Wilhelm Therapy > Blog > Why I Started My Own Practice

Wilhelm Therapy & Consulting Blog


Hello! I’m so glad you’re here and we found each other in this space. I’ve been reflecting a lot about why I’m here and how I came to the decision to quit what was essentially a dream job at a leading community mental health clinic to open my own practice.

After years in the field the impact of working with clients who have experienced trauma resulted in crushing burnout that I didn’t seem able to shake. It was slowing killing my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health, and my relationships were suffering as well. When I left my job I didn’t know what I was going to do next, I just knew something needed to change.

I also knew that what was happening to me was not an anomaly. For some time, I’d been training in and studying the impact of trauma on the provider in the hopes of better understanding what was going on with me, my colleagues and my supervisees. Through that I realized that every agency I’ve worked at in my career was impacted by trauma, but people either didn’t know it or weren’t talking about it.

When I started my career in the 1990s, we didn’t know as much about trauma and the impact on the body and brain as we do now. At the end of last year, as I dug deeper and dealt with my own burnout, it was stunning to me – dare I say unconscionable – that with all the advances we’ve had on how to treat clients with trauma, very few clinical studies have been done on the concurrent impact on the professionals providing that treatment. It’s a huge miss, and one for which we pay the price.

With a chance to recover and really explore what was next, the answer became obvious. I had always dreamed of starting my own practice, but now my purpose was clear – to create a resource for those on the frontlines of trauma to better understand and deal with the impact of their work on their own well-being.

Supporting people who have experienced trauma is not for the faint of heart. But it is worthy and rewarding work, and very, very needed. You give so much of yourself. You are intimately aware of the ugliness in the world as well as the transcendent beauty. You often feel as if you’re losing your sense of self and your hope for the world.

But you also know the other side…the magic of connection with other people, the excitement and pride over client success. I have so much admiration and love for people like you who are in the trenches. So much so that I’ve devoted the rest of my career to serving you.

If you’re in a bad spot right now, remember that healing and growing from trauma is real. Healing is possible, and you can do it. I can’t promise it will be easy or pretty, but it is do-able. I see you. I’m here for you. I can’t wait to get started with you!