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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

Dearest Chapters for My Upcoming Book About Private Practice

Dearest Chapters for My Book,

We’ve known each other for a while now.

I know to the outside world a year and a half isn’t that long. However, you and I spend multiple hours together every day.

At first we spent time together in my journal. My hand to paper, letting my thoughts pour out.

I remember feeling angry a lot. Angry that someone else wasn’t saying the things that I was writing. Angry that I wasn’t better prepared for private practice. Angry that there were so many things that could have been done better.

I was setting out to provide what I wished I had.

I wrote about private practice and life as a therapist like it was serious as life and death… because in many ways it did feel that serious. Someone’s mental well-being was in my hands. I had clients coming to me for suicidal ideation and with scars up and down their arms.

Art Therapist Jackie Schuld made a mixed media collage of a person and an elephant embracing on top of an abstract background. She made this in her Tucson Art Therapy Studio to represent her relationship with writing.
"Embrace - Symbolic Representation of My Book Chapters and I" Mixed Media by Jackie Schuld

Sometimes the possibility of death is in the mix.

So it did feel heavy.

I’m happy to say it doesn’t feel as heavy anymore. I still know the work I do is serious, I just feel more equipped to handle it.

Much of that is thanks to you. You gave me space to explore the difficult things. To organize my thoughts and opinions. To become clearer and clearer on my values. To capture my systems and strategies.

You were with me when my practice was “successful,” but I also felt oh so tired.

You were with me when I made the painful acknowledgment on mother’s day that my mother is dead and I have to mother myself. I have to take care of me, and that means changing my business so that it fully takes care of me.

You were with me as I explored what that meant and how to put thought into action.

You were with me as I grew, as I made mistakes, and as I wandered about in the dark.

You were also with me as it gradually got better. And then when it got MUCH MUCH better.

Maybe you see me like I see my clients? The joy I experience as I can see their growth over time?

Whatever you see, thank you for being there with me. Thank you for capturing with me all of the different aspects.

Although we’ve reached the conclusion of one phase (I’ve typed all of you up from my journal), please know this is not the end.

I have some ideas of what will continue to happen. I will continue to share you in bite size pieces on my blog. I will continue to spend more time with you, creating new chapters as relevant topics arise in my life and mind.

But apart from that, I’m not entirely sure what the future holds. As you know, I originally intended for you to be encapsulated in a book. I’m doing that now, but it’s not guaranteed it will finish. I know that would take an immense amount of time and energy. I’m not sure if it is the best use of my time.

So no decisions here. I will just let it unfold. Which I think has been our magic anyways. We have been unfolding and capturing the unknown as we go.

Thank you for standing by me. And for holding it all within you. You know I have a terrible memory, so you get to be the keeper.

I look forward to our many more adventures together.

With deep gratitude,



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