Bad mistakes make great stories
About Janet Anderson, MA, LPC-Supervisor
For 20 years of my life I was a stay-at-home mother raising five children and ALL that that entails. (You soccer moms and dads know exactly what I'm talking about). But my love for learning, and in particular my love for science, compelled me to add studies to my list of duties and I graduated in 1999 with a B.S. in Biology.
Within months I moved from Great Falls, Montana to Laredo, Texas and found myself in a high school classroom teaching Biology and Chemistry. A few years ago I decided that my life experience and my particular talents seemed to issue me a different calling and I enrolled in graduate studies to become a counselor.
Education is an important piece for therapists to be skilled, but in my opinion, it isn't the only piece. My coursework taught me the suspected causes, diagnoses, and possible treatments around emotional distress and mental illness. It taught me about the ethical issues and requirements to be an effective counselor and it gave me exposure to philosophies and techniques that have demonstrated effectiveness in helping ease emotional pain and discomfort. All of which is foundationally necessary for effective treatment. What an education is unable to do, however, is implant the wisdom that comes from living awhile and experiencing or witnessing the many challenges and joys that life offers. Such enrichment allows a therapist to lay aside any judgment, to listen with compassion and to hear and respond to the client's real issues without predetermined agendas.
I feel competent at using both my training and my life experience in the therapeutic relationship. I am skilled working with couples and families as well as working with adolescents. I also have particular skills and interests in dealing with life changes, loss and grief, spiritual conflict and gay and lesbian issues.