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  • Julia Caruana

Happy Birthday Bethesda Counseling Services!

A lot of exciting changes are happening at Bethesda Counseling Services, one of it being our monthly blog that will give you a chance to read about different topics that come up in our work with our clients. I would like to start the blog by sharing my journey with BCS. It all started during my first pregnancy when I decided to say goodbye to working in the school system and open a home office, a place where clients would leave feeling more connected with themselves and the people around them. As the practice grew and my son grew, I decided it was time to take the next step and build a group practice that would not only provide services to children and families but also a supportive space for therapists to grow professionally and personally. Four years and two kids later, I have an amazing team doing exactly that. I could not have done it without my two ‘guinea pigs’, Joanna and Wendy who very bravely decided to join me at my home office and later on to our new and current office. Ashley, Emma, Ellie, and recently Andrea joined shortly after and have shown the professionalism, warmth and positive energy that I always imagined in a team.



My biggest challenge as my family and practice grew was dealing with my feelings of guilt. So our very first blog is dedicated to parents that like me struggled with the guilt of working and not spending time with my family and having a hard time being okay with wanting to work versus being with my children. I believe guilt is something that we carry around as early as we leave the hospital with our newborn, or at least that was my case. I felt like my life was my baby and I needed to give up on everything including my profession, my friends and my hobbies. I have learned with time that fortunately I didn’t need to give up anything. I am the happiest when all these parts of me are taken care of. I learned that for me to feel whole, I needed to continue my role as a therapist, as a friend, as a wife, and that all those roles are as a important as my role as a mom. Throughout my years as a therapist, I have seen a lot of mothers that give so much energy towards their children that they forget about themselves and they pretend to give the best from a place of complete exhaustion, sadness, and apathy. I don’t think it’s possible to give the best of you to your family when you are so far from what you think is your best you.


I still struggle with guilt but have come to a realization that guilt doesn’t look good on me and that is not the image I want to give my children when they wake up. I have decided to transform that guilt into an example for them. For me, it is inspiring to think that my children see a mom that likes her job, that comes home from work happy and that talks well about her day. Years from now when my children remember me I want them to see a mother that was a mom but also a professional that was passionate about her work and had a life besides her children. I try to do that mental exercise before I get home every day and choose to share with them the best moments of my day. When that guilt resurfaces, I try to remember that children do not collect hours but moments and that the best thing I can do is fill their backpacks with unforgettable moments such as a bedtime story even if I sometimes can’t see them as often as I want to. I know they will remember a mom that worked a lot but also a happy mom and one that always made sure to have breakfast with them every morning.


So whenever guilt comes and visits, remind yourself that the best thing for your child is what makes you feel better. The best is what your instinct tells you is best, it is what makes you feel good. Because if you feel good, they receive the best. Because the best is YOU.

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