stamp1My experience in life is uniquely mine.  Likewise, the same is true for you.  Many factors influence our choices in life. My story combines two separate parts of my life that eventually entwined together to became one. This is my unique journey.

The first part of my unique story

When I was in 9th grade, I loved studying algebra and adored my math teacher.  I decided then that I would pursue a career as a teacher.  When I was in college, I was not inspired by my first semester studying education and decided not to continue that pursuit. What course captured my enthusiasm? Psychology!

I still liked the idea of working with children and somehow I wanted to combine that with psychology. I was delighted when my psychology advisor said I could do both with a major in Clinical Child Psychology. Over the years, I got a lot of experience working with handicapped children.  At first, I did volunteer work and later I was paid for my service.

After many years of undergraduate and graduate studies, I took my first course where I had to do therapy with adults. It was mandatory; I had no choice. I was less than enthusiastic to work with adults. To my surprise, I loved it!  What a novelty – adults knew how to express themselves in session. It seemed so much easier than playing with children to get them to talk about their problems. Thanks to all my clinical training, I am able to treat children, teens, adults and seniors.  In my early experience, I mostly treated patients with anxiety and depressive disorders. That is the first part of my unique story.

The second part of my unique story

There’s another part to my unique story. While I was in college, I was diagnosed with “juvenile diabetes” – now known as type 1 diabetes.  At that time, 1975, most people didn’t know much about diabetes.  The management of diabetes was very different in those days.  Although there wasn’t much information available then, I learned as much as I could about my illness. I was more than happy to take every opportunity to educate people about diabetes.  I became a teacher of diabetes!

I was able to accept my diabetes with the support of my family and my doctor who encouraged me to live a normal life. I was grateful to be living in the post-insulin-discovery era. With the advances in medical technology, my  diabetes management more closely approximated what a working pancreas would do. Living with diabetes has taught me how to be disciplined and organized and to plan ahead.

The two parts of my story combine

Eventually, those two parts of my life became entwined together as one. I combined my PhD training in clinical psychology with my firsthand experience living with type 1 diabetes. I took my passion to teach about diabetes and became a Certified Diabetes Educator. The result: I became a Clinical Psychologist, in my own private practice, with a specialty treating patients with diabetes.

I did not become a teacher in the traditional sense with a classroom as I had originally planned.  But, I am a teacher, nonetheless, with an even bigger “classroom.” I have published two books about living successfully with diabetes. The lessons found throughout the chapters are inspirational and motivational. I have addressed diabetes educators,  healthcare and mental health professionals. I’ve spoken to various groups of people with diabetes at conferences and via podcasts. Now, my classroom extends to the Internet and the world wide web. Having lived my life with diabetes for 38 years – complication free – my messages are always about encouragement and empowerment for people with diabetes. I could not be happier about my unique journey with diabetes!

Brought to You By:
Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE
Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes EducatorDDP Staff Writer.

DDP Staff Writer
Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE
Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator

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