I used to love the promise #september brings with each #newschoolyear but somehow in the chaos and conformity of life as a full-time #psychologist and #mom the excitement of the season diminished. September only meant another summer had past where I worked all day in a windowless office and rarely made it to the beach. It meant returning students would soon be beating down the doors of a #publicmentalhealth “system” that could never meet their needs. Even if they were able to see me at #communitymentalhealth it was clear that we really didn’t work in the community and though we spoke about the importance of #collaboration it was not common due to institutional pressures and high levels of #burnout . Each academic year also brought with it the reminder that although I hold a doctorate in #clinicalpsychology I had little professional autonomy and opportunities for development, education, and training were becoming increasingly limited. This year I was once again able to enjoy the hopeful anticipation of another school year filled with possibility. It was only this week that I’ve been able to reflect on the last two years spent building my #privatepractice and making many personal changes required to live the #lifestyle that I want. One that allows me to be myself, my whole and #authenticself , with a level of overall #wellness (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) that will allow me to continue doing the work that I love and help the people I am fortunate enough to work with to also #livefully with #vitality#purpose and #meaning . On a day where I feel I served my clients well, indulged in intellectual pursuits for my own gratification, had the time and freedom to work directly with educators to help a high school student reintegrate after a full year of absence, and returned to my wonderful children still having something left to give them when I got home...I can finally see clearly.
I can see why the past few years have been so difficult, I can see what life is supposed to be like, I can see that change is not easy, I can see that it’s all worth it in the end, and I can see that I am more fortunate than most and should always remain #humble and #grateful .
A great resource for those looking for more affordable options to therapy services (individual, family & couples). (Also, if you're a therapist in Private Practice, please consider becoming a provider. It's free to apply!) •••
"What Is Open Path?
Open Path is a collective of therapists who have generously agreed to provide in-office treatment for $30 to $50 a session (between $30 and $80 for couples and families). Open Path clients pay a one-time membership fee to work with an Open Path therapist at a significantly reduced rate. Because the rate is so low, clients gain back their membership fee after just one session. Open Path is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Many of our therapists also provide sessions online." https://openpathcollective.org/
Leaving a job can be difficult. “Bitter-sweet” sums up the spectrum of emotions I felt throughout my transition. Last week, I said goodbye to my tenure as an employee of Yolo Community Care Continuum (YCCC). YCCC is a non-profit mental health agency where I worked for almost 10 years, on-and-off throughout the different stages of my scholastic & career development. I learned so much professionally and personally from my various roles as Mental Health Worker, Program Director, and agency Clinical Director. Professionally, I learned to provide culturally-competent and client-centered treatment, while collaborating with teams, supervising staff, and enforcing compliance laws & regulations. Personally, I learned to accept that it’s ok to not always know the answers, and that no matter how well you plan your to-do list, sometimes things just don’t get done. I’ve strengthened my ability to make tough decisions that don’t please everyone, and to establish healthy boundaries for a happier work-life balance. I redefined my perfectionist definition of “tying up loose ends” while still maintaining my strong work ethic. If everything doesn’t ideally get “tied up in a neat bow”, it’s being flexible to let go of control & fear of judgement, and delegating tasks to tie-up loose ends together as a team, even when I am not there to see the finished product. I will take these skills and lessons, and so much more, with me on my next adventure. Unfortunately, what I can not take with me is my favorite part of my Clinical Director office, my wall of windows overlooking the greenery—my “happy place” where I would consciously take any moment I could to breath and implement self-care. However, I find comfort in knowing that what I can always take with me is my heart full of lasting relationships and meaningful experiences that make me happy, no matter where I go. 💝😌🌱🦋
This week, I attended onsite training for my mental health counseling internship at Atlantic Street Center. What's so cool about this nonprofit is that it makes every effort to be as accessible as possible to those in need of services, focusing primarily on serving low income families and people of color. As therapists, we meet the participants at whichever locations are best for them, whether that be schools, homes, libraries, etc. In addition to the Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training (and others) I have already completed, there will be a plethora of other specialized trainings offered to ensure we can serve the children, adolescents, and families throughout King County to the best of our ability. There's also a family resource center which provides school supplies, toy drives, childcare, food, etc. and other amazing programs! Looking forward to getting more involved with community outreach and advocacy work and learning from all the individuals/families I get to meet soon! #nonprofit#communitymentalhealth
This week I needed a quiet activity that wasn't coloring for my Art Group, so I brought back Zentangle! Folks liked it and even asked about continuing to work on it next week. This photo is my example piece, which I actually really like. .
Starting next week I'm going to take a break from running the Art Group. I enjoy teaching people different techniques but it's become overwhelming to maintain everything that goes into the group along with my current responsibilities. I'm sure it will be a short sabbatical but nevertheless I need the break.
For our last Adventures in Recovery group, we ventured up Skinner's Butte to escape some of the smoke. We had a picnic, hiked around, and processed how the group went! It's important to me that clients are given the opportunity to practice recovery tools outside of the office and that's exactly what this group provided! Can't wait to do it again!
