Guiding Principles for an Overcomer

My name is Kimberly Duff and I am a licensed professional counselor and certified rehabilitation counselor. I am also a person who is totally blind, a person with a disability, a mother and a cancer survivor.

My life has been filled with many barriers and roadblocks, with situations that seemed impossible and circumstances that could have led to my defeat.

However, I stand here today as a survivor with a strong belief in myself and the potential of others. 

What are the guiding principles for my practice and the values I look to in my daily life? I was recently asked to identify the 3 most important values connected to my counseling vision. I identified principles of spirituality, fun and vitality. These 3 topics guide my counseling sessions and my decisions in my daily life. 

As I explore the topic of spirituality, it’s important that I clarify what this means. Spirituality does not mean crystals and chicken bones. My spirituality manifests as a belief in God and principles of Christian living. I think it important that we have faith and spiritual meaning and in order to function at our greatest potential. I want to help others find this meaning.

The second principle of my practice is fun. For me this means that I enjoy and have fun working with my clients. I think others should enjoy and find counseling fun also. However, the nature of counseling is sometimes uncomfortable as others talk about their problems and conflicts. In those times I find it best to offer a caring space mixed with a little humor to lighten the mood.

Finally, I am motivated by principles of vitality in my practice. This means my interactions are full of energy, receptivity and growth. The growth process of counseling should include learning to make decisions that will improve our life and overall health. For some this may mean a choice to exercise more and for others this may mean a decision to avoid an unhealthy relationship. To me this vitality always means a conscious effort to do better in a way that leads to self improvement.