I like to say that I began my career growing up in New England at age 10, when I offered counseling sessions for my family underneath our living room piano. My mom, dad, and sisters would crawl into the safe space I created and share their thoughts and feelings – and I was hooked.
Since then, I’ve formalized my work with the requisite education, licenses, and certifications, but I’m still that person who just wants to provide comfort, kinship, and hope to others.
For many years, I pursued that passion as a play therapist and social worker in both school and private practice settings and as a clinical supervisor. I constantly reflected on my front-line experiences and those of my peers – from the rewarding and rejuvenating to the challenging and heartbreaking – and came to several realizations about our work.
- First, the practitioners in this field are hugely committed to providing the absolute best care and support to the children they serve. They are eager to share and hear about ideas, best practices, and lessons learned to elevate their individual and collective impact.
- Second, it’s incredibly difficult for clinicians in the trenches to pursue professional development amid crippling caseloads, overwhelming bureaucracy, and restricted resources. We must prioritize and advocate for the time and space to access quality continuing education opportunities that directly improve our daily grind.
- Third, burnout and compassion fatigue are all too common thanks to near constant exposure to high-trauma situations and toxic stress. We spend so much effort cultivating resilience in the children we serve, but what about ourselves? Maintaining a connection to our purpose is critical – and only possible – through radical self-care.
I began offering trainings and seminars on those topics for educational institutions, professional associations, and industry conferences. As the opportunities increased, I transitioned into more of a thought leader and educator role, expanding my workshop offerings and teaching graduate courses at San Diego State University and the University of California San Diego Extension.
I’m truly enjoying this evolution to my career – each new workshop and consultation comes with unique opportunities to share stories and build comradery while exploring new approaches that can transform our personal experience and professional impact.
So that’s my journey. I can’t wait to join you on yours.