Carol Maker LCSW: At one time I, too, wanted desperately to change my life. Before I became a psychotherapist here in the beautiful city of Portland, I went through a series of devastating personal losses. Because of what I learned, and continue to learn, it became my mission to help others rediscover their best selves.
In my masters program, I specialized in trauma and grief, and early in my career, I facilitated treatments for DUII, batterers, drug and alcohol and gambling. It was during a series of batterers treatment programs I ran from 1999 to 2001 that I developed a profound empathy for how and why someone becomes abusive, whether it is aggressive or passive aggressive. At that time, many of my clients had PTSD and ineffective, destructive role modeling for relationships. They were rendered powerless to get their needs met, and they lashed out in frustration with emotional or physical violence. Underneath the defense system, they were guilty and ashamed. I could see how these elements fit my own story, and how I could best use this understanding to help my clients.
It’s a tenuous balance to heal both the victim and perpetrator parts of the psyche. In my current practice, I use a unique blend of accountability and compassion to achieve results. The inclusion of EMDR therapy in the INNER COURAGE model allows me to get even deeper into these shadow issues.
It is an honor to be present when a client makes a fundamental shift in awareness, when anxiety and stress make way for calm wisdom. You can feel comfortable knowing that I’ve been through difficult times, and met many personal challenges myself. Like you, I’m a work in progress. My life experience gives me an innate understanding of the process, and deep empathy for what you are going through. I am living proof that there is hope for anyone who wants to change.