Richard (Rick) Wallace Klomp is a seasoned Mental Health Professional who is committed to helping children deal with challenging and potentially-painful situations that can arise in their lives. As a board-certified, Licensed Professional Counselor, Rick has one Masters degree in Organizational Behavior and a second Masters degree in Community Counseling (which actually focused on helping individuals change.)
He is a proactive Behavioral Scientist who has worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2001. He also is an Adult Educator & Organizational Development leader with government, health care, private practice, and consulting experience who adds value as a collaborative change agent. He has demonstrated proficiency at establishing rapport with diverse individuals and groups to facilitate development of relevant skills, knowledge & attitudes necessary to improve wellness, resilience & performance. Professionally he has leadership, listening, collaborating, teaching, culture change, team-building, coaching/counseling, training, conflict resolution and diversity management skills. He also has experience counseling adults who were molested as children and has completed specialized training in the use of Prolonged Exposure Therapy to treat PTSD.
His writing skills were honed when he received his Bachelors degree in Communications with an emphasis in Print Journalism. In his work with Smashwords, he integrates his passion for protecting children with his considerable experience in counseling and psychology to produce books that adults can use to facilitate productive conversations about tricky topics with children who are important to them.
When did you first start writing?
My mother was an avid reader and her love of books rubbed off on me. As a middle school student I thought there couldn't be anything much cooler than writing books that took people away to wonderful new worlds. I started writing poetry and wound up studying Journalism--thinking that would give me a legitimate career as a writer. I worked as a reporter for a small weekly newspaper and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications with a Print Journalism emphasis. Because I was married I soon learned that I couldn't support myself, much less a family on the pay that was offered, so I entered grad school. My writing skills helped me do well in that program. I spent three months in Germany doing an internship for a US sporting goods company researching why they weren't selling more tennis rackets. I missed my wife and toddler son, and realized that I was passionate about what makes people tick--how our minds function and how we deal with challenging situations.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have two older brothers and two older sisters. Several years ago, my oldest sister died suddenly from an undiagnosed brain tumor. She left behind 6 children. It occurred to me that each year lots of children experience the same kinds of shock, loss and pain that my nieces and nephews faced. I realized that the death of a parent isn't the only kind of potentially-traumatizing event that children might experience as they are growing up. I felt that my education, experience, skill set and passion prepared me to create a series of children's books--the Sometimes Series--to help concerned adults initiate a constructive conversation with a child they cared about who was experiencing a life-changing event.
While America is a nation of immigrants, there still are places in this land where people who come here from other countries are not welcomed. This story focuses on the experiences of one girl to illustrate some of the misconceptions and prejudices that can fuel fear, ridicule and even persecution. It also points the way to peace, understanding and acceptance.
In today's interconnected society we are almost instantly aware of destruction, disasters and deaths around the world. What impact does this barrage of information have on children? In this book, one boy faces a big problem when his dad returns from war and brings PTSD symptoms into his family. We learn there are many causes of PTSD besides war. There also are successful treatment approaches.
Prejudice, discrimination and racism confront too many children in the world today. Caring adults can apply the example in this book of a girl who experiences these behaviors to facilitate a constructive conversation with children they care about who may be worried about similar negative situations. Relevant quotations from a diverse group of wise individuals highlight choices children can make.
It can be very difficult to speak with a person about the death of someone they love. In this book we see how caring adults help a child deal with the death of her dad. While each situation is different, this story helps us see some typical emotional responses, common challenges and productive strategies. It shares insights in the form of relevant quotations about death from some great thinkers.
In this book, a young girl has a terrifying experience at the home of one of her friends. Somebody she thought she could trust touches her inappropriately and it begins to change the trajectory of her life. When she eventually tells a friend and then family members about what happened, they are able to share insights and encourage her to take actions that help her regain control of her life.
Discussing a sensitive subject like terrorism with a child can be challenging. It’s not easy to reassure them, reduce their anxiety and help them feel more calm. This book was written by a licensed professional counselor and father of 2 sons and 2 daughters. He shares a simple story with important points and principles to assist caring adults help a child feel more safe and less distressed.