Kathe Skinner, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Colorado Springs,CO

Bio: For the past 16 years or so I've been a Marriage & Family Therapist. Clients have said they hear my voice in their heads, advising them; that I'm the most normal therapist they've met; that I've saved their marriage. Relaxed though passionate, serious and goofy, I'm already a good therapist and work each day to be a wiser one. Working with adolescents can be so refreshing, but I really like coaching and counseling couples, especially those whose relationship has that overlay of invisible illness/disability*. The multiple sclerosis I was diagnosed with 30 years ago is now becoming more and more visible. Even though my second husband married me knowing I about the m.s., neither of us knew what our years together would look like. I know both territories: relationships and relationships complicated by invisible chronic illness/disability. Keeping a relationship healthy is work; adding chronic illness/disability makes the work harder. The unique difficulties invisibility brings to chronic illness/disability make complicated problems hard to understand, harder to solve, difficult to live with. Follow me on this: Since I'm about to start dinner, here's a cooking metaphor to explain the depth of what I'm trying to say: Take 1 adult person, add another and stir until just mixed. The concoction will be lumpy. Add relatives one at a time, beating well after each addition. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. In the meantime, line up as many spices as the recipe calls for and stir in, one at a time. After each addition, bring to another boil before reducing heat. Variation: Add a relationship partner; children; pets Serves 2-100 The point is that there are so many variations to this "recipe" -- number of intimate partners, kids, jobs, stages of life -- that the combinations are endless. Relationships are already challenging so that the addition of more stuff to face can be a heavy weight to carry. ]I'm in awe at what you bring to me, energized by sharing what I know, easing your mind. I am always respectful of who you are. My passion for this work doesn't come only from what I've done for 15 years; it comes also from what I know about how invisible chronic illness and disability affects and is affected by this great big world of ours. do; it comes from what I know about how invisible chronic illness/disability life's multiplicity of my invisible illness affects (and is affected by) relationship, family, and this great big world of ours. Maybe my words bring a smile to you, or a nod of your head in recognition of something I've done or thought. Mostly, it's my wish that I give you hope. Let me know what you think. Really. Let me know. *Invisible illnesses/disabilities are those whose symptoms don't show. Things like cancer or heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, AIDS, etc. It is true that these chronic illnesses/disabilities may be obvious to others, but they fit into this category when they don't show..

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