The Unique Style of the Kaleidoscope Dancer







The Unique Style of the Kaleidoscope Dancer....a testimony to friendship.

by

L.T. Force, Ph.D.

Gerontologist

Kaleidoscopes are portals of remembrance that open onto the familiar, yet unexpected. Allowing the eye to marvel, the mind to explore, and the heart to leap, these mirrored tubes of magic have developed into a significant new art form. Since its invention by Sir David Brewster in 1816, the kaleidoscope has fulfilled a variety of functions. Universal in its appeal and spanning all ages....”


****

The Kaleidoscope, is an instrument....a toy....an art form - the definition is dictated by the user. Whatever the use or definition - the external experience with this ‘optical instrument' is the same’- an experience of light and angles....shapes and colors - influencing the internal experience of the user - depending upon where they are in life....depending upon who they are in life.

The Kaleidoscope is a symbol of change and interpretation....just as the variety of theoretical perspectives shaping the clinical skills of Practitioners. Each of us in this field - are influenced by our own life experiences, beliefs and training. If you have seen one therapist - you have seen one therapist. As I tell my students: “if you arrange to see a therapist - and you ask them: ‘What is their specialty?’ And the answer is: ‘We handle everything’ ....my response is: “Run!!!!” As therapists we can’t handle everything....this is why there are specialists who have a training in a specific area. For myself, the area of specialty and interest is in: ‘adult development’. If someone contacts me requesting to make an appointment for their child or adolescent - I thank them for the inquiry - and make a suggestion for a referral in that field of specialization. We all have areas of specialty - and we all have a: ‘unique style’.

Over the course of my clinical training and practice - I have witnessed: “Masters of the Trade”. Just as: “good teachers are immortal....you never forget a good teacher” so it is with therapists....”good therapists are immortal...you never forget a good therapist”. Therapy is a ritual....a process....a procedure....an art.... a dance. Some practitioners are more eloquent and agile than others....we all have our own: ‘unique style’ - and then there is Dr. Geri Abbatiello.

Geri is a dear friend - we have known each other for about 25+ years. Geri is a Ph.D. trained therapist....a Nurse Practitioner.... and holds certifications in Geriatrics and Psychiatry. We met in the academic arena - and then combined our interests and training and developed a: “Certificate Program in Gerontology” that we offered for a number of years. We started as colleagues and developed a friendship. We have a long history of working on a number of projects.... continuing to this day. Geri is a special person in my life, the life of my family and friends....and the life of so many.

Dr. Abbatiello’s specialty is in grief and loss and end of life care. Geri is a: "Master of Her Trade" - she arrives at your doorstep....highly trained....compassionate....with empathy and insight that is unmatched....and she is from “Yonkers, NY!”. Why the reference to the geographic location of her childhood? We laugh and banter about it often. I grew up in Mt. Vernon, NY....there was always a rivalry between these two urban cities (sports, entertainment, style) a sense of boasting rights about what city and region was better - places where early-on in life we both learned what really mattered - and Geri ‘knows what really matters’ - her style is direct, profound and is couched in a wealth of knowledge and a true understanding of the human condition....but hear me clearly....she is profoundly insightful....and appreciated by so many.


I have never met a person - who has been recognized with appreciation - in more eulogies and testimonies given by family members than Dr. Geri Abbatiello. Individuals and families are so grateful for Geri’s presence in their lives - as I am. Geri has been present for me and my own family members - across generations. Although, the reason she has been present has varied - the standard of care has been uniform....she is highly trained....leads with heart and compassion....very direct.... and was raised in Yonkers....and: “Yonkers always wins!”

In Dr. Abbatiello’s practice - she often refers to the paradigm of the: Kaleidoscope”. She encourages people to hold onto that image - and: "how with change....things (life events) can look different”. Geri draws from her experiences and training. Geri is informed by her work: "The Center for Life's Journey" and draws from her writings: "Rupture in the Ordinary". She is a strong believer in: "the value and importance of imagery" and the teachings of: “The Course in Miracles” (A Course in Miracles is a unique spiritual self-study program—a course in mind-training—designed to undo the illusion that you are separate in any way from God or your fellow humans. At the level of the mind we are all united as one.”) Geri not only incorporates these encompassing themes into her practice - she lives them.


I could go on for days - regarding what Dr. Geri Abbatiello means to me both professionally and personally. There would be stories of how Geri and I (and others) often reference - we could be Sister and Brother - as we are both spilling coffee on each other....looking for lost items....and moving from thought to thought - but that is for another story....at another time. My recommendation, if you are addressing issues of: "loss and grief, meaning in life or end-of life care concerns and decisions" - and you are looking for a skilled practitioner who weaves together: "heart and knowledge" and will: be present” - go find Dr. Geri Abbatiello - Google her....find her....she truly possesses a unique style. Geri has the skill-set of a: “Ballet Master with a Kaleidoscope in Hand”....she will help you see parts of your life - in a different way....she will help you make sense, and find meaning, with the ever changing prisms in your own life. I promise you - once you do find her....you will never let her go....

Love you, Ger-Ger!


Featured Posts
Recent Posts