Guest Post by Tiffany Werhner, LMHC

My name is Tiffany Werhner, LMHC.  I am the President/CEO of Safety Harbor Behavioral Health and Counseling Center, Host of Moments of Clarity on (airs LIVE Wednesdays at 8pm EST) and I am publishing a book. It has taken me a long time to get to the place I am right now, however, it has been a road that has not been easy, but I never have lacked ambition and the confidence that what I was doing has always served a purpose of some sort.I have been and I AM very passionate about ending the stigma surrounding mental health or receiving counseling for ANY problem.  If you broke your leg, would you feel ashamed to place a cast on it?  Or take insulin for diabetes?  Or, blood pressure medication to regulate Hypertension?Then what is so shameful about finding a strength and solution for anxiety? Or depression? PTSD? Bipolar? Etc.  All of the above.  In fact, it scares me more to think that people are fearful or “too good” to seek out help, as they must be carrying anger, shame, insecurity, low self esteem, narcissism, etc.  All which could be easily remedied or alleviated with a simple session or two with a professional that understands these things and can help provide solutions to a problem that if it not handled, may turn into a very SERIOUS issue.

Today is Feb 7th, 2015.  It marks a 20 year anniversary for two significant events in my life.  First, it is the 20 year anniversary of my mother’s death on Feb 7th, 1995. 20 year ago, seems surreal to have lived this long without my mother.  My Father and both of my Grandmothers passed shortly after her, all before I graduated with my Masters degree.  I graduated from both the University of Florida and Palm Beach Atlantic University with honors, despite having to handle coping with my own despair.

Luckily, in my field, my professors encouraged us greatly to enter ALL types of therapy.  Not only to be able to REALLY know what it is like to be the “client”, but to also be able to seek proper help for our own troubles.  A GOOD therapist can only take you as far as THEY have been themselves.  And that is a true FACT.

It was that turn of events that helped me realize how easily it can cause a person’s life to change dramatically by going through a trauma without a proper support system (second result of the death of my mother).  That inspired me to volunteer with adolescents and I have worked most of my career with the Department of Juvenile Justice, working with maximum risk teens and troubled youth.

I am determined and strongly believe that a person’s perception on any event or struggle in life can cause them to react in one of two ways.  They can victimize themselves.  This could lead to lack of determination, using their trauma as a “crutch” to self handicap.  They could drink or become involved in substance abuse, etc.  Or they “SURVIVE”.  This means that they try to improve their lives and don’t feel like it is “impossible” because of their situation.  Like Audrey Hepburn said, “impossible” is spelled “I’m Possible” if you see it in a positive light.

Which one are you?  Are you a victim or a survivor?  Do you think you are above seeking help?  If you are, I am going to flat out tell you that the reason behind that is FEAR.  “FEAR leads to ANGER, anger leads to HATE, hate leads to SUFFERING…”- a great mind said that and I quoted him.  If you are not familiar with that quote, it is not Socrates, Plato, Gandhi, or Freud…it was YODA!

Follow Tiffany on Twitter @MOCwithTiffany


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