Hero Spotlight: A Home Within

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Hero Spotlight: A Home Within

Hello, dear therapists! It’s Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby here, and I’m absolutely thrilled to share with you something that I believe is a beacon of hope and transformation. Today, I want to talk about an extraordinary organization, A Home Within, and its crucial role in supporting children and young adults transitioning out of foster care. 

Their mission is simple yet profoundly impactful: connecting these young individuals with pro-bono therapists for stable, long-term relationships. As a therapist, I understand the deep value of this connection, and I’m excited to delve into why this matters so much.

A Home Within: Healing Through Consistency

The journey of children in foster care is often marked by upheaval and inconsistency. A Home Within aims to counter this by providing a constant therapeutic presence in these clients’ lives. This stability is not just comforting; it’s genuinely healing. 

As these young adults transition out of foster care, the challenges they face can be overwhelming. A dedicated therapist becomes a guiding light, helping them find their path, whether it’s pursuing education, starting a career, or simply learning how to trust and build healthy relationships.

Breaking the Cycle

Many foster youth face grim statistics, including higher risks of homelessness and incarceration. Through consistent therapeutic support, we see a remarkable turnaround. These individuals gain the tools and confidence to break free from these statistics, building a life filled with hope and possibility. With a dedicated therapist by their side, these young adults learn to advocate for themselves. They become more articulate about their needs and desires, making informed decisions about their future. 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of A Home Within’s founding. They’ve set an ambitious goal to welcome 300 new volunteer therapists this year. If you’re considering a volunteer opportunity, I encourage you to get connected with this fantastic organization. It’s opportunities like this that can make being a therapist so meaningful. 

A Community of Support 

A Home Within isn’t just about connecting therapists with foster youth. It’s about building a community that supports each other. Their approach includes providing continuing education and consultation groups for therapists, ensuring that they’re well-equipped to handle the unique challenges these young adults face. 

This is the kind of support network that can help you maintain healthy boundaries as a therapist, practice good self-care, get reliable guidance, motivation, and encouragement, and thrive in your therapy practice, beyond your role as a volunteer. (P.S. — this is very much in alignment with what we do for our therapists at Growing Self! Explore our group private practice opportunities to learn more).

Discover Your Strengths & Growth Opportunities as a Therapist

Take The “Flourish & Thrive” Assessment

The Joy of Giving Back

Volunteering with A Home Within is more than just a professional commitment; it’s a personal journey. As a therapist, you get the unique opportunity to witness and nurture the incredible resilience and strength in these young people impacted by the foster care system.

If you’re a therapist inspired to make a difference, joining A Home Within is easy. Visit their website to learn how to get involved. Whether it’s providing direct therapy, leading a consultation group, or contributing to continuing education, there’s a place for everyone.

Building Your Professional Home 

My conversation with Candace Simmonds from A Home Within has been nothing short of inspiring. If you haven’t listened to the episode yet, I encourage you to do so. It got me thinking about the power of human connection and the transformative impact we can have, one life at a time. To my fellow therapists, I encourage you to consider being part of this beautiful mission. 

And if you’d like the support of a network of caring, mission-driven therapists on your journey, you can learn more about joining our team Growing Self here. 

With love, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby 

P.S. — Are you at risk of therapist burnout? Take my free quiz and find out!

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  • 33:51 How Attachment Styles Impact Relationships
  • 39:11 Healing Attachment Wounds

Lisa Marie Bobby:

 On today’s episode of love, happiness, and success for therapists, I could not be more excited than introduce you to a very special organization that is near and dear to my heart. And that may become near and dear to yours as well. After you learn more about it, the organization is called a home within and their mission is to connect young people aging out of the foster care system with a pro bono therapist who is able to maintain a positive, healthy, long term relationship with them for as long as they need.  We’re going to talk about why this is so important and the just amazing impact that this can have on your career and on the world with the Chief Operating Director of A Home Within, Candice Simons.

