NAVIGATING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND YOUR CAREER
By Connie Mandeville
Issue: August 2022
If you’ve struggled with your mental health since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. The isolation and loss many people have experienced has shaken their foundation and caused them to seek mental health services. Unfortunately, many have found it difficult to find those services and some providers have had to turn away potential clients. Many who work in the mental health field are overworked and exhausted and are experiencing burnout. This has caused some to leave the field, but Patrick Monette took a different approach. A private counselor since 2014, he decided to become certified in life coaching as well to give himself a break. Now, two years later, Monette is providing both counseling and life coaching services while also hosting a biweekly video podcast on wellness.
Patrick Monette is a North Country native who left the area for a few years, but ended up back home when he settled down to start his career. His main passion is helping others. He started his career in mental health counseling and opened his own practice after he worked in a clinical setting. He works primarily with adults and specializes in complex PTSD and other trauma related issues as well as depression, anxiety and addiction. He also has certifications in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy which is often used to help clients who have experienced trauma. Additionally, he offers couple’s therapy at his private practice. Since the pandemic, Monette provides his services virtually and is licensed in telehealth in New York and Florida.
Every other Friday you will find Monette talking about wellness during his video podcast called Friday Night Feels. In each episode, he discusses issues related to wellness including mental health, addiction, stress management, anger management, relationship struggles, and mindfulness with a special guest. His guests are from all over the country and his podcast reaches a global audience and can be found on his Facebook and YouTube pages, and all streaming platforms. He started the podcasts in March 2020 right at the start of the pandemic as another way to help people and give them the tools they needed to overcome whatever obstacle they faced.
Friday Night Feels is what inspired Monette to become a life coach. Many of his guests were life coaches. Each had a different approach, but they all had something in common. They were all driven, happy and motivated in their work. This inspired him to research life coaching programs. He was able to find one that recognized his mental health counseling background, but made a strict differentiation between the two.
“It’s about support,” he said. “It’s about giving different guidance.” Most of Monette’s clients are professionals or entrepreneurs — people who are doing well in their careers, but may not be happy with the direction their lives are taking. Monette provides them a safe space to identify their goals and come up with a specific and attainable plan of action. He gives them direct feedback and helps them figure out what’s working in their lives and what is not.
Life coaching is different than counseling because it focuses on the future and is more action-based. It focuses less on emotions than therapy. It assesses the areas in your life where you are struggling in order to help you achieve personal fulfillment. Plans of action are forward thinking, working toward a better life personally and professionally. When Monette was working toward his life coaching certification, he found, when he applied its methods to his own goals that gave him the opportunity to explore.
Life coaching is also flexible and based on individual needs. Monette is a man of choices, so he has developed packages for his clients to choose from and even offers text support to make sure they have what they need to follow their plans of action. He also invites potential clients to watch his video podcasts so they can get a sense of his personality and understand more about the work they will do together. He is always willing to add onto customer packages and is willing to be flexible to fulfill their needs.
The main difference between counseling and life coaching is that the therapy is more professional. To practice psychotherapy, Monette had to earn degrees, be licensed and subscribe to a high standard of ethics.
While he originally offered his services virtually to help clients stay connected during the pandemic, Monette has found it to be beneficial to continue to be mostly virtual in order to reach a wider audience. Working remotely has given him the freedom to return home and enjoy the beauty the North Country has to offer. In our conversation he noted how inspired he has been by the small businesses that persevered during the pandemic. “The community building that is happening in the region that you see at events like the Farmers’ Market is one of the most beautiful things about living here,” he emphasized. Since many people are continuing to work remotely, Monette is hoping that may inspire more to return to the area.
If you are experiencing second thoughts about your career or struggling with your mental health due to loneliness or the loss of structure during the pandemic, it is important to remember you are not alone. It is a common experience and it is okay not be okay. Reevaluating your life goals and seeking help from professionals can offer support during your journey.
Monette Counseling Services, LLC
159 Margaret Street, Suite 225
Plattsburgh, NY 12901