Welcome to the Passages Blog

Welcome to my first blog post!  Since this is a new form of expression for me, I must admit to slight first-time jitters.  I imagine that many of my clients experience similar apprehension when coming to meet me or Jennifer Shontz for the first therapy session.  So, in an effort to make you more comfortable, allow me to tell you a bit about myself and why I do the work that I do.

I am a wife, mother of two adult children and grandmother of two brilliant grandchildren!  I studied social work both as an undergraduate and graduate student and have a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas.  As a social worker, I held positions addressing issues of poverty, foster care, adoptions, hospice care and cancer care prior to becoming clinically trained as a psychotherapist.  I have worked for Kansas City Hospice and Palliative care for fifteen years.  In 2006, KCH supported launching Passages, a counseling program for individuals with health issues, senior concerns, and grief and loss.  A few years later, trauma treatment was added.  In a future blog post, I will share with you more information about the highly respected and effective therapy for trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.  I am honored to be certified in EMDR Therapy and to make it available to my clients when appropriate.

As a social worker, I highly value providing my clients with compassion and respect for their struggles, both past and future.  I try to offer them a better understanding of unhelpful patterns and negative feelings in their lives.  Together we work on new ways of thinking and strategies for improving their lives.  I recognize that I don’t have all the answers my clients might need.  Periodically I may suggest community groups, classes, books, websites and other resources that clients might find helpful. I teach relaxation techniques and self-help strategies for managing uncomfortable feelings.   Taking my suggestions is up to the client.  I believe that therapy is a collaborative effort.  I offer clients my knowledge and skills, but they do the work to make changes to better their lives.

Stevie Shuchart

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