And Candice, thank you so much, first of all, just for joining me today and sharing your mission with our audience. Thank you.  Well, thank you so much, Lisa, um, for helping me. I’m happy to be here, especially given that this is the 30th anniversary of a Home With In’s, um, mission,  and so we’re celebrating.

It’s a big year for us. We have big goals to invite 300 new volunteers this year. Really? Yes. Into the opportunity. So when you reached out to us, I was so happy to get on and share with your community about the opportunities at a home with him. Yeah. That is fantastic. I didn’t even know that. Well, first of all, congratulations on a 30 year anniversary, like Mazel Tov.

That’s a big one. And what a happy convergence. I really had no idea that you guys were, were doing a drive when I reached out to you. I got in touch because I’m just such a huge fan. Yeah. of what you guys do. Um, so anyway, maybe we could just start there. I mean, I would love it if you could spend just a couple of minutes  telling our, our listener here a little bit more about what your mission is and why it’s important.

And I would also personally love to hear if you’re open to sharing, like how you became involved in this mission, if that’s  Yeah, sure. What I love about A Home Within Mission and the organization is that it’s completely relational. So it started off about 30 years ago with just a handful of psychotherapists in San Francisco. 

And they really were sitting around a round table and they said, you know, what can we do to solve this problem of foster youth not having A permanent relationship in their life,  because of the often the fiscal and administrative constraints  around providing therapy to this population makes it almost impossible to provide a continuous relationship. 

Either they move out of the area. The relationship ends. Either the fiscal resource decides, that’s it. You’ve had all the sessions we’re going to pay for. You’re 18, you’re cut off. That’s right. Or maybe you’re just not acute enough  to even qualify to have a therapist. So they sat around the table. And they said, what can we do? 

And they were all friends, you know, eating cheese,  hopefully enjoying some red wine. And they came up with this great idea. And since then, 30 years later, it has spread. This, this infectious, beautiful idea around how  Local communities and friends  can invite each other into community to solve a problem creatively, and I would say joyfully.

It’s really the story of a home with Anna, and 20 chapters later, from San Francisco to New York City, we have communities all around the country. Who are really committed to their relationship to solving problems in community. So that kind of full circle brings me to me, one of my dear friends who I met, um, in my 20s and I like to think that I’m in my 20s, but I’m not,  as do I, Candace.

Yeah, but I met her when we first started our careers at an agency. She just finished from med school. Yada, yada,  yada. We became really good friends. And, um, and it’s interesting cause I always say I met her before I was married. I met her before I became a mom. Um, and so we, uh, full circle. Um, connected through a home within we stayed in touch, but she had always, um, been, uh, a member of a home within.

She worked very closely with a founder, Tony Heineman, um, as a student and as a researcher with Tony. And so,  you know, over our own cheese and wine, she said, Hey,  you know, do you want to join a home within? And so the rest is history and that story can be echoed throughout a home within. It really is a place that holds therapists together in community, and it allows therapists, of course, to grow over time, because what we could do in our 20s looks a little different now that we’re not in our 20s. 

These relationships have been a thread, and so the community holds the therapist and the relationships. Yeah, that is wonderful. Well, and I want to hear more about that community piece. Um, and just for our listeners, you know, who, who may not be as intimately familiar in the why behind what you do. Why is this work so important?

And what does it make possible that what wouldn’t otherwise be if we weren’t having these heroic clinicians stepping up and joining with these young people, um, who have had these life experiences? What’s the why here, Candice?  I love this question because  The why is multifaceted, but I’ll give you the simplest answer to that. 

It gives these folks, these kids who’ve experienced the trauma of foster care, which, again, if we just close our eyes and imagine, Losing everything that we love in a blink. Right. And that means friends, schools, teddy bears, siblings, parents, a street, a house,  a home. Everything that’s familiar to you that you leave, lose in a blink. 

Um, and then not having the opportunity to address any of those wounds because it happens over and over and over and over again. Yeah. Um, So having that context  is really important to hold that that’s what, um, unfortunately the foster care system,  um, um, can do to a young person. It can just take them away for often sound reasons,  but the impact is the impact that it takes them away from all that is familiar, all that represents comfort. 

