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The Power of Self-Affirmation
The most powerful affirmation required in all the ways we experience life; believing, regardless of ability or disability; visible or invisible, is knowing we are not broken; perhaps just put together differently. We are not dumb or stupid; perhaps our minds process information differently or dream beyond the limitation of others ability to think or imagine.
We don’t need a diagnosis so others can feel good about trying to understand us; perhaps we just need a different way in which to learn, to live, to love, to express, and to BE!
Self-acceptance suggests to us that “DIFFERENCE” should never be internalized as “BAD” in creating value, especially for ourselves.
Self-acceptance also suggests a belief.
It is a strong belief we deserve a place in the discussion, not segregated to a
“special room,” but in the middle; the heart of the conversation, actively and
collectively participating in building and holding open spaces to explore the
mosaic of humanity and the beauty of each soul who occupies a place and space
in our collective universal community. It is a belief you matter; I matter!
Finally, self-acceptance demands courage and a willingness to engage in the
kind of transformative conversations required to build communities of caring.
If we are unable or unwilling to start that conversation with ourselves, confident
that the most important affirmation is our own, the process of engaging others in
transformative thinking and liberatory conscious development becomes
Being the best ME and the best YOU starts with the belief WE ARE! - maf, 12/2014
I am a counselor, life and executive coach, organizational consultant and community social worker. My work with clients is in the areas of abuse/trauma and its impact on self-esteem, relationships, health and wellness, and quality of life. My clinical work is framed in an understanding of multiple minority identity development and the relevance of culturally competent practice, specifically in work with gender and sexual minority clients. My work also extends to addressing healthy relationships and other family issues. In addition I support teams and organizations in the areas of change management, cultural competent leadership development, and diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.
Prior to establishing my own practice, I served in faculty and staff roles at the University of Central Florida for nearly ten years. As Education and Training Coordinator for Wellness and Health Promotion Services, my areas of responsibility included Violence Prevention, Sexual Health and Wellness, and Cultural Competency Education and program development. In addition, I served as a student success coach, mentor, and faculty advisor to numerous registered student organizations. Previously, I also served as Assistant Director for Diversity Education and Student Success in the Office of Diversity Initiatives, at UCF.
As UCF faculty, I taught in the School of Social Work in the areas of Social Justice, Culturally Competent Social Work Practice, and Clinical Social Work Practice. In addition, I also taught in the Lead Scholars leadership program focusing on social justice issues in leadership and the Strategies for Student Success (SLS) courses.
My work in the community includes: advisory board member for Harbor House of Central Florida, Zebra Coalition, and the Central Florida Human-Trafficking Task Force, where I serve as co-chair for the LGBTQ Human Trafficking Sub-Committee. In addition to my licensure as a clinical social, I have a B.S.B.A. and an M.S.W. from the University of Central Florida.
Michael A. Freeman, MSW, LCSW