By Allie Molina
Joining The Team
Hi there! My name is Allie Molina; a new provisionally licensed counselor under Dr. Brenda Neyens, LPC at The Core. A large part of my focus will be in family therapy where I will participate on the play therapy team and provide parenting resources. To add a quick bug in your ear – be on the lookout for a play therapy/parenting resource course in the fall! I am also passionate about existential topics (meaning, purpose, identity, etc.), as well as healthy communication/relationships, and relentlessly engaging in personal growth related to these topics. With that said, I will be available to provide individual and couples counseling on top of family/play therapy. As a recent graduate of Denver Seminary, I earned a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and completed my graduate internship at CityCare Counseling. When not attempting to soak up and grasp all the wisdom I can from amazing humans at each of the above mentioned locations, I am often outside getting my hands and feet dirty in the garden or on a hike with my family. It is the renewal and growth I find through nature and learning experiences I intentionally bring into my counseling framework.
While intended to be brief, for days, I have wrestled with writing this segment of my post. I found myself repeatedly avoiding words like, “COVID,” “pandemic,” “normal,” “quarantine,” and so on. Now that I’ve said them and gotten them out of the way, I’ll focus here on what I have been focusing on through this lengthy season of not knowing what to focus on.
In my graduate program, part of our own self-assessment was taking the Meyers-Briggs-Type-Indicator (MBTI). This has made its rounds as a popular “fad” personality assessment, though, I found much more depth to what it has to offer among trained and seasoned counselors. However, musing on the basics, the extrovert/introvert part of the analysis revealed I fall as far on the ‘I’ side of the spectrum as the test allows one to go. Let me remind you that introvert/extrovert does not inherently imply the outgoingness of the individual, but rather, how the individual needs to recharge; that being either in a group of people, in a small intimate group, off by oneself, or a combination of these in a balanced routine. This season has provided opportunity to, in a sense; strip my routines down to a blank slate to better move forward founded on healthier lifestyle habits. Prior, I was just surviving through twelve-hour days, collapsing in a heap at the end of the day having no physical energy for the in-depth community and soul-quenching relationships I desperately needed to recharge. My time alone was solely for sleeping. Hands down sleep is a gift, but it falls short of providing holistic renewal.
This season has invited me to hone in on what is balance for someone who is exceedingly introverted. This means intentionality through each moment. Who, when, where, how, what is life-giving? Life-giving both in the sense that an individual/activity gives of themselves which revitalizes me, and also in the sense that I am energized to give of my life to an individual/activity. I have narrowed down my focus to mutual life-giving connections and am incredibly careful to nurture them. This comes in the form of intentionally steering conversations to go beyond surface-level, whether with friends, neighbors, or the baristas who are the real essentials (I applaud you and your life-giving brews). This comes in the form of choosing to garden, swing on the porch, or hike (a meaningful activity) alongside the few individuals I am blessed to intentionally know and be known by. The past couple months have fostered deeper relationships and experiences with neighbors, heightening the sense of community instead of feeling a lack of. I know the names of the neighborhood cats and how to greet all of our neighbors’ dogs; mutually shared fears, individual hopes, and where we’re all generally at in the midst of “all this,” meaning I know how to intentionally pray for each one. Another stroll around the block is wonderfully more time I get to cherish with family instead of hustling away and a part from them. The longer I seek out to live life in this way; intentional depth will be lived out naturally. I will be more likely to succeed in maintaining the healthy balance I was designed to need, despite the pace of the world around me. I do not want to have to catch my breath, but lose my breath in the awe that intentional moments certainly bring. Right now, accept the invitation to inhale peace, and exhale that which binds our focus to unhealthy routines. The image of my son comes to mind. While out on one of many walks, he paused and exclaimed, “MOM!” as he pointed to a massive rose bloom in a neighbor’s garden just as the scent met our noses. I hope to be in my son’s place, walking at a pace that I can notice where/what the Lord has planted to pause with such joy to say, “ABBA!” at the sight of His own intentionality blooming with abundant aroma.
Beginning this week, I am accepting clients and scheduling right away. I have a sliding fee scale, so reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s figure out a time to start working together.