In the summer of 2017, I reached the peak of burnout and secondary traumatic stress. I was serving as the lead clinician for over 30 cases, supervising nearly 100 cases, and helping the agency build a new program to connect parents with their own services at a community mental health agency.
I had always heard the phrase, “leave work at work” but no one actually taught me how to do that.
They didn’t teach me how to leave work at work when I’m doing home-based therapy and witnessing the same events my client will tell their future therapist about.
They didn’t teach me how to leave work at work when I’m subpoenaed on a case for a 4-year-old and the judge dismisses me and places the child back with their abusive parent. They didn’t teach me how to handle the look of fear and betrayal when we share the news with the child.
They didn’t teach me how to leave work at work when a parent literally leaves their teenager in my office and tells me, “you figure out what to do with them” so you spend the next weeks driving the client to and from school from the only respite home that was able to take them in.
Since they didn’t teach me, the universe did. I did what any self-respecting mental health therapist who had just invested 1000+ hours of their life getting supervision and six figures for a master’s degree would do… I quit.
I not only quit, but I also quit without another job lined up and convinced my husband that we should move back to Michigan at the same time.
I took one interview back in Michigan that solidified that I could not re-enter the mental health world. I had to compose myself the entire time I was walked around the residential campus and cried the minute I got into the car. A student would later pass away from restraints that staff used which tore at my soul and reaffirmed my decision to trust my gut with not taking the job.
After that interview, I decided to fully commit to building my own business. Intuitive life coach and creator was the first title that I tried on. My first client signed up and I quickly realized that I’m not meant to be a life coach. Some parts felt aligned, but other aspects didn’t feel true to me. I struggled to find clients to serve and couldn’t clearly express to anyone what it was that I do.
Cue the identity crisis. If I wasn’t a mental health therapist and I wasn’t a spiritual life coach… what was I? Had I been wrong my whole life? Was I not meant to help people? Was this the universe’s way of telling me that I totally suck at helping others and should find something else to do with my life?!
There’s an old post I made for Instagram (see below) that has a Venn diagram showing the similarities and differences between therapy and life coaching. As I looked at the Venn diagram, I knew this is what I did.
I could feel it in my bones- people are searching for the space in between. They aren’t in crisis, but they do desire support. They do want to examine their life, but they aren’t looking for a diagnosis. They want to work with someone who has the education, but someone who is also deeply connected to their intuition.
The path wasn’t clear because I was born to create it.
As soon as I began to own the title of a spiritual therapist, everything began to fall into place. I started getting asked to be interviewed on podcasts, consultations were being booked up, and my soulmate clients were being referred to me.
As a spiritual therapist, my work looks SO different than as a child and family mental health therapist. I’m not doing crisis management, I’m not doing thorough mental health assessments and providing a diagnosis, and I’m not providing traditional mental health therapy.
I am using evidence-based interventions alongside my intuition. I am providing loving support from a safe, trauma-informed space. I am encouraging my clients to build their spiritual practice and connect to their intuitive gifts so that they can transcend life’s challenges and emotional struggles.
The vision I hold for the future of spiritual therapy, the mental health system, and collective healing goes beyond any words I can type. I’m so glad you’re here.
To learn more about working with Chelsie, visit www.chelsieskowyra.com/services
Love, Your Favorite Spiritual Therapist
Learn more about bridging the gap between spirituality and psychology.