Helping Her Find Her Way Home

*Permission was granted to share this part of her story through my eyes.

I first met Whitney on 2/25/2020, a referral from one of my “Lifers” who has given me so much business I’ve had to tell her to slow her roll 🙂  Here’s what stood out to me regarding Whitney:

  • Adopted and never seeing how she belonged
  • PTSD due to infancy loss and so many puppy losses in the animal rescue world
  • Divorce & blended family
  • Mama of three feeling so overwhelmed: online schooling, founding a new rescue, & trying to feed ‘em all (human and dog alike)
  • Needing a time out to figure out what’s next
  • Avid dog rescue mom
  • Calls herself “The Feral One”
  • HUGE LOSS, BIGGER Heart
  • Former competitive skier
  • Addiction to rescue mode and nicotine
  • Wanting more for her children
  • Questioning how to keep living

Our first lessons included a lot of

  • Where do you want to belong?
  • How do you take better care of you?
  • What do you dream of each night?
  • How come you keep trying to do it all?
  • What does love look like and FEEL like?
  • Did they say that or do YOU say that?  “I’m all alone.”  
  • What do you do for fun?
  • Caring FOR YOU is Caring for YOUR KIDS
  • How do we create safe space?
  • Aren’t friends as family a good thing?

Whitney had been looking for her biological family for years, her spouse told me he’d looked every day for 8 months.  My other client bought her AncestryDNA to see if genetically she could find family that way.  And she did however she got overwhelmed by the whole complicated cousin tree and not having a ton of information about her biological family and only snippets of facts here and there.

One day I was sitting there listening to her talk and I asked – can I look at the AncestryDNA to see what I can find?  Can I call around on your behalf?  What stood out to me was no matter what I’d done to support her self confidence, empowerment, and learning about assertive communication, the heart of the matter was she wanted to know the story of why, why and how she came into this world.

She gave me free range to search however I wanted.  She was nervous about making those first calls to see, was this the woman?  Did they really want to know who she was?  I got tired of AncestryDNA and stepped back and thought- here in the revolution of Social Media let’s tackle Facebook and Classmates.com.  Within days I’d found her biological mother’s brother and was on the phone with her.  

Here’s what we both wrote simultaneously:  

September 14, 2021:  Today was one of the highlights of my career~ finding the biological mom of a client of mine.  She had been looking for her biological mom since she was around 18; she is in her 30s now.  I took on this project 8 days ago.  Today I got to tell her how excited her bio mom is to talk to her; that she had wanted an open adoption but that wasn’t really welcomed early on.  Hearing her tears of joy, the fears of not being wanted put to rest…my heart is bursting.  #counselor #parttimedetective #adoption #families #permissiongranted

Whitney: 

Literally, your life can change in an instant.

Today, mine did. In a spec of a second my life will NEVER be the same.

I never allowed myself to dream big because the thought of encountering denial was unbearable.

I belong.  I am wanted.  I am loved more than I ever even imagined.  Holy shit, this is really happening!!!  

My therapist found and connected with my biological Mom!!!

Our text exchanges included: 

Whitney: Yes!  We talked for almost 2 hours last night.  Cried together, laughed alot and I know healed a little bit of both of us on the inside.  You have given me a whole new life

Me: Do you want/need phone call?

Whitney: I’m feeling really good, a peace I have been hoping for my whole life.  Take the hour for yourself- in your famous words

It has been a true honor, to be a human doing what I do. ~Jasmine

Eight Years Later

September marks eight years since I’ve started my private practice counseling endeavor. I want to start by thanking all my past and present clients who have shared their lives with me! It is a honor and privilege to do what I do. Over these eight years my practice has gone from part time to full time, private pay to accepting insurance and every thing in between. I’ve been able to hire an administrative assistant, utilize Insight Medical Billing for billing purposes, and I’ve hosted support groups for grief, young women’s empowerment, vision boards, and most recently a trip to the Demolition Zone (a great way to release frustrations). My office have moved from Country Club Road to Charnelton Street in Eugene, Oregon. I’ve been able to work with a professional production company, Blazing Heart Productions to create a video to help promote the work I do. More recently I’ve honed in my practice to specialize in adolescents and have been providing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. Grateful to have stayed healthy during this pandemic so far and I have continued providing in person as well as telehealth sessions. Love that my office space offers enough room to stay socially distanced. With isolation as one of the major challenges of this pandemic, I find it even more essential to offer in person services for folks who feel comfortable to do that. As always, take good care. Jasmine

The Demolition Zone in Eugene, OR

Nature’s Meditation

This week I wrote my first meditation which can be heard on my podcast. Decided I would put the words to this mediation here:

I am a rock in a river…water rolling over me as leaves pass above me…fish swim by. The dirt beneath me…the birds sing as the wind picks up….the smell of the woods, water, of nature, the air, the green foliage. The river flows into a lake which slows the current and the water warms in the sun. The trees stand tall as the wind ruffles the leaves, as one slowly falls to the river below…

I am a rock in a lake, beneath the fish, birds, prey. I am smoothed by the rushing of water and rocks beside me. I am one in a million and still uniquely different in color, shape, and where I am in the world.