And in that it makes it really hard for those,  Kids to access care because they’re moving so they establish a relationship with a safe person they move and that might be a teacher that might be a therapist that might be a dentist,  anyone if you can imagine that’s in the constellation of the child’s life.

Can’t stick.  And so, A Home Within’s  answer to that trauma, of having to move, move, move, move, move, is giving that kid the foundation for healing. The premise removes away all of those dynamics and provides a stable foundation.  To begin  to change the pace, number one of healing, because now we’re not on a clock.

We’re not on a fiscal clock, a Medi Cal clock,  a Medi Cal clock that says we need to transplant within 30 days. We’re going much at a different pace. That gives that child voice and choice and options. Um, so the, the, the why is that there are kids in every community in the country who do, to various reasons, have not had one stable person in their life. 

And so that is what A Home Within is really addressing,  is that we have to start with the stability of one caring, responsible, healthy person.  And what that does, of course, is it changes the possibilities for that kid. Because now, wow, there are people who’ll stick around.  And so that’s really the idea.

For some kids, that possibility, that shift might happen in one year, it might happen in six months, it might happen in two years, it might happen in five, right? Every child is different. Every person is different. But that’s, that’s the premise. And that’s the reason we do what we do. Amazing.  And I, I am also, what I love about your program, um, is the support that it provides to young people who are coming out of foster care.

And so, and I’ll just full disclosure, I had an experience, it was maybe a little bit similar to yours. Because I had a professional colleague slash personal friend. Um, and would you be interested in being part of this community and being connected with a young person who is coming out of the foster care system and who really needs support but who would not have access to it without this program.

And so learned a little bit more about it and what it involved and I just loved the mission. Um, because of the I don’t know, just the intention behind it. And that was actually before my husband and I wound up becoming foster parents, which we did a number of years later. And so then just kind of, I think having a deeper appreciation for what, what it really means from that perspective, which was huge.

But you know, I mean, just, um, from, from that experience for me, being a home with him therapist, I was connected with a young man who I think was  probably like 19 or 20 at the time.  Who would have zero access to any kind of services, except through maybe a community mental health agency, potentially. Um, but who was really like fairly lost in the world.

I mean, it was an adolescent who did not have a family, who did not have access to any of these other support systems because they aged out and just didn’t have like an adult in their life to be like, so. Oh.  I was thinking about maybe going back to school. I mean, just like all kinds of relational things.

I mean, you name it. Um, and that was such a powerful experience for me to be able to, uh, serve as that kind of person in, in his life for the season that we were together. And I will also share that this individual wound up moving to a different season. state in which I was not licensed. And so we weren’t able to maintain our relationship.

He was able to get care elsewhere after that point. Um, but really for a period of, of years, you know, that we, we were together. And I, I just, I thought many times of  just, um,  I think that there are so many different layers of privilege and some of them are so invisible, but the enormity of privilege, just like to have  people in your life is this privilege that we don’t think about.

I mean, to have a mom you can call or to have a, I don’t know, a soccer coach that whatever those relationships are, as that not everybody has that.  It’s like,  yeah, I always like to say a zip code for me of going home  and it’s like, I’m from Pasadena and it’s like, oh, I get all nostalgic and then I get upset that everything’s changed.

But once I’m in Pasadena, the continuity of being in that place.  And the memories that I have on different streets, those parade, those are things that, um,  really anchor us and tether us to a sense of belonging. And so when you do start going through the layers of loss,  it’s really profound. Um, and again, Home Within gives the therapist the opportunity because  there have been so many therapists who grieve.

I was working with somebody and then they moved,  or I was working with somebody and their Medi Cal lapsed, or there was a fiscal, right, or administrative constraint, and they grieve too. So this gives, you know, both  the therapist and the client the opportunity to Choose to do the work as long as they decide to do it together  without those limitations.

