For 40 years I have worked to help others recover from mental illness and substance dependence. My educational background includes a Masters of Science degree in Nursing and board certification as a Clinical Specialist in Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing. My work experience has included psychotropic pharmacologic research along with teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. I currently work as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute in Nashville TN. I have prescribed psychotropic medications and performed psychotherapy since 1985. I have come to the conclusion that psychotherapy helps patients recover better than the medications.
In my personal journey, I have read numerous self-help books and gone through therapy as I have navigated relationships with myself and others in my life. It is through my own personal work that I became aware of a holistic way of understanding feelings and emotions; it opened new doors for me regarding emotional intimacy. As I applied this awareness in my personal life I began to see the profound effect on the way I would interact with the people close to me, the clinicians I would train and the patients I would treat in the future.
I wanted to use what I learned to help others develop healthy relationships. I have been fortunate to practice in the slow pace of a teaching hospital and a state psychiatric hospital, where there is no rush to get the patient out of my office. I began to use what I had learned to help my patients gain healthy emotional intimacy using group psychotherapy. This helped me understand that patterns of healthy and impaired feelings and emotions occurred similarly in our relationships.
When I shared these constructs with other psychotherapists, they recognized the merit of understanding these patterns and the value of being able to use the constructs within whatever psychotherapy frameworks they were utilizing. I quickly found myself infusing simple concepts about feelings into the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectal Behavioral Therapy psychotherapy sessions I was doing with my patients.
Being exposed to patterns of illness and recovery regarding emotional health resulted in an epiphany regarding my sense of purpose for my life. The new ways to look at feelings I gained eventually morphed into handouts and psych-educational groups, and finally to the content of my first book, The Truth About Feelings. As I did workshops to promote my book, I shared the information and learned more and more about feelings and emotions. I began to add a considerable amount of content to my practice, and it seemed sensible to write another book. This has culminated in what I have attempted to capture in my new book, Emotional Intimacy.
This material and my understanding of it continues to be expanded and refined. It is through sharing with each other that we all can learn more.
My hope is that we will organically develop a community of individuals, professionals and organizations that find this information useful.
Once you have read the book, please reach out to me via the Connect page of this website and let me know if or how your awareness has been affected by the material.
The blog on this website will be a continuation of my awareness of how this material can be used in everyday situations.
Eventually, I will be scheduling new workshops and opportunities to come together both in person and online.
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