by Amanda Ressin 

Live beyond your experiences. I believe that every day is a chance to help someone and make a difference in at least one person’s life. Throughout my life, there has been an abundance of people who have affected me both positively and even negatively; I look at these instances as forms of guidance for the future. I want to guide children towards their future. While doing so, I want to live beyond my experiences; I want to love beyond my experiences.

I was fortunate enough to be offered a job as a therapist at one of St. Vincent Villa’s residential treatment units, Phoenix, following my internship in a diagnostic unit. The liberating thing about my job is that every day is different. Every day, I am challenged. Every day, I learn. Every day, I interact with more than one person who changes my life path so I can feel true emotions, grow as a learner, and guide others on their journeys.

Emotions are truly one of the most real things we have and I do not lie when I say my position as a therapist has allowed me to feel emotions ranging from sadness, fear, excitement, and gratitude to stress. One day during one of my first few months on the job I remember feeling the worst of my worst. I had gotten a migraine and the children were off of school. I did not want to leave because I wanted to utilize the extra time I could spend with the children. I was meeting with a 10-year-old boy for therapy and we were still in the rapport building stage, just getting to know one another. I was doing sentence completions with him and asked him to finish the statement “something that I like is….” and he responded, “Ms. Amanda,” I asked him why he liked me especially since we did not know each other that well and he replied “because I know she helps kids with their problems.” That right there reminds me that even when I feel my worst, I can still be my best. He looked at me and started to share some of his problems. My migraine started not to feel so bad and we were able to share free snowballs together provided by one of therapist and children on another residential unit.

It’s those small things that make a difference. Those moments that remind us why we do the work we do. Every day at St. Vincent’s Villa is different. Every day is a chance for us to live and love beyond our experiences.