March 26, 2011

HB 3145

The bill has been assigned a number! HB 3145. Just a reminder of the main points before you call your area representatives:

1. Funding for LCDC Peer assistance program through license fees as was intended in previous legislation.

Chemical dependency counselors want to increase their relicensing fee nominally in order to support impaired peers to receive the same help we offer.

2. Eliminate the requirement that applicants for an LCDC license pass an oral examination to align Texas’ licensure requirements with International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium standards.

Currently LCDC applicants take both a written and an oral test that is cumbersome and costly. In order to keep requirements in Texas on the same page as international testing requirements and decrease logistical and financial hardships for individuals already underpaid.

3. Modify criminal history standards to address unintended consequences stemming from the passage of SB 155 in the 80th legislature.

Prior to the passage of SB 155, Texas Department of State Health Services allowed applicants to register as a counselor intern when they were within two years of meeting the time restrictions for different categories of crimes. It would be beneficial if DSHS may, but do not require, the waiting period if the applicants are successfully in completion of the peer assistance program.

March 25, 2011

Trouble Tree

A great isn't mine and unfortunately, have not been able to locate an author.

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work & his electric drill quit, his ancient one-ton truck refused to start. As I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. Upon opening the door he had undergone an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do at the little tree.

"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again." Funny thing is," he smiled", when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

March 15, 2011

Mother Teresa

I found this to be something inspiring and on this seventh day of our Lenten season, I thought it appropriate. I hope you enjoy it, regardless of your spiritual beliefs.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

~Mother Teresa

March 11, 2011

Headed Outdoors....

"It is the marriage of the soul with nature that makes the intellect fruitful
and gives birth to imagination".

~ Henry David Thoreau

March 05, 2011

The Wait....

A professional opportunity has recently been presented to me that peaked my interest. It is an area I believe I could perform well and learn a great deal at the same time. How often does that come along? I have talked with a number of the people involved. I have confided thoughts and received feedback from several people I trust. I believe this is the direction I want to go. Because I was not looking for the opportunity when it came along it felt even more of a path to investigate.

I have done the work involved to attain the opportunity. I have presented my wants and compromises. Now I shall wait for the answer.

I haven’t always been good at waiting. However, with my career, I am getting better. Perhaps, it is because I have worked nearly twenty years in the same field and I know my value. I know the strengths I can bring to an organization. And I know I won’t fall apart if an opportunity doesn’t work out.

But, more than that, I know things that are meant to be will anyway. And when I get in the way it only adds more worry, more misery and more chaos. Who wants that? Not me. There are many doors in my life today. I will know the one to go through because I am relying on guidance from One far greater than I. Therefore, I need no luck. Only faith.

The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

What are you waiting for?

March 01, 2011

Mission Impossible?

Not at all!

Recently I have had a number of experiences that culminated in the thoughts I am having this morning. A few years ago I developed a personal and professional mission statement. Over time I streamlined it into three words: Live with authenticity.

During a number of conversations over the past two weeks I have been in discussion with people who use that word. Authenticity.

What does that mean? Perhaps, something different to each person, but for me authenticity means living out loud. It means that people see and get the same person. The best litmus test for knowing if I am living with authenticity would be that everyone I know and who knows me be together in the same room at the same time and I be unafraid.

Unafraid because I am only one person and I am consistently that person. Constantly, in the process of recovering my life and at the same time working in a profession that helps others recover, I have been met different ideas on how a person in this profession expresses their personal ideals, values, issues, and life. For me it has changed a great deal from the beginning until now. Which, feels precisely as it should.

Today I have no shame about the life I lived, the experiences I have had and the distance I have come. I do not regret all decisions and circumstance. I have learned much, especially from the struggles, that I would want it no other way. I have come to embrace my flaws as eagerly as my positive power, on most occasions.

I have taught students becoming counselors, spoken around the world to others in the profession, supervised interns and others. At one time in my life I might have believed that I needed to be a certain kind of person as a result. Possibly, worry about my appearance (and I don’t mean my hair), if you will. Saying the right things, doing the right things and being the right person at all times. I realize that because of these relationships people do look to me for advice and guidance and I greatly appreciate that kind of trust. However, never do I want to present an image of being perfect, having all answers or being anything more than fallible. In order to be the person I am I must live with authenticity in all of my relationships.

After a period of nearly three years of personal strife married to many conversations with other professionals related to our “helping profession” these thoughts came to me…..if the personal strife is exactly what we help others through, why on earth do we hold it against one another when “we” (helping professionals) go through it ourselves? From these thoughts I developed a workshop called The Biased Helper? Moving from Impaired Vision to Insight. While I am still gathering empirical data, most of this workshop is based on the BOP (Book of Paula). For those of you who don’t know….the BOP is what I call data I have gathered through personal experience rather than qualitative or quantitative data.

More to come…..