welcome to my blog... but first a little about myself

Welcome to my blog! I encourage you to join me for reflections and musings growing out of my therapy practice. Here you can expect to find articles, resources, poetry, exercises, questions, and more.

First though, a little about myself. I began my career as a family law attorney, representing victims of domestic abuse in orders of protection and divorce cases. After nearly six years in the courtroom, I left the practice of law knowing two things for certain. First, the adversarial environment of a divorce courtroom was not where I wanted to spend my days. Second, I came to know well the devastating impact that extreme stress, anger, trauma, abuse, and pain can have on an individual. Unfortunately many of these painful emotional experiences can be found in nearly every divorce case where abuse is a precursor to separation.

During my time in the courtroom, I began to see a strong correllation between the outcome of an adversarial legal case, particularly one with contested custody issues, and how well a client was able to manage his or her strong emotions. Strong, albeit natural and healthy emotion, in the hands of a skilled opposing attorney, can become twisted and reframed as pathologizing behavior: anger becomes vindictiveness or alienation, sadness and loss become depression, and fear of an unknown future becomes an anxiety disorder. I began to notice a strong pattern that those who were well-supported emotionally during the legal process fared better. It was with these ideas in mind that I returned to school to obtain a Masters in Social Work.

Today I run a private therapy practice in the Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and an Illlinois Certified Domestic Violence Professional (ICDVP), I now work together with clients seeking emotional wellness. The clients in my practice come from various backgrounds and present with a wide range of struggles. Many clients I work with are healing from trauma, abuse, or sexual assault. Others seek to process the loss of a relationship or a marriage, or seek support during a high conflict divorce. Still others seek guidance as they move forward in their lives, struggling to manage the stress and fears that accompany life changes or transitions. With all of these clients I am honored to have been invited to accompany them on their journeys and remain amazed by each individual's resiliency and inner strength. It is my hope that this blog be a space to share those thoughts, reflections, and teachings that have served to inspire and educate me and others as they make that journey to wellness.

made by
kimberly shapps, JD LCSW
psychotherapist
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