By Leigha Fiebelkorn, Resident Therapist
For some, the decision to embark on a therapy journey can be a difficult one to make, especially when there is so much uncertainty in their lives. Many clients who struggle with making this decision at first come to realize that therapy is so much more than just sitting on a couch. We all have answers within ourselves, but sometimes we need some guidance to help us find them, and that is precisely what therapy has helped Patrick accomplish.
Patrick is a past St. John’s guest who, while living at St. John’s, began counseling services at Micah Center after a terrible relapse that he identified had taken a huge toll on his life, where he lost many things that he had previously worked hard to maintain. Patrick had struggled throughout his life with substance abuse and feelings of anxiety and depression but had never sought help or considered therapy.
Patrick was brought up to believe that vulnerability and expressing emotions is a weakness, so the thought of coming to counseling and being vulnerable with another person was a thought that was terrifying. He began counseling with “no expectations” and week by week, slowly he began to see the many positive changes that he was striving to make in his life. Patrick first strengthened his relationship with God, leaning on Him for help in times of difficulty. He then created a daily/weekly routine which included work, exercise, therapy, and engaging in enjoyable activities on the weekends.
Patrick continues to come to counseling every week, not having missed an appointment, where he works on being vulnerable and open to the important people in his life; not putting on so many masks or pretending so much like he used to do. He has identified that his routine and coming to therapy has helped him gain a lot insight into his actions and thoughts, and that he is committed to putting in the work that is required to maintain his sobriety, improve the important relationships in his life, and be the best version of himself that he can be.
Patrick took the leap of faith to come to therapy despite the barriers he perceived, because he had come to a point in his life where he decided that he was tired of living the way he had been living and was ready to make a change.
About Leigha Fiebelkorn
Leigha is the current Resident Therapist from Foundations Health and Wholeness at Micah Center, providing individual and group counseling services to guests of St. John’s and others who are homeless and at risk of homelessness. Leigha holds a Master of Social Work from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and has a background in suicide prevention, intervention with children with severe mental health disorders, and medical social work.