Dede Smith, MA, LPC, CCLS
by Dede Smith
Wow, oh wow! I found this website by googling "techniques for counseling children", and now I'm hooked, beyond hooked--hopelessly addicted!
In many ways, my story is similar to yours. I am making a midlife career change. I spent 11 years teaching special education. Then, when my oldest two children reached school age, I resigned to homeschool. I homeschooled my four kids, and several other people's kids for 14 years. As I reached the end of that adventure, it suddenly dawned on me that I'd better re-tool myself to enter the job market once again. I knew school districts were laying off teachers, and they certainly weren't going to hire a 50 year old who had been out of the school system for so long. I had earned a counseling degree in 1982, so with that same grit and determination you described yourself as employing at ISU, I started reading everything I could get my hands on, and studying for the LPC exam, which I took and passed. I also did an internship in a children's hospital providing psychosocial support to families dealing with medical crises. Recently, I have been hired to providing counseling to children in a private practice setting. While this is the kind of job I was hoping for, I realize now that I feel totally unprepared!
Anyway, I love the sense of humor you display throughout this website, and am soooo grateful for the wealth of information you offer here. I am also interested in eventually investigating your online business info. I am visually impaired, can't drive, and pay dearly for transportation. I have been reading a lot about e-therapy, and am especially interested in its value in working with teens. Whether I pursue this avenue, or another, establishing an online business would greatly decrease my mobility issues.
Before I close, I just want to mention one suggestion. The links listed at the far left of the home page are in such random order that it is difficult to find any particular topic. Could these be put in alphabetical order at least?
Again, thank you so much for the time and effort you put into this website. It is truly a blessing to me!
P.S. Do you ever give talks anywhere? I see you're in Rockford. I live in the western suburbs of Chicago.