In my first professional life, I translated French and Portuguese documents for the U.S. Government. After our children arrived, I realized I would rather work with people than dictionaries. So off to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where I earned my Masters in Social Work. My first job was placing Russian and Central American children with American families. The equivalent of being a fairy godmother, I endeavored to make families wishes come true. My next job injected reality into my professional life, as I worked in Child Protective Services. I engaged with families alleged to have abused or neglected their children. At times, I was as popular as the plague. Yet on those occasions when I persuaded parents to get help for mental illness or substance abuse, their children had access to a safer, healthier future. Undoubtedly, the hardest and most gratifying work of my career. My husband and I then retired to the Hampton Roads area. Yet I wasn’t ready for retirement. I continued my work with military families dealing with domestic violence or child abuse. Families were stretched thin by war time trauma and repeated deployments. Military families taught me about sacrifice, courage and resilience under stress.
As a change of pace and preferring to work part time, I headed to nursing homes, to provide therapy to the elderly. Some were grieving, depressed and even suicidal. These folks taught me about grace in difficult circumstances, patience and the need to keep hoping even in the most trying situations. Now at Betty Eastman LCSW & Associates, I provide therapy primarily to children, and young adults. I also welcome adults to my practice. My clients have shared their wisdom, taught me patience and exemplified resilience. I am honored with their trust, and work to earn it by active listening, sharing expertise and offering hope.