Dr. Kathy Shafer was recently interviewed and featured in the Palm Beach Post to talk about her journey with cancer and how it affected her life as a woman and a therapist, specifically, how she managed her recovery using Yoga, Meditation, Massage, and yes, therapy! Even therapists need help and the Sari Center was vital in providing it. In his article, Cancer journey gave Jupiter therapist new perspective, writer Steve Dorfman wrote:
Kathryn Shafer is well-acquainted with trauma.
As a licensed psychotherapist and certified addiction specialist in Jupiter for the last three decades, she’s helped countless clients deal with myriad emotional and familial issues.
She’s also dealt with, and overcome, personal traumas.
An alcoholic father (“I remember Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon meetings when I was 8.”)
Being hit by a car in 1994 while training to run the New York City Marathon — and being hospitalized for six weeks (“I was still able to complete the marathon the following year.”).
Over the decades, Shafer, 61, had counseled numerous clients who were battling cancer.
So when her own battle with the disease began five years ago — “I noticed lumps on my right breast” — she decided to be upfront with her clients.
“Once I started undergoing chemotherapy treatments after my surgery in May 2014, there would be no way to hide the effects anyway,” she reasoned.
And besides, as she always counseled her clients who were struggling with medical conditions: You are not your disease.
However, there were challenges inherent in this approach.
First, there were the clients who simply dropped her as their therapist.
“They were worried — and it’s understandable — that there was an ‘expiration date’ on their therapist,” she said.
Others were concerned that if their therapist — no matter how good a rapport they had built with her — was in a compromised physical state, she wouldn’t be as effective in helping them with their issues.
She said she also had to make sure that clients who did stay with her didn’t overly concern themselves with her well-being because “their sessions are about them — not me.”
Shafer found that working as much as she could helped in her recovery.
“By working — even when I ballooned up to 200 pounds and lost most of my hair — and being there for my clients, I figured I could be a role model.”
She also availed herself of a wide variety of alternative methods to help her get through the worst of it.
Yoga (she’s certified yoga therapist).
She also credits the counseling and integrative treatments she received at the Sari Center in West Palm Beach.
Dr. Kathy is well known in Jupiter Florida as the “go to expert” for her mindful approach to cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy). Combining evidence-based therapies from psychology, neuroscience, mental imagery, nutrition and exercise, her FUN™ program establishes mindbody balance to create immediate shifts in thinking. Dr. Kathy is also a Certified Addiction Professional, Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), EMDR Practitioner and EMDR Consultant in Training. She is the co-author of Asthma Free in 21 Days and frequently publishes articles related to mental health.
Dr. Kathy offers EMDR consultation, supervision and mentoring services to guide practitioners through the technical aspects of EMDR, case integration, treatment plans, skill development and ongoing education.