Hey there! My name is Jenna, and I realized that I have been at Works Counseling Center for almost a year and have never formally introduced myself (where’s my manners?). Part of my delay is attributed to my uncertainty as to what to say and wanting my introduction to paint me as the most professional therapist out there. And then I realized… there’s no such thing. I also realized that all clients and potential clients want to hear is the truth and to feel a personal connection to their therapist. So here goes nothing!

As previously mentioned, my name is Jenna and before you share all your deepest darkest secrets with me I figured I’d share some of my own. Okay okay, they’re not that dark and they’re not really even secrets just things I forget to say out loud most of the time. The first thing you will notice about me (unless we meet virtually) is that I use a wheelchair and not just for fun either (haha). I was born with a disability that makes my bones weak and that means they break a lot it also means I’m travel size 3’7” to be exact. I have had over 20 surgeries (or sliced and diced as I like to say), and I have had so much radiation through X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and more, that it’s shocking I don’t glow when the lights are turned off (although I secretly hope that would happen because it would be so cool.) My bones were treated with infusions of a medicine that I received about every 4 months from 1 month old to 16 years old and I was told I had received the most doses of that medicine out of anyone at that time (although I think I’ve been outdone at this point but I still hold the title in my head). When I received the last treatment of this medicine I had annoyed my doctor just enough that they threw me a “party” in the infusion center.

It’s safe to say I know how to cope with the medical and mental challenges of having a disability (though it hasn’t always been easy) and how to get doctors to do things they may not normally do. These details about my life have colored my world and shaped my worldview. I believe I am more open-minded and accepting of those with disabilities and others who may feel like they don’t fit the stereotype society has set out for them. My approach to working with individuals with disabilities (and everyone else) is “yes and…?” Throughout my life, I’ve strived for people to see me and my chair and choose to get to know me as a person anyway. I welcome all curiosities about my physical challenges and love when people go that extra step to get to know me, my personality, and who I am on the inside. That’s my goal for my clients as well. I see your struggles and your diagnoses and I want to know who you are alongside those things. What are you hoping to do with your life? What are your interests/hobbies? What’s your family like? Do you cope with dark humor as much as I do?

Disability or not I would be honored to sit with you in your darkest and brightest times. I want to give you the acceptance you deserve and to say “Yes and…?” to get to know who you are alongside anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief, life transitions, and anything else life can throw at us and expect us just to keep moving. You may struggle with a physical or mental health issue but that is not your whole story. I’d love to listen as you tell it and maybe even help you write pieces of it.