Well, tell us a little bit more about the community experience that therapists have through a home within and what, what your organization makes possible to support clinicians who are doing this work, because also trans, I mean, this is, this is a pro bono situation. This is a volunteer. Um, gig, right? So tell us a little bit more about the kind of support that a home within provides to clinicians who are  volunteering for this.

Yeah, I love this question. Lisa, this is part of my, um,  this is the area that I think is so important. I think is self care in this work. Because, um, there’s, you know, obviously secondary trauma that can occur when you are observing the trauma of others and you’re walking the distance  to be with your clients without those administrative and fiscal constraints.

So the homeless provides continuing education  to all of our volunteers free of charge that really provides them, of course, the, um. The clinical tools and skills to manage some of the behaviors that might come up and to address to them again over time, because this isn’t, um, a necessarily a short term intervention.

Um, and then the consultation groups have been, um, described and experienced by a therapist as fundamental to the model. Because the consultation groups, which are led by experts in the field who’ve worked with, um, trauma and have a lot of experience holding trauma informed interventions for those who’ve been, um, in the foster care system.

And what they do is hold the therapist.  So that the therapist can hold the client.  And so, this has been described as just really essential to the retention and engagement of the therapist in the commitment.  Yeah. And, um, particularly nourishing. Um, To the client, right? Because without those supports and anchors, what we know from other experiences is that folks burn out and they can feel really, really overwhelmed. 

Um, by clients not showing up and, or by some of the behaviors that they listen to. So, the Home With Him provides local support, consultation, one on ones, and groups to be able to hold therapists in the community. So that they shoulder.  The trauma that might be able to, that they may hear and see, but also so that they can cultivate joy in community.

There’s something that happens when folks get together and talk about something that’s challenging. Suddenly it’s less heavy, it’s less burdensome. When it’s experienced with a group, so those are just a few of the offerings that volunteers receive. And those are the ones we get the most feedback around and appreciation for from our community. 

That’s wonderful. Well, and I’m so glad that you guys do that. I mean, that’s something that we talk about a lot on this show is just how vitally important.  for us to have community, to have people who know you and love you and that can offer you support because it, it does take a lot of energy to be the kind of supporters that we need to be for our clients.

And, and also, you know, just to.  Echo what you’re saying, like, um, even cause I only had, you know, one, one client through this program and he was just dealing with some very big, difficult things that were different than the clients that I usually see. And just to be able to have a place to process some of this and really to know how to be a supportive person, like I can understand why that feels really essential because it is, it is a unique population with really unique.

Um, presenting issues many times. And so I just love it that you guys do that.  Yeah. Well, and one other piece that I think is really important is that the therapists get to choose  who they get to work with.  And again, therapists in private practice often get to choose who they work with.  What makes this slightly different is that  if anyone has done any work in, um, Community mental health, you don’t get to choose. 

You don’t get to choose. You don’t get to choose anything. You get a really tough caseload. And when you’re earning your hours, you get a caseload. And you don’t get to choose. You just get one. I remember when I was collecting my hours, I think I got like 60 cases. And it was just like, here you go.  And I was like, hell.

Good luck with that.  And they were heavy. Yeah. And I can remember my early days. Um. In child welfare, transporting, um, kids back and forth to see parents  and having really difficult and painful and disappointing outcomes from those visits.  And it was really painful. And guess what? I would have to drive like six hours back alone, just holding all of the  heaviness of that.

And, um,  So I think also having choice around  who you want to work with, so that’s part of the matching process. We match our clients and our therapists in a way that optimizes a really positive outcome for both and then we hold both in that relationship.  Yeah, gosh, that’s so important.  Oh,  so I’d also like to talk a little bit more about  what you have seen because you know, you’ve been invested in this work for a long time in this organization and you’ve You know, I think one of the, the really cool things about getting a little bit older and having the experience is that we can see like the longer term trajectory of things, right?

