I began my career, as far as I can recall, at about the age 4 when I first realized my fascination for human-beings’ behaviors. And, at about that age, my cluster of friends used me as their confidant. That is often the case with individuals who become clinicians or in other ways seek and get a career in the field of listening. My home life was dysfunctional enough to afford me ample opportunity to learn basic skills of mediation at a young age. And being the middle child, I was primed. Both my sisters went into the “Caregiving” fields, as well.
The middle of 3 girls, that is no doubt what spurred my interest in, and study of, birth order, mother-daughter relationships, and the effects of gender on family dynamics.
In 1969 I realized, upon arrival at the airport in Denver (which back then was smack-dab in the middle of town) that I’d been born in the Wrong Place and my destiny was in West. 1975 came the packing-up and Westward move to Arizona. Two years later I moved to Montana and have made it my home ever since and for Life.
My practice was initiated in Bozeman, but officially began as Missoula Psychotherapy & Counseling Services in 1984. I realized I’d fallen in love with my work right about 1988. It’s truly my 2nd passion, dance being the first!
Montana did not have Licensure for Clinical Counselors until 1986, and I was instrumental in this process. There was a group of individuals in Missoula in Private Practices and we became a force to reckon with. I will always remember these friends and colleagues, some still here on earth, some gone. It took a lot of hard work, but Montana set the pace and standards for Master’s and PhD level clinicians’ training. It is basically parallel to Clinical Social Workers and Psychologists.
I am back, full swing, at Private Practice in Havre Montana after contracting for 2 years with the DOD (2008 -2009). My personal goal was to work with each branch of the Military and the National Guards, and I accomplished this. It was a very learning experience, full of travel and unique circumstances. Having spent the first years of work with the general population and limited contact with the social structures around the people I was helping, this allowed me some truly new opportunities. My skills with the Military were enhanced, as was my knowledge of Military Life. During this time I worked in Germany, Alaska, Virginia, and Great Falls Montana.
In 2006 I moved my office to a small house in Havre. After many years of renting office space I decided to plant Amalia PC. The business had become a Professional Corporation a few years prior, and it was a wonderful decision. I was Landlord, President, boss and chief bottle washer to myself. A tough person to work for (got that from my self-employed Mechanical Engineer father) I do not pay myself well, either!
With an increase in the utilization of Distance Counseling as well as demographic changes, I decided to work primarily in my hometown, Chinook. I have an office now in the Lower Level of The Atrium in Havre. My office day in Havre is currently Tuesday.
My para-careers have emerged over the past few years; I am also The Computer Tutor, working mostly with women around my age and older helping them utilize the internet for purposes of staying connected with family. This has been fun! I teach people about Facebook, get to see their new grandchildren and help get a grasp of Skype and such!
I also am teaching dance at a new Dance Studio/Company in Havre. I’ve started teaching Modern Dance twice a month and “country ballroom” monthly. It is fun AND exhausting. Additionally, I teach dance in my home; my “living room” is a dance room complete with a barre.
Updates, photos and news about my Life in general and Ruby, my helper Therapy dog, will be available more readily on my Facebook page.