"Helping people became natural" Story told by Sarah Dinan
Mental Health Counselor
Sarah tell us about yourself ?
I’m originally from Buffalo, NY from a little small town called North Tonawanda. I spent most of my life there until I moved to Nazareth, PA in 2007. When I came to Nazareth I started to make a big change in my career coming from a journalist background and starting my masters program at the University of Scranton. When I first moved here I started working at the Valley Youth House and also worked on the Rachel Ray Show. At that point I started to reflect on whether if I wanted to work in mental health counseling or media. I ultimately decided that working in the counseling field would be fulfilling and worth pursuing. This led me to receiving my masters in counseling.
What inspired you to become a Mental Health Counselor?
All of my life I loved building relationships and loved meeting people. I really valued relationships and with building those relationships I would help friends who were struggling and going through a difficult time. I really appreciated my high school guidance counselor because she opened my eyes to the counseling field. All of this came natural to me as friends would reach out for support. This opened up an opportunity for me to have a willing spirit in helping them.
"I would help friends who were struggling and going through a difficult time..."
What challenges did you face in becoming a Mental Health Counselor and how did you overcome them?
One of the challenges I faced was burnout. When I’m helping people I always had a struggle in caring for myself because I was always expending my energy and time towards others and just didn’t have time for myself. So I needed to practice good self care and seek out help from a therapist. This helped me to better establish that balance so that I can be there for others and myself.
"I was always expending my energy and time towards others and just didn’t have time for myself..."
What advice can you give to up and coming Mental Health Counselors who are looking to grow and start their own business?
It’s important to connect and talk to others who are also in private practice. Also seeking out advice from them and asking questions so that you can learn about their experiences. The really cool thing about working in mental health is that your colleagues are respectful, empathetic, and supportive. This could be a great help to you starting your practice because you can learn from their mistakes and successes.
It’s important to connect and talk to others who are also in private practice..."
How can you personally make an impact in the community?
I can make an impact by being understanding and empathetic which is key to helping others. Although you may not know everything people go through you can still show empathy and understand their experience. Taking the time to pay close attention to body language and their story helps me to better understand their experience and allows me to help them work through their issues. Also the podcast that I host called Therapeutic Perspective helps to educate fellow clinicians and the community members on current issues from a psychological standpoint. This podcast helps me to engage others on mental health issues which brings these topics to the forefront. By doing this an impact can be made.
Sarah Dinan Podcast host of Therapeutic Perspective with creator of What's Your Story Darin Barron Jr.
"Although you may not know everything people go through you can still show empathy and understand their experience..."
Reach out to a mental health counselor that can help you be the best you can be...
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Licensed Professional Counselor
25 E. Center St., Suite 4
Nazareth, PA 18064