As the sun sets, the day cools, the crickets and frogs sing. Shadows cast making new colors, hues through a different light as the last rays of sun fall behind the hills and the moon and the stars begin to show themselves. The water cools and echoes. Creatures sleep as others wake for the night. Different sounds surround me. The air is a little more still.

I am a rock on the edge of a lake beneath the twinkling stars in a sky that is limitless.

The moon shines brightly over head and is full and round. At the waters edge there is the sound of water against the fallen tree limbs, between the reeds of grass.

I can be seen amongst the other rocks, my colors change with the light’s reflection on water with indigo, forest green, and sienna.

As the night recedes, a new day approaches. I’m reminded of all the opportunities before me, the past behind me, and here, where I am…..I am still…Calm. Present. Hopeful.

Ignite Podcast

In January I got the idea that a podcast might be fun to do. This feels like less pressure to me then video and six months later I finally recorded my first one! It was much easier to do than I had thought and I had a couple clients inspire me to record a meditation as they both use those to decrease anxiety and ground themselves. I have one other meditation I want to record and then I think my third podcast I will cover how I use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) in my practice since it is a newer technique I have been trained in that I’ve seen some really positive results from. I welcome my readers and listeners to submit topics they might like me to cover. Right now I think my goal is to do one podcast a week if I can. This might help me update my blog more as I can add written content as well as promote the podcast. As always I appreciate finding new ways to support my clients as we all continue to heal and process all we have been through this past year.

With Gratitude,

Jasmine

In Person Versus Telehealth

When thinking about therapy, a person would normally imagine two people sitting diagonal from each other. One speaking their truth and the other taking notes on a tiny pad of paper with a pen. For some, that might be how therapy is, but for others, it can be more interactive. I asked a few people what therapy meant to them and whether they preferred it in person or telehealth during this crazy world that we all live in. It was an even split between which they preferred over another but they are both equally productive in their own unique ways. 

In person therapy allows for the person seeking the help to see who they may be talking to and for some, they feel they can be more open during in person sessions. One of the few interviewed said, “In person allows someone to pay more attention to the person talking, less distractions than at home where you can purposely distract yourself with other things.” They make a great point. If a person is in an environment that isn’t their own, they are more likely to focus on the task at hand rather than finding things to do and avoiding the session all together.

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Whereas some prefer telehealth due to the fact that they feel they can be more free in their speech due to being more comfortable in their home. One said, “I don’t mind telehealth as long as video is being used in order for me to see who I am speaking to”. But it doesn’t always have to be a video call, it can be a normal phone call. It has been noted that most teens would pick telehealth over in person so they don’t have to leave the comfort of their bed and it allows them to be more open in an environment they trust.

Each person has an opinion about which they feel more comfortable doing and that is completely okay. Having someone from the outside perspective to talk to can be beneficial with the pandemic and quarantine. Even if you don’t believe in counseling or whatever it may be, be sure to check on your family and friends during this crazy time. Maybe someone you know could use an outside friend, whether it is in person or over a screen because you never know who is hurting inside until you talk about it.

New Updates for Ignite, LLC

20191004_144657This coming January 20, 2020 Ignite, LLC’s hours will fall Monday through Friday as Jasmine opens her private practice full time leaving the hospital setting.  What does this mean for current clients?  Saturdays will not be an option however Jasmine will be able to provide evening sessions Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm and 6:30pm.  Jasmine will be attempting to get in network with additional insurance panels including Kaiser, Trillium, and Medicare (currently she is in network with Aetna, PacificSource, Providence, Optum, OHP, MHN, and Regence BlueCross BlueShield).  Jasmine will open a waiting list in December to start scheduling clients the week of January 20th.

Jasmine will be expanding her practice to focus on supporting health care workers, graduates working on licensure, and support groups including caregiver support groups, young adult, and teen groups (more information about these will be posted after the new year).  She will also start incorporating play therapy and more artistic therapy modalities.  Thank you to everyone for being flexible and as always, continue to take good care of yourselves!  fb_img_1570614857167