Valerie Miller Williams – mom, wife, therapist, consultant & person of faith – described it, she’s created for herself a front-row seat to herself from which she’s seeing with greater clarity the power of her influence and limitations of her control. Also illuminated in this view is the responsibility that goes along with influence and that the control that once felt like peace to her now feels like freedom to release.

Some key moments in our conversation:

  • In a place of a heightened place of self-awareness which is like having a front-row seat to herself and how she shows up which is both good for growth
  • She’s noticing the power of her influence and the limitations of her control
  • Structure, organization and order used to feel like peace to her and now she’s noticing an opportunity for more freedom through releasing control
  • In her clinical work, she can influence but not control. We also explored the “use of self” in therapy in defiance to the traditional cold separation between therapist and patient – and the particularly importance of building rapport with clients of color
  • The reciprocal relationship in therapy (and coaching!) of sharing and learning with clients
  • Valerie’s DEIB consulting work and influencing as a way to create buy-in for the changes she’s proposing
  • The radiant influence of her work as both a therapist and a consultant and how her work is in the space of countering/healing centuries of damage
  • Valerie reflected on how overwhelming the idea of world change is and the accessibility of recognizing herself as a piece, not A World Changer, which also ties into practicing not taking responsibility for things that aren’t hers
  • Women and especially women of color trend toward being too humble and that owning our skills means sharing them more fully in the world – this also means not being responsible with our influence
  • In her family life, Valerie hopes her family is feeling more freedom as she’s shifting away from control and toward taking responsibility for her influence
  • Valerie asked her younger son if he would like to implement a parenting report card
  • Tools: For Valerie, her faith and being intentional with her connection is her foremost tool. Also, therapy in a variety of forms, reading, community (especially face to face) and networking
  • Valerie spotlighted ChangedChoices, an organization focused on female offenders and ex-offenders and the resources that dramatically drop recidivism rates, for example, support with housing and reintegration, job training, and, of course, mental health services

Find Valerie at SELFsoul – Counseling, Psychotherapist, Communications

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