Tag Archives: women


Part 1: The appeal of being a tradesperson.

My intention for this post is to share my experience, and for it to serve as a reference point/resource for women interested in entering the trades.  This is continued series, so I hope you find some portion of this helpful! See all parts at this link: CLICK HERE - h!

There came a point when I became absolutely frustrated with my options while I was on the job hunt. I’ve had a number of terrible work experiences, and the idea of going back to some position just waiting to be exploited gave me a migraine.

I started by being very honest with myself on the types of work I did and didn’t want to do; made a list. One of the things I hate the most is maintaining email communication, especially as a main component of my work. The idea of sitting at a desk, writing line by line, to a client who was just complaining was just not an experience I wanted to relive. I wanted to never ever send a work-related email again. There was also the element of my labor that focused too much on spreadsheets and meetings. Would I be able to proudly say on my deathbed that my life’s work boiled down to two turning points:  that one AMAZING spreadsheet I made in 2017, or the time I facilitated a conference call with some Canadian buyers? Nope.

There are very few positions in the U.S.’  service economy (the sector where the majority of jobs lie now that U.S. manufacturing has either been outsourced to prisons or offshored to other countries) which allow for non-email tasking. Knowing that, and how the average person has about 7 career changes in a lifetime,  birthed my personal investigation into the trades.

The trades are a number of different jobs within the construction industry.  These positions are skilled, and require a number of years of formal education and training (depending on the position.) Once you apply to be in a trade job and are accepted, you begin your apprenticeship.The apprenticeship is hosted by a union or trade association, which usually has some kind of national or international affiliation, so they are identified by their district or regional number (e.g. “Local 61″.) Upon completing the apprenticeship, via on-the-job training and formal classes at trade schools, you are then considered a “Journey” level worker, which is also referred to as the mechanic. The years of your apprenticeship also vary based on the trade, and pay increases with experience. Some common trade jobs are electricians, plumbers, carpenters, iron workers, latherers, painters, etc.

A funny observation in this process was when I shared this desire to switch careers, people were a bit shocked. There was definitely some confusion stemming from my family/friends who have white-collar/professional backgrounds. What they know of me, well, my work history doesn’t exactly scream “blue collar.” So, I cautiously went into this, knew that I needed a lot of guidance, and really had to articulate why I was interested in exploring the trades.

My secret: the life of a carpenter has always appealed to me. (Let’s skip the Jesus comparisons, yes?) There is something terribly practical about the craft, that I felt immediately drawn to its pursuit. I would have a skill that I could take with me anywhere I want, and I could literally build anything. I also talked a lot about the coming zombie apocalypse, and how I would be really useful in my new survivor group as a carpenter. By having a practical skill, I would be less likely to get voted out/double crossed by my new stranger-friends.  With the current job skill set I had, I just felt like there wasn’t much to do outside of emails, meetings, and spreadsheets. That’s not how I wanted to participate in the workforce.

Furthermore, I wanted to work using my hands while I was still able-bodied. There was also something very appealing about getting a good day’s work in, and earning your exhaustion. (Yes, this is the one place where I will readily admit that I drank the Kool-Aid of American “bootstrap” mentality.)  There were also the wages, benefits, and stability: consistent employment and pay during one’s apprenticeship was not a shabby deal for someone struggling with chronic underemployment.

After being pretty decisive, I knew I had a ton of  homework to do so that I could dive into the trades.

Which brings us to now…
How did I start this process coming from a string of desk jobs? With limited resources,  check out how I prepared to enter the trades  in Part 2!

Mental health

Why Mental Wellness Is a Thing – with Service Provider Links (NYC)

If you feel you need the additional support of therapy and want to spend time working on your mental health and emotional wellness, do not feel that you are completely without options. (To limit confusion: for the purpose of this entry, I am using mental health, emotional wellness,  support, and therapy somewhat interchangeably. )

After paying bills and covering basic needs, it’s really hard to set aside any sum of money to seek therapy, even when you want that sort of help. But did you know that there are so many resources available nationally/locally that you can use as affordable mental health resources? Many times, these providers alter their regular pricing to accommodate your situation, and charge via sliding scale (based on your income, or ability to pay), low-cost set fees, or NO-COST (free!) copays for their clients. 

Having a dedicated outlet for your emotions and experiences is very important, but we don’t always have the chance to do this. Basically, when you are always preoccupied with reacting to such stressful conditions, are consistently traumatized, are fatigued from working all your jobs,  and/or are exposed to abusive behaviors daily …. you spend more time worrying and less time doing the things you want to do.  Ignoring your mental health decreases your quality of life, and it becomes extremely challenging to complete basic, objective tasks (like saving money or paying your bills). When you’re always panicking, emotions entangle themselves in the daily tasks that can easily be done, resulting in a lot of devastation.

Having  also struggled with depression for years, I knew I barely functioned during those times. When you’re neither grounded nor reflecting on the difficulties you face or traumatic experiences you come across, things can spiral downward very quickly.

It’s no surprise that there are tremendous gaps in who is usually able to afford and access mental health services, and who isn’t. For the most part, communities of color are left on the outskirts of affordability. There is also a slew of cultural stigmas and systemic oppressions in acquiring treatment that further distance certain communities and ethnic enclaves from receiving these services.

There are also a set of issues that make mental health support services particularly challenging for women to acquire.  As a survivor of domestic violence and childhood abuse, I can say economic abuse and lack of wealth for women play key roles in why  so many stay in abusive relationships.  I went to therapy during the time I was getting out of a bad relationship, and continued treatment while I was gradually rebuilding my life (which actually might still be occurring…ha!)  So, I can attest to how important it is to have as much support as you can when you are transitioning to a better situation.

