Hello! Jon Rabka here. I am a licensed therapist with 16 years of experience. But rather than talk about my professional credentials, which I certainly have, I would rather share some of what life and work experiences have taught me, which I believe are at the essence of the work I do as a therapist, and all therapist or counselors for that matter.
Growing up and living in the city of Chicago afforded me opportunity to experience first hand a great deal of diversity in terms of neighborhoods, cultures, orientation, spiritual systems and more. And while I grew up seeing a lot of intolerance and injustice in the world, my exposure to this diviersity taught me a great deal about acceptance, openness and appreciation of all people.
Therapy was a late in life career change for me and I attended grad school at 39, eighteen years after receiving my B.A. in Literature from Loyola at age 21. During the period in between, my work was in jobs that were as diverse as the people I have met. This included everything from factory work, to city messenger, to food service to hotel work. Also during this time I was involved in quite a bit of volunteer work as well various social service, human rights, and spiritual-oriented organizations.
My internship was at the largest and oldest LGBT social services agency in the city and it was an excellent experience. I continued to work there as a volunteer therapist after the internship. After grad school I worked at a variety of agencies and organizations. Substance Abuse was something with which I worked early on after grad school in both outpatient and residential settings in Illinois. This was also my first exposure in working with teens which I found to be a lot more fulfilling than I thought it would be. I received my certification as a substance abuse counselor in 1997 and my licensure as a licensed professional clinical counselor and therapist in 2001.
After that I worked in basic outpatient settings and also intensive outpatient settings in hospitals and started getting into more of the mental health aspects of therapy. I began honing skills in couples and group therapy as well. So you see, I am not what would be called a "specialist" in my work. And I like it that way! I enjoy working in many areas and with many different kinds of people and don't want to restrict myself to certain problems or populations.
I have always been drawn to the American Southwest. After several trips to all of the southwestern states I left Chicago and moved to New Mexico at age 50 in 2005 because of a deep affinity for this area in terms of it's natural beauty, it's variety of cultures and it's spirit. I love it here and consider it my real home in every sense of the word. It really is The Land of Enchantment for me, not just something on the license plates. I have worked as a therapist both in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Here I was introduced to valuable new experiences as well. I have had the privilege and honor to work with many of the unique communities and cultures that call New Mexico their home; from those whose ancestors have been here for many centuries and even millenia to more recent transplants such as retirred seniors and veterans and their very special concerns. The New Mexican lesbian, gay, bi and transgender population thrives here too. It continues to strive towards a strong sense of community, acceptance, tolerance, and identity in our state; and it is a community of which I am proud to be a part.
I also have done some rewarding new volunteer work since moving here in 2005, such as Big Brothers and currently some work with enviromental, wildlife and animal protection agencies such as WRINM (Wildlife Rescue Inc. of New Mexico).
In essence all these experiences have evolved into a philosophy of life at this stage of my life that has enhanced my therapeutic work in a positive way. Feel free to contact me if you want to talk more.
Peace & Joy
Jon Rabka LPCC