EM: Hi Char, EM is so excited that you have agreed to interview with us. There are so many people out there who will benefit from hearing from you. There is such a stigma attached to emotional disorders. Our society today is privy to so much information, coming from so many different directions. In a world where there is so much pressure, that hearing about someone else’s perfect life, perfect body, coupled with the violence that we indirectly and/or directly may experience, can exacerbate or trigger emotional distress. Not to even mention our own personal struggles. It’s so important that people know there are trained professionals such as you, that can help them maneuver these everchanging climates. That being said let’s get down to interview.
EM: Why did you choose a career in counseling?
CHAR: I want to help people on their life journey. My mother did not suffer with mental illness, but there were members of our extended family that did. Their suffering caused my mother great sadness and seeing this made me want to help. I had a front row seat to the struggles of an extended family member who was diagnosed as bipolar. I witnessed not only this persons’ struggle but the struggles of the family. Again I wanted to help. In the 80’s it was hard to find a therapist that combined faith with counseling. Faith was important to me because I wanted to be able to help those in the church who also needed my assistance.
EM: What percentage of your clients are women? In private practice?
EM: Do you feel that women seek out help more than men?
CHAR: Yes, typically unless men have brought up in an environment that encourages emotional expression, they don’t like to discuss feelings.
I learned with my young and teen boys to take a different approach with them so they are able to express their feelings.
EM: What advice would you give women on seeking therapy?
CHAR: Do it! Do it afraid if you need to. Recognizing you need help and reaching out to someone you don’t know or trust can be scary or fearful.
Most Therapist are warm, kind, and trained helpers who have your best interest at heart. It’s okay to interview a therapist to see if they’re a good fit for you. We all are broken. It’s a good feeling to have someone to help us unload our emotional backpacks from time to time and explore solutions from a different perspective.
EM: Are there visible signs that could help women recognize they might need help?
CHAR: Loss of energy (more than usual). Feeling like you don’t want to get out of bed. Elevated agitation, elevated stress, not sleeping, wanting to isolate more, suicidal thoughts and absolutely if you start contemplating a plan – seek help immediately. There is no recovery from suicide only prevention!
EM: Tell us about the services you offer?
CHAR: Adults, Teens, and Children in the areas of ADHD, Anger Management, Anxiety, Behavioral Issues, Career, Depression, Emotional Issues, Family Conflicts, Grief, Life and Health Issues/Transition, Parenting Issues, Relationship Issues, Sexual Abuse Victims, and Substance Abuse.
EM: You launched a new website in October. May we have a preview of what the website is all about?
CHAR: I’d love to share; it is basically introducing me and the services I offer. I think it is important that before someone walks through my door, they know a little about me and my theoretical approach. I am currently in transition to full time private practice as up until now I’ve worked with other agencies but it’s time for me to take that leap of faith. My husband, Steve, who many mistake for a counselor, but is actually a Financial Director and my business partner. Steve and I, formed an LLC in August of last year. I had not marketed the website because I’d been working for another agency and time was a constraint. I believe in God’s timing, so we are excited to be officially hanging our shingle out. You can find out more information about the services we offer at Charlistens.com
EM: Char, please tell me about your education and credentials in this field. Do you specialize in any particular area?
CHAR: I have a Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology. I do a lot of work in the area of grief. Grief is a very hard journey. I’ve been facilitating or co-facilitating grief groups for the past 5 years. I find a lot of people who experience anxiety or depression have experienced a loss or is grieving on some level. Frequently, they don’t identify it as loss or grief. I think just identifying it and knowing what you are dealing with helps.
EM: Please give us your contact info, website info, phone number and address for those that might want to reach out to you.
CHAR: Char Midkiff, MS, LMHC# 15789
Char Listens, LLC
EM: Char, EM would like to thank you for your time and for the invaluable knowledge you have shared with our EM readers today. Congratulations on the launch of your business and your website. We know that you will do great things for the community!