Happy Friday, all! I am excited about today’s blog which launches the first in a series of interviews I will showcase each Friday. I am quite fortunate to have a “treasure chest” of resources---professionals that can serve my clients and their families in many different areas of their lives. Each professional has a unique story, mission and shared enthusiasm for helping and empowering our youth. Today I highlight Michel Bordeau in my “Friday Feature.”
Michel, pronounced “Michelle” (he is French) is a psychotherapist with Acadie Psychotherapy Services. He is passionate about working with youth and teens and approaches his work from the premise that change comes from within yet requires unconditional support from without. I could not agree more! He further explains that “it is my experience that children and adolescents find the strength to change the moment their family begins to change.” He has a concentration on trauma-focused grief therapy, educational consulting (utilizing his background as an academic counselor), and on a fun note, he runs an amazing blog dedicated to survivor narratives.
Q: How do you serve the youth in our community?
A: I am a busy psychotherapist and life coach in private practice and I like it that way. I serve the youth in our community by offering coaching (e.g., emotional and practical transition from middle school to high school, high school to college, college to the work force), education consulting (i.e., I will go to an IEP and 504 meeting with you, I will come to court for you!), and therapeutic services (I specialize in stress & anxiety management, grief & loss support, personal & relational growth, and recovery from emotional duress).
http://www.acadiepsychservices.comI provide individual, family, and supportive therapy and coaching. People are usually familiar with the first two but not the last one. Supportive therapy & coaching represents a range of supplementary, boutique services for parents who feel overwhelmed by the often unfortunate situation their kids are experiencing. It’s my own boutique creation and I am proud of it!
Q: What advice do you have for parents of teenagers?
A: I am trained as a Clinical Social Worker, so I treat every event as an acute situation that needs to advance fast. It does not take me long to jump into action to help a parent who is trying really hard to hide her/his frustration and confusion.
My advice to parents of teenagers who find themselves in emotionally difficult situations is two-fold: I’m here to help and we are not, we cannot, be successful within our time frame if we do not involve a highly competent team. It does take a village to ensure the result we are seeking becomes a possibility. Not only do I do my part with absolute dedication (i.e., I respond to calls within 12 hours, I respond to texts within 6 hours, I read email or when I don’t I call to say that I don’t), I make sure to link parents and their teens to my list of great professionals. I am French, I have a boutique mentality, and judging from the positive responses I get from parents and teens, as you know quite well Kathryn, it’s a worthy way to provide coaching and therapy services.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: I see clients four days a week, and I spend two additional days connecting with new people, e.g., clients and their families, colleagues in the field, and also people I work with through my blog.
During the days I see clients, I am very busy from 10am to 8pm, but I do take a two-hour break, it’s a rule, a cultural one. I am French and I would wither away if I did not have a break in the middle of the work day. I am a high energy therapist, who will not put his clients to sleep. My clients and their family know that fact and they expect it. I would not be able to stay fresh and mind-aware for them, I would not be able to deliver boutique quality services without my culturally mandated mid-day déjeuner et sieste!
The two days I spend marketing and doing my paperwork I do not see clients (except for the new ones and except when I need to address an emergency). It’s another healthy break. It’s also a gigantic recess because it’s the time I conduct business as I wish—can you hear my size-13 feet stomping?
On those days I meet great professionals like you. On those days I write my blog. On those days I interview authors who wrote survivor narratives, a passion of mine. And on those days I schedule speaking, workshop, community brown backs, and training engagements. In short, on those days I distract myself well enough that I can be fully engaged with my clients the rest of the work week.
Q: FUN QUESTION: Which native Georgian deserves a State Holiday, and why?
A: I will deviate from your question a little. I teach teens to practice creative approaches to routine situations, one of them (which is inspired by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is to intentionally take calculated risks. Here is my calculated risk to your clever question:
I think Dr. Carl Patton, president of GSU from 1992 to 2008, does deserve at least a City Holiday. He is a native of Florida, so, I’d say, he was born close enough to Georgia. More importantly, during his career and still to this day, he has been a devoted and dedicated leader in Atlanta and his contribution to our city, creating an integrated and vibrant city campus nearly from scratch, is no small achievement.
Putting GSU on the Georgia map was a thoughtful gift to the local youth you and I love to serve. Strange to say but I would not hesitate to give Dr. Patton a city holiday for putting us out of our jobs!
Indeed, his GSU legacy gives Georgia’s youth another opportunity to develop their talent, refine their goals, find pride in who they are, and confidence in what they can accomplish, whilst having another great reason—Go Panthers!--to become proud citizens of state, and forever keep Atlanta in their heart.
So why not give this remarkable non-native a city holiday for his dedication to, what we hope, is going to be a long lasting youth movement in Atlanta.
Last but not least, I would not hesitate to honor Carl’s legacy, because, selfishly, I know that without him, I would not have my wife and kiddo. Carl is after all my father-in-law, a man I never stop to love and admire.
You can learn more about Michel at: http://www.acadiepsychservices.com and http://www.facebook.com/AcadiePychServices and you can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.