pastoral Therapy, so I thought of therapy as sacred from the very beginning. I often tell my client that we create sacred space together to experience their growth and change. So now I bring sacredness to this office, with several of Cameron's paintings. Above is a collage she created that expresses both pagan and Christian iconography. I love the drawing together of disparate and yet similar imagery. It's a powerful representation of both mine and Cameron's spiritual paths. Also pictured is a cross stitch Serenity Prayer. I created it for the boy's father, who handed it back when we divorced. It's dated 1983, the year before the I gave birth to my first son and married his father. I love the way it symbolically brings forward who I was and the beginnings of my path. I was 20 years old, about to divorce and remarry. Pregnant. Confused and filled with fear. I hadn't even found the 12-step programs yet, but I was drawn to the prayer. It hung in the boy's father's house above the television in the living room for four years, until we divorced, too. Mercy, I was a damaged child then. Much like my clients.

Entering my office:
my desk, cross stitch universe, and credentials 

When you enter my office, this is what you see. It's a huge desk! I love it! Behind, on the walls, are my credentials and a cross stitch of the universe, completed in 1995. I was 32. Married for the fourth time. I had already been widowed, David buried in the military cemetery in Arlingtonville, Ga. I was in graduate school for the first time and dreaming of tenure and teaching English on the college level. I never dreamed I wouldn't graduate, but would use the theories I was learning as the theoretical foundation of Converse's marriage and family therapy program.

To the right of my desk; I have a window!!!!

And of course, my window! Someone else's client stepped in moments ago to congratulate me on my new office. He doesn't know me, has no idea of my sexual orientation, but said, "I'm so glad they let you out of the closet!"

As I write this, I added the second part of the title. All week I've been thinking of my office as a reflection of my journey. From Arkansas to South Carolina. From broken marriages to an eight year commitment that will last my lifetime. From loss and darkness, from feeling confined in a small space, to the largest office of the building. To a feeling of expansiveness and possibility. Certainly, we still dream of Portland. I feel my future clients calling me. But the journey just got a whole lot more pleasant.


  1. It's a BEAUTIFUL office and you deserve it so much!

  2. Fantastic!!! Oh it looks so great!!! And I am so honored to have my art on your walls. I am so proud of you!!!

  3. And you ought to dig out a few pictures of the old dark office and do a side by side post just for the OMG! comparison!!!