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Our Everyday Surroundings

We have been experiencing big changes in our daily lives, being told we must stay home unless we have essential reasons to leave our homes. I've been working from home for weeks now, and during this time I have thought about the environment that I, and my family, have purposefully set up there. But how often do we stop to really appreciate the setting that we create at home? 

I went around my home environment and took pictures of some of the things that I have forgotten to appreciate. I found again the beauty and joy of my environment. I share some of this with you in this video, along with the thoughts that came to mind when finding renewed appreciation. 

I hope this inspires you to find new or renewed joy in your environment, whether it is around your home or somewhere else that you spent a lot of time at, but have not thought lately of what you appreciate about it. I also reflect upon the hope that part of my current and past environments have given me. I wish for you to find hope, too.



About Paula Zimmerman:

Paula earned her Master’s Degree in School Counseling at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York and her Bachelor’s PZ.JPGDegree in Psychology at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She is licensed in New York State as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and she has worked in the field for over 17 years. Paula is a certified LGBT-Affirmative Therapy Provider.

Paula provided therapy and case management to adolescents and their families in a Residential Foster Care Facility for over 10 years. She provided individual, family, and group therapy. These adolescents presented with various struggles, including anger management, depression, anxiety, impulse control, history of having been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused, chronically running away, self-injurious behaviors, grief and loss, and developmental delays. Prior to that, Paula worked in schools with grades Kindergarten through 12th, while based out of a non-profit agency, providing therapy to children, teenagers, and their families. She also worked with adults and teens in a supportive housing program, counseling them in their homes to build skills in overcoming the mental health struggles they experienced.

Paula is certified in LGBT-Affirmative Therapy, and she continues her training in LGBTQIA+ studies on an ongoing basis. Providing support and affirmation to people of the LGBTQIA+ community is a passion for Paula. She has also been trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Paula has been trained in the Collaborative Problem Solving model by Massachusetts General Hospital, in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Intensive Training workshops. This model emphasizes parents and their children, and counselors/teachers/other professionals and children to develop solutions to problems together so that all parties are invested in the agreed upon plan. In addition, she has been trained in Distance Counseling.

Paula’s overall view of people’s experiences in life and therapy is an Existential one, as each individual experiences the world in a unique manner, and that his, her, their, or zir belief of reality, is indeed reality. She utilizes skills from the Cognitive-Behavioral and Person-Centered frameworks. Paula has a good sense of timing with clients, knowing when to encourage or gently challenge them to consider making changes, and when to allow clients to simply tell their stories. For Paula, the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the client is an equal, collaborative one.