"At the center of medicine there is always a human relationship between a patient and a doctor."
Shantel Beckers, LMT
ABS Executive Administrator
Hi, I'm the part-time Administrative Assistant for the ABS, which means I do various tasks for various committees in between seeing clients for my regular job as a massage therapist. After helping Ritch Addison coordinate a retreat weekend at Ratna Ling, he suggested I apply for the position with the ABS as "the people are just wonderful." What I thought would be a two-year side-job while I was taking a sabbatical from my massage practice has turned into an ever expanding role and now I can't imagine leaving!
In 2019 I attended my first Intensive in Spokane. While I had gained a general understanding of Balint and what you were all up to, I felt attending an Intensive would give me a better working knowledge of Balint and, thus, help me better fulfill my role as Administrative Assistant. After 20 years as a massage therapist, I had developed good listening skills and am naturally empathic. This did not prepare me for the challenges of an Intensive! Intentionally feeling into each person being presented in a case takes effort and it was incredible to witness the emotions, judgements and self-doubt that bubbled up for me over those four days.
Though I do enjoy both of my current jobs, my true passion is exploring. Whether it be a new hiking trail, a local road trip, or spending several months abroad - I simply love to push the edges of my comfort zone with new experiences. Somehow I've never managed to land a job that pays me to travel, but I'm fortunate to have the flexibility to travel more than most. The photo below is from a trip the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. An area that has been vastly transformed since this photo was taken in 2016 due to the hydro-electric dams up river in China and Cambodia. A good reminder that every action we take affects other people in ways we probably can't even imagine!