What a time to be alive, huh? I say so with tongue firmly planted in my cheek because when crisis cycles like the one we’re currently in arise, instinct often overrides my ability to analyze. I rush for the deep end with an overwhelming need to do everything, even as I realize I’ve stretched myself too thin to do anything.
Raise your hand if you’ve been there; done that. Val Jencks, MS, LMFT, LCPC, gets it. In addition to spending nearly three decades mentoring new therapists and working with couples and families at her Chicago-based group practice, this self-described “serial volunteer” has also dedicated her life to advocating for people impacted by trauma, mental illness, and addiction. Oh, and btw, she’s a stand-up legend who co-founded Laughing Matters In Chicago, a nonprofit that produces comedy events supporting young performers in recovery. But wait, there’s more. Val’s 2015 TEDx Talk “How to Rewrite History” is a message for anyone who has witnessed or survived youth abuse.
But the beauty of Val’s wisdom isn’t in how she keeps all the balls in the air. Instead, those times when she’s let the balls fall (because yeah, life) provide the most insight. Multiple crises have taught Val the importance of establishing a new orbit, mindful that her wellbeing (not to mention that of her family, colleagues, and clients) hangs in the balance.
However, taking care of oneself is easier said than done, especially for entrepreneurs in the healing space. When crisis crashes into capitalism, a flood of self-serving propaganda follows, pressuring individuals to practice resilience amid the storm.
Post-traumatic growth doesn’t come quickly; it reveals itself by inches or less. “I just am much more comfortable with myself. I’m less judgmental of myself.” And less compelled to dive in head-first without checking her own vitals.
Special Note: For those interested in providing tangible support to LGBTQIA+ communities under threat in Texas and Florida, the following is a small list of vetted resources:
Resources for Texas Trans Kids
Resources to Oppose Florida Don’t Say Gay Bill
Take Action via Equality Florida – http://eqfl.org/act
Florida Coalition for Trans Liberation – www.fc4tl.org
Safe School South Florida – http://safeschoolssouthflorida.org
SAVE LGBTQ – www.save.lgbt
Voicemail for 200th episode: https://speak-to.us/convoswithawoundedhealer
Waiting List for Wounded Healers Virtual Group: https://tinyurl.com/WoundedHealerWaitlist
Val Jencks, MS, LMFT, LCPC, has spent nearly three decades working with couples and families in her Chicago practice, Prairie Family Therapy. Often described as a “serial volunteer,” she has a strong penchant for championing the underserved, with decades of advocacy for people impacted by trauma, mental illness and addiction. She also co-founded “Laughing Matters in Chicago,” a nonprofit dedicated to producing comedy events that support young performers in recovery. Her 2015 TEDx talk “How to Rewrite History” is a message for anyone who has witnessed or survived youth abuse.
For full show notes, resources, and links to connect with our guest, visit: http://www.headhearttherapy.com/podcast
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