Tarpon Springs, FL – As the country continues to mourn the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the subject of how the community moves forward has been fraught with controversy. When is the right time for professional counselors to offer their services and support?
Dr. Sherry Showalter is a disaster mental health specialist offering crisis intervention and trauma support to individuals whose lives have been forever altered by tragedy. With over 30 years of experience in both hospice and grief counseling, Dr. Showalter now speaks to healthcare and mental health professionals across the country on building resiliency in the face of tremendous loss.
“I was drawn to this work from the time I was little,” recalls Dr. Showalter. “I’ve always been drawn to the mission and vision that care of the body means nothing without care of the soul.”
According to Dr. Showalter, unless someone is really encouraged to work through their grief and confront their loss, they will never fully heal.
“You have to find someone you can really work with,” says Dr. Showalter. “I have to become worthy of their trust so the very first thing I do is thank them for the courage it took to sit beside me and to acknowledge what tremendous courage it took to walk through the door. My first goal is to provide a safe space.”
While Dr. Showalter currently practices in Florida, it’s clear her heart is with the families in Connecticut.
“I’m standing for them while I’m standing down and I think that’s the best I can do for them for now,” says Dr. Showalter. “A plea was made for people to stay home. They don’t want the world to descend on their small town. Let’s respect their privacy. When they are ready to begin addressing their trauma and grief, I’ll be there.”
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