For years, I felt alone in my walk through chronic health issues as a psychologist. Only recently, did I realize the extent to which other therapists are walking a similar path. Our focus on the clinical side of our work means we often struggle with what to do with changes on the personal side despite knowing that they impact one another. It’s time to have a positive, supportive place for therapists to navigate chronic health issues. And to develop individualized strategies for living a meaningful life personally and professionally that coexists with our health challenges.
I’m Jennifer Blackledge, a consultant to therapists with chronic health issues who want hope and empowerment to live abundant personal and professional lives. I’m also a psychologist, wife, daughter, friend, colleague, speaker, athlete, fur-mom, and the list keeps growing! I love it all and know what a challenge it can be to create a balanced life when there are so many responsibilities and desires. To add to the experience, things get really complicated when unexpected health struggles come on the scene. Our health impacts everything to some extent. My health journey has been filled with blood, sweat, and tears all with a core belief that my experience would make a difference to someone else’s journey. And here we are!
It’s been almost 10 years since my world turned upside down. At first, I didn’t realize how longstanding my new health journey would be. I was told repeatedly that it would take a couple of years to recover, and each difficulty was minimized with the stern reminder of the need to be patient. By the way, I’m not the most patient person! It certainly is a virtue that continues to grow.
I opted to shift my healing path and have experienced improvements over the years. Despite improvements in managing my health, flare ups in my symptoms can disrupt my flow, and my life is far from the same as it was 10 years ago.
Quite frankly, I doubt it will ever be the same which has been a hard pill to swallow. But, I can finally say that I’ve also grown in ways that I firmly believe will allow me to have a different influence on my life, my family, and the world. An influence that I would never have offered had I continued in the direction I was on before.
While medical and nutritional approaches to my health have been important, the most profound changes have come only after I revolutionized my relationship with myself and the world. Now, I hope to help other therapists dealing with chronic health issues develop appreciation for their new selves. We do this everyday for others. We know it can be an overwhelming process. So doesn’t it make sense that we need guidance and help along this unexpected, chaotic path?
As a consultant, I offer education and support to therapists whose health has left them confused, lost, and frustrated. To therapists whose core self knows there is a better way. To therapists whose spirit is ready to feel inspired and honored. To therapists whose bodies deserve space for healing and unconditional love. To therapists ready to incorporate their health challenges into who they are without being defined by them. You can be stronger with every step!