How I got here
I call myself a “recovering perfectionist”. I have spent my life holding myself to very high standards, which has made me very driven. Most whom know me well would say I’m relentless. In the past, this also led to a great deal of anxiety and self-criticism. Although it was heart-wrenching, the loss of my dad to suicide when I was 19 was a turning point in recognizing my own mental health struggles and inspired me to admit I couldn’t handle it on my own and I sought out help. It was incredibly hard to confess to others, let alone myself that the way I was doing things was not healthy. I learned a great deal about myself, my resilience and my capacity to heal through therapy and grieving that loss. Working on an ambulance as an EMT for over 12 years has taught me a lot about compassion, empathy and focusing on building a fulfilling and satisfying life because it could be over sooner than we expect. I also developed a passion for supporting my first responder family during my time in EMS. I was overwhelmed with the amazing support and encouragement by my EMS family as I went through a painful divorce, which strengthened my commitment to showing up for my fellow EMS workers. I joined Peer Support where I became invested in doing more to support mental wellness of others. With encouragement from my Peer Support Clinical Supervisor, I decided to enroll in graduate school so I could pursue a career as a clinical counselor. During my time in graduate school, I developed a passion to work with veterans and spent a year interning then working as an employee at the VA doing individual and group therapy with veterans which was incredibly rewarding. Now I work with adolescents full time in a clinic in Fort Collins. I have such a passion for helping improve the lives of the youths in our community as well as those who have sacrificed a great deal to serve others like our first responder and veteran populations.
Changing my mindset
I can’t pinpoint a particular day when I decided to shift my mindset, in fact it was a series of careful selections that has led me to where I am now. As I have worked my way through the many challenges in my life I have shifted my focus from just “surviving” to actually “thriving”. I cannot credit one person, quote, book, therapy session or “ah ha” moment that did the trick. It was so many things – it was declaring that I matter too, the cumulative consumption of encouraging media/material, weeding out draining relationships, clinging to those who inspire, challenge and cheer me on, exercising for health and positive self-image, leaning into discomfort and learning to love my goofy, nerdy, creative self – then picking those things every single day. I constantly remind myself there is no practice-life, there is just this life, and I chose to lean into the tough stuff.
I have always been an active person. I excelled in many competitive sports growing up including swimming, gymnastics, cheerleading, pole vaulting & track. I was trained for and gained an enthusiasm for weightlifting during high school which helped me develop a healthier body image that fit me better. I began seeing myself as strong and capable as I celebrated new PRs and muscle definition and noticed decreased anxiety and improved self-esteem. Following my undergraduate education with a focus on psychology, sociology and criminology, I considered entering law enforcement. Feeling unsure of that career path, I enrolled in an EMT course so that I could have a “gold star” on my resume for whatever career I decided to pursue. I excelled in the course and pursued getting hired as an EMT and have been at it ever since! EMS repeatedly shows you the consequences of living an inactive lifestyle and neglecting your health, so it is a regular reminder to move and maintain my health. In 2019 I completed my first Spartan Beast race which was the most physically demanding challenge I have ever put myself through and loved it! Since then I have had back surgery and subsequently pushed myself to return to an even greater level of fitness than before and I have participated in several other obstacle course races. I love pushing myself through the miles, the mud and muck and obstacles to remind myself that I can do hard things.
More about Jeanette
Jeanette is a mother of two beautiful, active, creative and determined children. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Jeanette is a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidacy (LPCC). Jeanette has a special interest in trauma counseling, crisis support, sleep therapy and integration of physical fitness and counseling skills. She is trained in Level 1 of the Gottman Method for Couples Counseling and CBT-Psychosis. Her focus is on a biopsychosocial-spiritual model of counseling – the person cannot be healed without taking into account the mind, body and spirit and the interactions between them. She has been trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy. She has experience leading several therapy groups including DBT skills, Seeking Safety for PTSD and substance use, relapse prevention, anger management, trauma symptom management, pain/sleep/mood and sexual trauma.