Therapy will not save you from every problem you are facing in your life. I treat it as a space where I am made to reflect on things happening to me. You won’t necessarily get homework from your therapist, or see a linear/straightforward process, but at minimum, you may be able to gain a better understanding of yourself and the current situation troubling you. Therapy is not a solution in itself, but a process to help you arrive to a solution.

The process: Many services and insurers cover treatment from psychiatrists (these doctors can prescribe medication), psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers (L.C.S.W.s). There are also specialists who focus on certain issues, like alcoholism or domestic violence (or partner violence/abuse), so you may seek them to fit your situation.

Once you find a specialist, do the intake at the office (usually just some basic contact info and your medical history), and then you have a session and get to talk with your specialist. It is wise to make appointments with various therapists, because this process is similar to “dating”, in that you’re making the decision whether this specialist and you are a fit. Sometimes, you may not like their approach/method, their offices are too far, or that you just plain are not feeling them. It is within your right to request a new specialist. Keep doing this until you feel like you are getting your needs met.

Also, consider finding a local support group for whatever issue you are facing, which are usually free. One place to start is the listing at Mental Health America, and then doing an online search for issue-specific groups, as well.  This can also supplement your therapy sessions so you have a community of people with similar issues who can help support you.

Below this entry is a list** of organizations in the New York City area with opportunities for low-cost/sliding scale therapy. If you are not local, it might still be beneficial to call one of the providers and ask for any recommendations they may have in your area.  They might be able to refer you to national or regional affiliates or contacts that may be better able to help you.

I know it can be overwhelming, so do the best that you can with what you have. Good luck on your search! I’m rooting for you!   -h!




**This is an old list I compiled for a women’s organization I worked with closely in the NYC area.

Please also check these sites for the most current NYC area listings:

  • http://nycfreeclinic.med.nyu.edu/information-for-patients/health-resources/health-resources-manhattan
  • http://therapysafetynet.org/resources/additional-resources-uninsured/




Phone (212) 228-6036

9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday

16 West 10th Street
(between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)



Crime Victims Treatment Center (this is a mental health resource)
St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center
411 West 114th Street
Suite 2C
New York, NY 10025
(212) 523-4728


Center for Educational and Psychological Services
Teachers College – Columbia University
525 West 120th Street, Box 91
New York, NY  10027
North side between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenue – 6th floor of Thorndike Hall at Teachers College
Procedure: Apply directly by calling its telephone number. Once the appointment is set up, the patient fills out an application and is assigned an advanced graduate student closely supervised by Teacher College faculty members.
Pricing: Sliding scale – $5 to $40 per session
Note: The Center’s services are not reimbursable under Medicaid, Medicare or other medical insurance plans.
Schedule: Every month except August. Monday through Thursday, 9am to 9pm. Friday, 9am to 5pm. Summer hours vary.
Phone: 1-212-678 -3262
Website: http://www.tc.edu/ceps/


If your life seems out of control and nothing you do seems to help, you may want to call us (516-741-0994 or 1-800-317-1173). Our professional, caring licensed counselors provide individual, couple, children and family counseling


The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy
1841 Broadway @ 60th Street, 4th Floor NewYork, NY 10023
Tel: (212) 333-3444 Fax: (212) 333-5444
Albert Ellis Institute
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
45 East 65th Street
New York, NY  10021
Institute offers short-term therapy that offers long-term results.  To arrange an appointment or discuss fees or insurance coverage, call Monday – Friday from 9:15 am-8:45 pm or Saturdays from 9:15 am-5:00 pm.
Individual counseling and therapy sessions range from $50-$150.  Group sessions are $30.  Lectures are $10 and workshops are $50.
Phone: 1-800-323-4758 or 1-212-535-0822
E-Mail: info@rebt.org
Website: www.rebt.org
“The core mission of the Albert Ellis Institute is to provide global access to the benefits of Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies through the training and education of mental health and allied professionals worldwide.
The Institute is committed to the evolution, refinement, and application of these techniques and methodologies according to the principles of our founder in clinical, academic, and private sector settings.”


Redeemer Presbyterian Counseling Service
1359 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Patient first goes through an “initial intake” where he or she is assigned a counselor based on his or her specific needs and each therapist’s expertise and availability.
Sliding scale: $40 – $120
Phone: 212-370-0475   x1365
E-mail: counselrpc@aol.com
Website: www.redeemer.com/care/counseling
“Redeemer Counseling Services is a ministry of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and exists to provide biblical perspective to the challenges of life. RCS provides professional counseling for individuals, couples, and families for the urban population of New York City. The goal of counseling is to provide a context of growth by equipping individuals and the urban community with emotional and spiritual wholeness. The counselors of RCS are trained individuals committed to Christian perspectives in dealing with mental health.”



A Psychotherapy Group in the Village
160 Bleecker Street 9C East
New York, NY 10012
Call for a free consultation.
“Generous fees based on ability to pay.”
Phone: (212) 673-4618 or (646) 239 9112
E-mail: andremoore@mindspring.com
Website: http://www.am-psychotherapists-new-york-city.com/
“Psychotherapy Group in the Village New York City was founded in 1993 by André Anthony Moore and a group of psychotherapists, counselors, social workers, family therapists, psychoanalysts, psychologists and psychiatrists – trusted colleagues whom André has come to know over the years and whose work he admires and respects.”


NYU Behavioral Health Care Programs
401 East 34th Street – 4th Floor
New York, New York 10016
Phone: 212-263-7419
Office Hours: Call for Appointment
200, 75 each


Bellevue Hospital Ambulatory Community Psychiatry Programs
462 First Avenue
New York, New York 10016
Phone: 212-562-1000
Office Hours: Call for Appointment
sliding scale therapy:
NYU’s referral service
888 769 8633


Mental health