DEGREE: B.S. in psychology; M.Ed. in mental health counseling, University of Massachusetts Boston
JOB TITLE: Licensed professional counselor
FAVORITE TRINITY MEMORY: I don’t have one specific memory that sticks out. I absolutely loved my time at Trinity. I made some of the best friendships that I have ever made and still maintain to this day. I had amazing professors who were passionate about what they taught. I was challenged to think critically and openly and to take advantage of what the school had to offer. My four years at Trinity were some of the greatest years of my life, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
What does your work entail? I work in a small, group private practice as a mental health therapist. I work with individuals ages 8 and older, providing treatment for trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, adjustment disorders, emotional and disordered eating, and anger management, as well as providing overall wellness counseling.
What was your path to your current position? After graduating from Trinity, I started my career as a special education teacher. I loved working with children and helping them make positive changes. I knew that I wanted to go back to school to obtain a master’s degree, but I was torn between teaching and counseling. In the end, counseling prevailed. I had a great clinical internship during graduate school, working at Bournewood Hospital’s adolescent day program. After graduating from UMass, I began working as a clinician in a residential treatment program for adolescents. I gained a lot of clinical experience over the three years that I worked there. I was drawn to individual and family counseling during this time and wanted to try private practice. I joined a large, group private practice in 2008 and immediately knew that this was what I wanted to do. Soon after, my husband’s job relocated us to Georgia from Massachusetts, and I began working for Aetna as a weight-loss therapist. I enjoyed this work, but I missed private practice. After being a stay-at-home mom to our three kids, I knew that I wanted to get back into private practice.
What do you enjoy most about what you do? I love helping people lead happier, more fulfilled lives. Watching clients make breakthroughs and having those “aha” moments is extremely rewarding. I truly enjoy helping clients make changes and teaching them how to put skills into practice. Teaching clients how to communicate more effectively, in order to enhance the quality of their relationships, is another area that I enjoy.
What are the biggest challenges you face? I think the biggest challenge is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I love the work that I do, but it can be very heavy emotionally. It can be difficult to separate work life from your personal life, especially when you are dealing with people who count on you for support and availability.
How did Trinity prepare you for what you do now? Trinity had/has such a robust Psychology Department and dedicated professors. It was amazing to have a wide variety of psychology classes to choose from over my four years there. I was a TA my senior year and also participated in an internship at The Institute of Living. Both of those experiences helped shape my desire to get into a counseling career.
What was the most memorable course you took at Trinity? Well, if I’m being honest, I would have to say biology because I had to take it twice (ha!).
Was there a professor at Trinity who was particularly influential? Professor David Winer was, hands down, my favorite professor at Trinity. He was my internship and senior-year adviser. He brought such passion, humor, and kindness into all of his lectures and in his advice and guidance. He taught me the value of experience. I remember sitting in his office and talking about possibly going to graduate school right after college. He encouraged me to “get some life experience” first. I welcomed those words, and I am thankful for my experiences before attending graduate school.