And so I guess I would be curious to hear your, um,  perspective on The kinds of trajectories and outcomes you’ve seen for kids and young people who have not had the benefit of this kind of support versus what the kinds of trajectories and outcomes are and how they can be different for kids who do have the benefit of this one long term caring relationship that doesn’t end. 

I can tell you this. It’s pretty exciting. So Home With It was founded 30 years ago, as I said,  and with it, there was a research component that was read parallel  to the founding of the organization. Oh, that’s cool. I didn’t know that. Yes.  So Tony Heidemann, our founder, um, and June Clausen, uh, created a partnership with the University of San Francisco’s foster care research group. 

And, um, they have done longitudinal studies, um, and looked at our clients. Part of that is to always make sure that our service provision is responding and centered around our clients needs and requests.  So we have a pretty good idea. Uh, based on this long, uh, research history about who our clients are and what their needs, um, are and anecdotally, um, working with this population for a couple of decades.

Yeah. What I’ve observed out there is that, you know, often kids, um, who don’t have access to a consistent, stable adult  end up  on the streets.  And,  or incarcerated. Yeah. So, you know, a lot of home folks who are unhoused, you know, in our country, particularly, I mean, California, particularly in California, are former foster youth. 

Yeah, they are. Um, and so there’s a lot of couch surfing. There is, um, a lot of interactions with law enforcement that, um, often culminate  So it’s not uncommon for, you know, kids who are in the foster care system to end up in the juvenile justice system.  Um, and so it’s, this is again, this is all empirical.

You can go research it. Um, yeah, but it also just, you know, professionally anecdotally, I’ve observed this,  um, working in child welfare and probation systems that kids who are aging out are particularly vulnerable. Um, yeah.  Um, for all of the reasons we discussed, right, because they’re not anchored  in any particular community  and the need for belonging.

It’s very human. Yeah. And so when that need is unmet, a lot of the folks we serve are very depressed and very anxious. Those are the most prevalent symptoms that we see, coupled with complex PTSD.  Which, of course, occurs when folks have been, uh, and experienced several attachment injuries,  physical, emotional, sexual abuse, and the critical stages of development. 

So, that’s definitely a feature  of the population that we see. The good news is that Thanks to the, uh, University of San Francisco Foster Care Research Group. We know that our work with these children is meaningful because we see those symptoms decrease over time.  We see that the clients that we serve are hopeful about therapy.

They’re hopeful about what therapy can do for them and that they also, and this is, a lot of this is just because we’ve removed the barriers. They start from the, the whole premise is different that they don’t have to fill out pages and pages to be eligible for our service.  One day in foster care means you’re eligible. 

And then of course we make sure that the client is  appropriate for a private practice.  But that being said.  That the premise is different, so they’re more hopeful. And what the research has shown us is that those symptoms go down. Anxiety and depression.  Engagement increases. And part of why it increases, I think, is because  of this idea that you can show up at a pace and frequency. 

that feels safe for you. By that I mean that no showing is normalized in our community.  We, uh, support therapists to understand that sometimes  it takes longer. To build a safety and engagement and rapport, it can be three months. It might be six months. It might be 12 months. A lot of us who,  you know, been trained in a lot of these evidence based practices, which are wonderful.

They would have us think that, uh, Engagement report is about a four to five week  period, which might be true for folks who don’t have histories. Totally.  They are significantly marked by trauma,  grief, and loss,  um, by the hands of a person who was their caregiver, right? So it’s particularly. particularly, um, significant. 

So we, you know, we get our therapists ready for that shift  that it takes often much longer and that it’s okay. And that can be hard, right? Because if a client has been showing up, usually in a private practice, they’re incentivized to show up because they get billed for the session, not here. So it, again, changes the pace and we support the therapist.

To be able to do that.  Again, to your, to your question, Lisa,  the difference is we see that our clients have an improvement in their functioning. Anxiety is lessening. They advocate for themselves more because our experience gives them voice and choice and so that they’re able to.  Express what they need, what they want in terms of modality, therapist preferences.

