Caron Awards Breakfast – June 12, 2015
Good morning. I am so very grateful for being acknowledged for this award. I would like to thank the Caron Foundation for sponsoring this event and also for their exemplary work in the field of addition and trauma treatment.
I also want to recognize and especially thank my colleague Meghan Riordan, LICSW and the “unknown others” in my collegial group who nominated and voted for me for this award.
A special thanks also goes to my husband Frank LaDue for his role as my personal tech support. I can not tell you how many times he performed miracles at the witching hour when I had missing mics, missing cords and countless other technical glitches.
My step daughter Melanie Gorman also deserves a high five for dragging me by the hair into the digital age. She designed my first web page as well as gave me the primer on “networking and marketing.” You are an inspiration to me.
I also asked one of my special mentors, Dr. Joan Turkus to join me this morning. Many here know Joan as the former president of ISSTD as well as for her pioneering efforts in providing psychiatric care, treatment and education in both trauma and dissociative disorders. Thank you Joan for teaching so many of us, for your kindness and for always emphasizing therapist self-care.
I almost didn’t get a table for this event because personally I never get anywhere before 9:30 and I feel so honored to have so many of my colleagues and friends here – you are truly all amazing!
It is easy to prepare a 4 hour power point but a great challenge to say a few words this morning that might inspire an audience such as this but I was told I have only 3 minutes so I had better get started….
Believing that there are no “coincidences” I will begin by sharing a quote from Mark Twain that I have always liked that crossed my path again in a workshop I attended several weeks ago with one of my favorite authors and teachers – Jungian analyst and story teller CP Estes.
Mark Twain once said that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
This quote made me think of Marie Montessori – the idea of coming here to earth with a specific “cosmic task” and it being important to take whatever your life script is, add passion and purpose to it and to transform your cosmic task is into something which has impact.
So if I think of my life script or cosmic task it would have to include the following: lifelong learner, therapist, mentor and teacher. As I gain more experience, I realize that without a compass that my life could get busier and busier and how important it is to stay on course.
Trauma and dissociation has been a big part of my learning as an addiction professional as it is my belief that NOT diagnosing or treating it contributes to the high rates of recidivism we so often see. So working diligently to provide education and training in this area is a way I hope makes this work less challenging to others.
I have also seen great value in my affiliation with professional organizations related to addiction and trauma in terms of forming professional relationships, learning and providing education. ISSTD, IITAP, SASH and NADDAC are among my favorites. I might mention that IITAP is in Arizona ..in February
I was going to end by saying something about who most needs our help but when I reflected on that I concluded that each and every one of us is needed desperately in the field …. whether we work with children, teens, families, combat vets or other suffering adults. We can all, in our own way, have an impact if we focus our energy on our own cosmic task.
When I finished my first teaching practicum at age 22, one of my mentors gave me a poem and I’d like to share it with you as I have saved it for all these years.. perhaps to read on this very day…..
You never know when someone might catch a dream from you
You never know when a little word or something you might do,
May open up a window of a mind that seeks the light
The way you teach may not matter at all, but then again, it might.
And just in case it could be that another’s life through you
Might change for the better with a broader, brighter view
It seems it might be worth a try to do what you believe is right…
The way you teach may not matter at all… but then again it might.
Again, I thank all of you who do this important work. I wish you success and joy…… in whatever your cosmic task might be…. may you all have a impact