In case we haven’t run into each other on a windswept San Francisco Beach or gnoshing at Oakland’s Mac + Cheese shop Homeroom , my name is Kimberly, but please call me KJ. I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (which means, I study and counsel on relationships), a [no longer undercover] musician, and a writer/collector of stories. I also am a Psychological First Aid Responder with extensive experience providing mental health
support to families impacted by disasters, both natural and man-made.
Growing up, I was always aware that my unique background drew unwanted attention to me which caused me to feel self conscious, adrift and without a tribe to which I fully belonged. I am a biracial, female, transracial adoptee raised by a single mother in a fairly homogenous city- which is a fancy way of saying I didn’t look like anyone else in my neighborhood including my own family.
I became attuned to others who also felt like they were outsiders, unwelcome because of differences or challenges. I led a life where I downplayed my appearance, muted my voice, not speaking up to share my ideas aloud with teachers or my peers, even sometimes avoiding social gatherings. This hiding caused bouts of depression and anxiety as well as self shaming, especially in my later high school years.
Solace and sanctuary showed up in the form of creative practices such as playing piano, creating song lyrics and poetry, authoring short stories and art journaling. I also discovered the power in active listening and the bond that grew in having honest and kind conversations with other people.
As I began sharing the lessons I learned with other women who were suffering from feelings of self shame, I created methods for shifting embarrassment about all differences into celebrations of strength. The discovery of resilience is rooted in deep compassion, which comes from active listening to the stories we have internalized and applied to ourselves and others. As the women I worked with began noticing results, their friends and family members began to request my advice on accessing their own inner resources.
Over the past couple of years, I began to feel a deeper calling – to help those in the health service and educator industries who focus all their energy into healing others. I teach these healers how to replenish their inner resilience stories so that they can continue healing their communities on the front lines.
Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapist
Bachelors of Science in Health and Human Services, Counseling Psychology
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2007
Certified Disaster MH Responder
Red Cross Approved Instructor of Courses— Foundations of MH + Psychological First Aid
You actively, freely builds your own healing regime (body, mind, spiritual practices) into your daily routine. You understand and accepts that you can actively choose to write and enact new narratives in your life, that your family’s storylines are not your storylines.
Build your goals and dreams in your professional and personal life. You accept that your unique experience, your own background and environment and cultivated skills and talents compose your ability to serve your clients and communities effectively.
You accept the support available to you, to achieve success- in friends, colleagues, a team, spirituality, like minded community, counselors with your goals.
You verbalize your boundaries by saying yes or no instead of overwhelming yourself in attempts to please others. You can identify and accept the qualities of a positive relationship: kind, collaborative conversations and interactions, feeling safe, valued and worthy of loving bonds with partners, friends, parents, children, colleagues.
You feel unlimited, kinder, more assured to ask for what you want, as you accept and understand you are worthy of love, support and success. Your productivity at work increases, and you speak up to ask for the tools you need to thrive. You speak about your story of resilience proudly. You accept the help from your friends, family and communities. You engage in the activities that bring you health and joy.
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