During the past five months of sheltering, the CAC has been one of the places I miss the most. In addition to the incredible film selection and program menu, I miss the familiar faces, the physical space and the hospitality. I moved out to Long Island in 1993, and the Cinema’s presence helped me adjust from city life to the suburbs. I’ve received a lot of joy and an education from the films and talks I’ve attended, and the people I’ve met here.
In many ways, I find my mission as a licensed therapist, counselor and coach to be aligned with that of the cinema. My intention as a mental health worker is to create the conditions for people to grow, and encourage their awareness in heart, mind, and body. I help them realize their passions and purposes in the world. I strive to elevate people and help them move through and beyond pain, so that they can live up to their full potential, nurture themselves, and give back to their relationships with family, friends and community.
The arts are vital in mental health. We see our humanity in the universal themes and symbols. And we often see protagonists overcome great difficulties, survive and thrive. We learn and come alive when our senses are fully engaged. The same applies in the therapeutic relationship. I invite you into new experiences, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. I believe when we are fully immersed, present, and invested in change, human growth is limitless.
I work with people that are motivated to change because their current strategies have led them into painful circumstances, or, they want to change because their circumstances have become too narrow for their needs and desires. The catalyst can be divorce, death, an ‘empty nest’, loss of a career or the search for one, the list goes on. I work from a place of curiosity, compassion and playfulness. The process of counseling can be fun, expansive, enlightening, and life-changing.
Like so many of us, I am now working online. I offer a Free 30 minute consultation so that we can find out if we are a good fit, and to introduce people to telehealth. I’m sending Best Wishes to everyone connected to the wonderful Cinema Arts Centre. I hope we can all be physically together again in the not too distant future.
Paula S. Gilbert, LMHC