As promised, here’s the follow-up to when I shared about marriage speaking events with my husband. And, speaking of my husband, I would like to take this opportunity to officially blame him for all this. I had no intention of speaking in my career. But, then he started doing it and sucked me in. He’s that kind of guy, always visioneering for others, and, before you know it, you’re doing things you never thought you would. Fair warning, if you ever meet him he’ll likely try to talk you into dreaming bigger.
My Journey To Speaking Professionally
Okay, with that caveat in place, I wanted to share where this adventure of speaking has brought me. As a backdrop, my formal training is as a licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist. My grown-up jobs have been in the Division of Youth Services, working with adjudicated youth with tough backgrounds, and in the Wellness Center at Westminster College, working with college students on whatever difficulties brought them in. Additionally, I have been in some sort of lay ministry for 20+ years either through Young Life, FCA, the local church, or by association through my husband’s role as a teacher and coach.
Speaking Topic: Suicide Prevention
I speak on two mental health topics most frequently, the first being suicide prevention. I kind of stumbled into this at Westminster College when I became a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainer. That certification allowed me to speak with students and staff each semester on suicide prevention. Fast forward and I have now taken those frequent engagements, my own training and experience as a therapist, and years working with young people to speak with educators and students 6th-12th grade about this difficult topic. The feedback I get most often is that this training helps people understand suicide/suicidal persons in a more compassionate way and feel better equipped to know what to do/how to respond if they find themselves or someone else in a mental health crisis. Click here to bring this presentation to your group or school.
Speaking Topic: Burnout Recovery & Prevention
While this is a topic I speak on frequently as well, it has developed more recently. The Covid-19 pandemic, the prevalence of hustle culture, and 24/7 digital access have created a uniquely intense environment for burnout. And while the overall concept is applicable to all, the primary audiences I speak with are teachers and administrators. The impact of these factors on those in helping professions such as teaching is particularly profound. When I meet with teachers and administrators we explore the concept of burnout, how elements of our education system tend to lend themselves to burnout patterns, and how both individuals and the system can operate in different ways to promote wellness and recovery. Click here to bring this presentation to your group or school.
Speaking Topic: Women’s Events/A la Carte
There’s no succinct way to describe this last section so, I’ll borrow a concept from the restaurant industry and label it a la carte. In addition to the two subjects above, I typically speak several times each year at women’s events or non-profit organizations. These events range from the intersection of faith and mental health, motherhood/parenting, women’s faith topics, grief, creativity, etc. And while these may vary in title, anywhere I speak I carry a torch for living your experience with vulnerability, authenticity, bravery, self-compassion, and connection with others. Click here if you are interested in chatting with me about this type of speaking engagement for your group or organization.
To close, while speaking was not on my personal agenda for my career, it has been such a blessing for me and, hopefully, those I am able to share with. I am grateful when people gain knowledge through these experiences, but especially when that knowledge translates into bigger and better compassion for oneself and others. Click here to explore any of my or my husband’s speaking topics, testimonials, or to listen to podcasts that will give you a sense of the kind of humor and approach we bring.