Andrea & Megan (Co-Founders of The Great Bowel Movement)
I don't mix politics with my work, so this isn't where I'm going with this choice. Rather I admire his tenacity for the truth and pointing out the injustices that happen under the media's watch. I thrive on humor and satire, and Jon does this incredibly well because he is passionate and resolute in his beliefs. I don't get the sense that he's let his fame go to his head, rather retains quite a bit of humility. He is dedicated to causes including Autism, 9/11 First Responders, and OIF/OEF Veterans, raising millions of dollars for Autism research and programs, and garnering attention to the plight of 9/11 responders being denied coverage for illnesses they developed because of their service that led to legislative action. I think we need more people like Jon, who speak out even when it may not be the most popular thing to do. Who embrace open debates with those who have differing opinions (see his relationship with Bill O'Reilly). Because these are the people who push the national discourse and lead to progress. Whether it's on the national stage or the kitchen table, this type of work is inspiring.
Being a therapist is hard work. It's so much more than the stereotypes that abound about the field. At its center are the relationships we form with the people we work with. I'm considered an early career psychologist because I became licensed in 2011, but I've seen hundreds of people during my graduate and post-graduate training amounting to over 5,000 hours even before receiving my degree. I've heard countless stories of struggles, and victories, with chronic illness. I've watched people move from feeling completely overwhelmed and socially isolated to resuming their life roles and learning to live with the "new normal." Don't get me wrong, it's not all happy endings. I've been fired, told off, and walked out on. Two of my clients passed away, one from liver cancer and one from a brain aneurysm. All of these experiences have shaped who I am as a psychologist and, I hope, improved me for the better. If I'm ever doubting my work, I'm fortunate to have an entire library of memories from clients to draw strength from.
Whew. What a great topic for NHBPM. Can't wait to go read the other entries!