And so all of that  comes through one single relationship.  Yeah. All of those benefits, just one person connecting with one person.  For as long as they, and I like to say as long as they both choose, because sometimes people say forever. They translate as long as it takes to forever. I can’t do that. And I like to say that that really means for as long as the client chooses, that choice is not going to be determined by a fiscal administrative  determination.

As long as the client chooses to be in the work,  then they have the opportunity available to them. Yeah, absolutely. Well, and, and, you know, just to, to be clear to everybody that it’s not just kids. I mean, my person I was working with, he, you know, 23, 24, 25 year old young man, you know, and it’s really that like navigating the, those early stages of life that can really, I think, change the trajectory, you know, like whether or not you go back to school or able to find a job and then how to stay like in a job can be like another thing, but I’m curious, you know, do any of your, um, The outcome studies, the longitudinal research that you showed, is there an impact on some of the, you know, really adverse outcomes that kids who have been in foster care can experience in terms of homelessness and incarceration?

Is there, is there a trend in a more positive direction that you’ve seen or is it, is it difficult to know what those outcomes are? Well, what we’ve seen is that  our population, mm-Hmm, definitely have better outcomes with, um, employment. Okay. Housing.  Great. And, and when, when I say housing, I mean  relatively stable housing.

Relatively stable. Um.  Um, employment and  the, the  incarceration,  which is a big, um, uh, risk factor for this population. We’re not seeing any of those, um, outcomes with the clients that we serve now, not seeing any of those outcomes.  Like, none of them go to jail.  For, there have been a couple clients who’ve, uh, were already on that trajectory, but for the clients who, again, for the clients who were not,  um, they do not end up, you know, incarcerated.

Amazing.  So that’s one piece. I also want to say for the clients who are on that trajectory, meaning they were juvenile justice and as youth, and then they transitioned into those institutions as adults, what I think is remarkable is that therapists that we have, who still treat them,  who work with him. To maintain relationship.

Yeah. Because without those connections, there would, wouldn’t be any. And so, I’ve been reading a couple of chapters in Chicago  that have just continued to do the work. And it’s just so inspiring. So you’re saying that a clinician, even if some young person did wind up getting on a path that led them to prison, that they maintained their relationship through that experience to be still that one bridge of connection in an otherwise very dark space.

Exactly. That is so beautiful.  I, I think so. I, I think that in a nutshell is what again, I find most delightful about a home with it is that we’re in a little bit of a, we’ve been in a pretty challenging couple of years here  where it can feel like the environment is miasmic. You just have to be careful about where you go because there seems to be A lot of attention on what’s not going well. 

And every day I get the opportunity to see people gather around what is good. Gather around hope, gather on ideas  and somehow find the energy to do,  but in the energy to donate,  not just their time, but I’m most impacted by their donation of goodwill. Their love. Let’s just call it what it is. It’s love.

It’s, it’s, it’s love, it’s goodwill, it’s care, it’s time. That, I find that that’s what’s most remarkable. And they’re doing it. One of my favorite activities is always being on the hunt for joy.  If you’re looking for moments of joy and connection,  they’re doing it with joy. One of the things that I’m very sensitive about  is I never want people to come away  from the environment. 

That includes foster care, feeling like they’re at a funeral.  What I want people to feel empowered by is the idea that together, we as humans, in community, can shoulder lots of things,  address them together.  And together we can create an environment of healing and joy. What I’m most encouraged by with this population, what I’m most struck by is their resilience.

I’ve been working with my client for a couple of years.  And I treasure her.  I feel like I’m  the  recipient of a gift  every week after I meet with her.  And, um, it has not been easy.  Uh, you know, we, it has not been an easy journey.  And in those turns that feel hard and difficult and more challenging for her. 

What’s part and parcel of that is I get to experience the depths of her resilience. The depths of her pain and sorrow also reveal the depths of her resilience.  And so I come out of those meetings with her that sometimes feel very, very heavy  in awe of her resilience.  And so that’s a big piece that I always want to leave.