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. As a social platform with huge reach, Instagram is getting it right! 👍Now, when certain hashtags are searched, this message will pop up with direct links to hotline numbers and resources! 🙌 If you are suffering from suicidal thoughts, know that you are not alone, you matter, and please reach out for help! #BeThe1To#stopsuicide
Evictions & displacement is a byproduct of gentrification causing many mental & emotional health issues. In addition, gentrification lacks investment with low-income, working class & communities of color in mind, which in turn increases marginalization & oppression of these particular communities. A healthy individual starts with a healthy community. We deserve affordable housing, living wages, safe neighborhoods & development that benefits ALL people.
Although, I’ve been practicing therapy for over 8 years, the impact my first supervisor made has shaped how I approach people I work with to this day! This book he gave us by Daniel Manus Pinkwater is all about celebrating and encouraging differences — the individuality and uniqueness in each therapist and in our clients and the bravery in going against the grain.✨Now that I supervise seven therapists who have the uniquely challenging and rewarding task of providing community mental health, I am keenly aware that supervision can look very different in private practice and in an agency setting. I’d love to know — how do you know you’ve had good supervision? #asw#amft#lmft#lcsw#psychology#therapist#socialwork#counseling#marriageandfamilytherapy#narrativetherapy#communitymentalhealth
Week 5 in Adventures in Recovery took us all around downtown Eugene to view the stunning mural projects both local and international artists have spent years creating! Not only did we the find the murals we were looking for, we also stumbled upon a lot of other more personal artwork! Bonus: one of the clients in the group even went back to one of the places we went a few weeks ago!! How cool is that!?
There are no words for some of the things I see as a social worker... maybe a few: aging in this country is such an undignified unsupported process it’s horrifying. Many other “less developed” countries with far less resources have a respectful system of care for the elderly that were once themselves the caretakers and workers of society. We will ALL be in those shoes someday. Will it really take our physical bodies deteriorating into odor and bug infestation for our neighbors and community to step up and help? #smh#socialworker#aging#healthcare#communitymentalhealth#crisiswork
scenes from my day doing #communitymentalhealth#cst#alltheclients
admission phone at alcohol & drug treatment center in Butner - coffee & churros with a client - peppers outside an apartment - text I sent to a client after a hard day for them - making a handout on how payee services work - a cat! - visiting someone at the hospital
Adventures in Recovery week 4 included a trip to our planetarium! We learned about what our sky would have looked like tonight if there wasn't any smoke, the planets that are visible from earth currently, and how to find the North star. Pretty dang cool!
I like this graphic because it’s a stark representation of invisible illnesses and how insidious they can be, but I struggle a bit with the word, “disability.” It has an inherent flavor of stigma that gives people the wrong idea, like “disabled” people are less than. Why don’t we refer to people who are rude or cocky as disabled? What do you think? What word(s) would you use? I digress. // Thank you #bpdmatters for this post! 🙏🏼 I think social media is and will continue to be a significant tool in the effort to bring validity and understanding to #mentalillness . ✨🌈 // #Repost @bpdmatters with @get_repost
Mental illness is my disability. I’m susceptible to it when I’m under a lot of stress. I hope I get to live in a world where mental health is recognized and taken seriously. That’s my goal in life. If social media is where we start, then so be it.
Today was my last, bittersweet day at Family Solutions. I started my journey here as an intern in May of 2016 and am ending as a full-time therapist in August 2018. It has been a roller coaster of a ride and one I am forever grateful for. I was welcomed into this family and was simultaneously encouraged and challenged as a therapist, friend, daughter, sister, and person. I was surrounded by incredibly warm, empathic, understanding, charismatic, intelligent, and wonderfully awesome human beings. I had three incredible supervisors who demonstrated true authenticity and genuineness through every single word, thought, and action and who taught me to believe in me in more ways than one. I could not have asked for a better internship site or first full-time therapy gig. As this season ends, another begins. I am excited for the next leg of my journey and am saddened that this one at Family Solutions is ending. Who better to say goodbye to than a bunch of therapists? 🖤
...and just like that two years come to a close. I owe who I am as a professional today to RAMS. Feeling so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with Russian-speaking clients, for the chance to conquer my public speaking fears, and for learning from some of the sharpest minds in the psychoanalytic community. More than that, I am forever grateful for the kindness, compassion, and sarcasm thrown my way by both coworkers and supervisors. Thank you for teaching me how to think, for helping me learn to rely on my instincts, and for challenging me to bring my genuine real self to work each day. I’ll never forget this. Ready to conquer internship! #RAMS#communitymentalhealth#psychologistinthemaking
Today in our Adventures in Recovery group we visited a farm where we pet goats, picked a bouquet of flowers, enjoyed delicious fresh produce and kettle corn! One of our clients even said, "I didn't know I could be happy on my own and away from my safe person". 😭 Healing is happening!
Today was the first outing of a 7 week group that myself and another amazing co-worker started called Adventures in Recovery. Together we will be visiting several sites around our community to increase new cultural experiences and work through social anxiety. Today our group visited the art museum and each of us shared what emotions we felt or what thoughts arose as we viewed each piece of art. It was pretty cool to see how certain pieces brought something different up for each of us and collectively we were able to support each other. It was pretty dang cool. 🖌️