When Helene Sprenger started searching for a place to volunteer, the ability to use her training as a clinical psychologist was high on her priorities. Her Australian traveling companion, Jimi, wanted to try his hand at teaching English. And both wanted to learn sustainable gardening and earth building.
New Life Foundation was one of the few volunteer organizations that offered it all.
During Helene’s month at New Life, 20 volunteers and residents asked her for counseling (no charge but a small donation to the Foundation is appreciated). Some of the issues they struggled with were self-esteem, self-confidence, relationship problems, depression, eating disorders and unresolved issues form childhood.
In her psychoanalytic approach, the person has the answer, not the counselor. Helene says she is the “light in the darkness. I help people understand themselves. I ignore society’s expectations and work with how people are actually feeling.”
Helene adds, “Since I was here as a volunteer, people trusted me and came easily, even if they said they were scared of psychologists. People come to New Life to learn about themselves so they’re receptive to counseling. It was an amazing experience for me.”