Not that I’m leaving yet, but any conversation around is that. It’s really important to hold this population  in the totality of what the experience is, which is great suffering and incredible resilience, incredible strength. And that my, my,  the intervention I love the most is finding joy and possibilities.

And this. Model gives me the time to do it.  So two years and we’re just getting started. Just getting started. Yeah. It’s a long game.  What a beautiful idea that really, you know, in the face of great suffering is, is really what also illuminates this incredible strength and resilience that you don’t see otherwise, and that it’s felt like such a gift.

To you. And I just, I love this whole mission, you know, because I, I agree with you. It’s so easy to look around and say like, Oh, it’s all going to pieces, you know? And there’s like, but, but to really be able to look at it differently, you know, I mean, I think that that people can get so So aggrieved when they see homeless encampments or, you know, like crime statistics, but like new idea that nine out of 10 of those people were in foster care or, or maybe should have been like trauma survivors that didn’t get the intervention that they need.

Like there’s a history there and that, you know, by really, um, being part of the solution and going in with care and love, as opposed to, you know, uh,  sort  adversarial kind of mindset, you know, like, like perhaps that is actually the path to healing all of this. And that for us, especially as therapists to have this opportunity to engage on a person by person basis.

I mean, I know you’re probably intimately familiar with that metaphor of the, the starfish for any listener who has not heard the starfish story, you know, the, the kid walking on the beach and all this. Starfish like coming up onto the beach being washed ashore and the sun is blazing and they’re the starfish are cooking and dying, you know, on the beach and this little girl runs out and starts throwing the starfish back into the water and her parent is like, why?

What’s the point? Just there’s too many. But the girl’s like, I’m saving this starfish. Yes, this one starfish that that to have the opportunity to be that person in this way is such a miracle and we get the chance to do that in the way that  few other people can’t like who else gets to be that person. 

It’s magic.  It really is. It really is. And it’s needed. It’s like, it’s needed the time. This is going to,  we have to just, I feel very use the word love, which I think is so, um, obviously important and interesting  that it’s not used in the work that we do. Because we don’t, like, it would be weird to say love, but that’s actually literally what it is.

It literally is, and um, there is something about, again, doing this for pro bono that allows you to feel that.  To leave this session feeling filled with love.  Um, and so I think again, for volunteers who’ve been, we’ve had volunteers who’ve been with their clients for, it’s not the norm, but we have volunteers who’ve been with their clients for 20 years.

Oh, I believe it. Zero.  And I do believe in just my two years with my client  that there is a different experience when I leave and it is love. I feel  that I experience  is something that is deeply connected to a collective  love. And repair the experience where I get to hold that space and that hope for her that she will be loved because she’s inherently worth  having everything that her heart wishes for.

So there’s something about holding that space in this model that you walk away from it feeling build.  Yeah. With hope and love.  Definitely. Well, that’s just so beautiful. I mean, even that, you know, 20 year trajectory because, you know what, if anybody needs re parenting, it is those people and to have that kind of person who’s stepping up to be that, I mean, that’s, that’s what’s going to save the world. 

Yeah.  I think so. One person at a time.  One person at a time. One starfish at a time.  So, so Candace, this has been just such an inspiring conversation and, and if any listeners are like, sign me up for that.  Where would they learn more? How would they get involved? Give us the deets.  So it’s really simple, really easy, a home within that, or we just updated our website and celebration of our 30th and it says join, join, join everywhere.

You click on one of those joins, there’s about a three minute application. The most important thing that you need to have handy is your license number, but it’s really simple if you’re licensed to practice psychotherapy. Then you can join us. If you want to join us to provide continuing educations, join us.

If you want to join us to lead a consultation group, to hold someone in their process, if you’re like, well, I don’t know if I can provide a direct service at this point,  maybe a consultation group is up the alley. There’s different ways to donate your time, but at home with in that or click there and you’ll find ways to join us. 

That is wonderful. All right. Well, thank you again so much for spending time with me today and telling us about your yourself and your mission. This was a fun conversation. 

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