New Gazette column allows readers to get ‘Local Answers to Life’s Questions’
Editor’s note: Today’s edition of The Delaware Gazette marks the launch of “Local Answers to Life’s Questions,” a new local advice column that gives Gazette readers the opportunity to ask an Ohio licensed professional counselor from Delaware for advice on a broad range of issues and life situations. Readers will be able to submit their questions via the Gazette’s website or by mail, and responses will be printed in the Gazette in the style of a local “Dear Abby” or “Ann Landers.” Readers who submit questions will remain anonymous. The column will run every Saturday on the Lifestyle page. Read on.
Starting a new venture is both thrilling and simultaneously terrifying. So as the latest addition to The Delaware Gazette’s LifeStyle columnist staff, here begins a different chapter in my life, using my Ohio State undergraduate journalism degree and combining it with my training as an Ohio-licensed professional counselor. My goal is to provide you, the reader, a local forum for addressing life’s challenges or the need for a referral to various community resources, anonymously addressed in this newspaper.
As a member of The Delaware-Morrow County Mental Health Recovery Services Board, the dilemma of an ongoing national and local economic downturn equates to fewer people having the financial means or time availability to access traditional counseling services. After much contemplation and my being a lifetime dedicated reader of sisters “Ann Landers” and “Dear Abby,” I approached The Delaware Gazette with my idea of offering local readers a forum to express their dilemmas prior to engaging in a traditional counseling relationship. The editor enthusiastically accepted my proposal, and so here we begin.
My column will never substitute for needed therapy or legal involvement to address emergency or life-threatening situations. However, it could serve as a starting point for those readers who have been hesitant to admit and define the personal challenge they are encountering in their own lives, within their family, at their worksite, with a significant other or involving a friend.
After 20 years living in Atlanta, I have returned to this area, marrying for the first time four years ago and encountering the challenges of being an only child to an elderly widowed parent whom at “92-years-young,” staunchly lives alone on our family farm. During my professional career prior to a recent mid-life “reinvention” and becoming a licensed counselor, I worked in both organ donation and hospice, thus giving me many years of experience when encountering devastating end-of-life choices. Through the Delaware Police Department, I am certified in crisis intervention and have worked as a therapist on the acute unit of an in-patient psychiatric facility. My master’s degree in counseling is from Georgia State University with post-graduate training from Richmont Graduate University, both in Atlanta. Through Kennesaw State University, I am certified in gerontology and in May of 2012, I received certification as a smoking cessation specialist through the Breathing Association in Columbus.
A few of the topics I am willing and qualified to address with readers include the challenges of blended families, step-parenting, addiction issues, boundaries, co-dependency, divorce, the infringement of technology in our lives, financial issues, unemployment or a career change, the impact of physical and mental illnesses and coping as an adult child with the struggles of caring for an aging parent, just to name a few. At times, if a question is beyond my scope of training, I will access other professional resources within our community to offer their guidance for a particularly problematic situation.
My column will be printed weekly at first, depending upon reader response, so please do not hesitate to submit questions by visiting http://delgazette.com/life-questions-with-local-answers/ or sending them to Mariann Main, The Delaware Gazette, 40 N. Sandusky St., Suite 203, Delaware, OH 43015.
Thank you for possibly writing to me with your questions or discussing life issues. I hope to be of assistance to my hometown of Delaware and to those central Ohio readers who are struggling with a problem but unsure of where to turn.
Mariann Main, LPC, APC