How Can I Help MSers?
(Los Angeles, CA)
Dear Akrista and Cir:
Thank you so much for providing this website and for sharing your inspirational story!
I am the adult child of a parent with MS. My dad was diagnosed when my mom was pregnant with me but, like Cir, he had been experiencing symptoms long before that. He was 36 when he was diagnosed and passed away in 1997 at age 72. In
spite of the progressive nature of his disease and the spectrum of symptoms he battled, he was an engaged and loving parent and was able to work as a teacher until he retired at 64.
Like you, I'm an entrepreneur starting my own business. I'm a psychotherapist intern opening a private practice in Los Angeles specializing in treating individuals with MS and their significant others. I think my personal background and clinical training make me to uniquely qualified to assist folks coping with this illness.
You both know firsthand how stressful MS can be on a family. One of the things that kept my dad going was the therapy he got from 2 skilled and caring clinical psychologists who were trained to deal with the many issues surrounding MS. The support he received from them enabled him to keep supporting us.
However, looking back, I realize how much my mom, my brother, and I could also have benefited from talking to someone with an understanding of the specific challenges we faced.
My qualifications only take me so far. I can't fully serve the MS community until I get a sense of what it needs.
So I'd like to know from you and others on this site:
*How best can I support my clients in my capacity as a therapist?
*What are some of the emotional issues that come up?
*What would you like me to know?
Any help or guidance you can give me would be much appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you both!