Tell us a bit about yourself.
I never wanted to be a therapist… Growing up I had my eyes and heart set on being a medical doctor. As the daughter of an OB/GYN, becoming an MD was a self-imposed expectation. After four years of undergraduate work and no degree, I decided I needed to find my fastest way out of college… A Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Although I continued to study for the MCATs I began working at Providence Adolescent Residential Treatment Program (PARTP). PARTP is a 10 bed unit that specializes in treating adolescent girls who suffer from trauma. I fell in love with the work I did as floor staff and decided to pursue my Master of Science in Counseling Psychology.
After earning my Masters I maintained my floor staff position at PARTP as well as filled in for the clinical staff. After about a year I moved on to the Discovery Unit (Adolescent Mental Health Unit) at Providence Hospital, where I had the opportunity to work as a discharge planner and family therapist in the acute care setting. My experience with family systems has served me well in my work with dissociative clients.
Over the past three years I have transitioned into outpatient therapy and eventually private practice. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and primarily see adolescents and adults. Although I have training in EMDR, Clinical Hypnosis, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems Therapy, and use all these with my clients, I have learned through my experiences just how important the relationship and healthy boundaries can be in the work we do.
When I’m not immersed in my work, I enjoy spending time with my husband of 10 years and “momming” my two children.
Tell us something most of us may not know about you?
Rick Kluft is my second cousin once removed! It’s a small world and an even smaller community. While I was watching him present at last year’s conference I started piecing things together, and it turns out we’re related.
What lead you to join ISSTD? What is your favourite thing about ISSTD?
I joined ISST-D when a colleague started a component group in the Alaska Region. I had seen varying degrees of trauma and wanted to become more equipped to help my clients.
I would have to say my favorite thing about ISST-D is the networking/people, but it goes hand in hand with having an opportunity to be involved. I love meeting, learning and brainstorming with other professionals living the same mission.
What is your volunteer role in ISSTD (or roles)?
I am currently a member of the Membership Committee, I chair the Volunteer Committee and Component Group Task Force, and I am the president of the Alaska Regional Component Group.
What led you to volunteer?
During the 2017 annual conference my appreciation for the ISST-D continued to grow and I decided it would be great to find a way to be involved… Next thing I knew I was very involved.
What’s good about volunteering? What do you get from it?
I definitely feel more connected as a volunteer. It has been fun and helpful to get to know colleagues all over the world with experiences vastly different, yet relatable to some of my own. Volunteering also provides an opportunity for me to share my thoughts and ideas and feel heard, and to stay abreast of learning opportunities and share them with my local trauma therapist community. It has been an amazing experience that I feel passionate about.
I don’t necessarily feel like there are drawbacks to volunteering. There is always opportunity cost, but I’ve found ways to balance my engagement with other things in my life and set limits as needed to ensure that it is not consuming my free time.
How can interested members become volunteers?
The Volunteer Committee is currently working to refine the processes that facilitate and support member engagement. Although committee membership is one way to be involved with ISST-D, there are also several opportunities for engagement that arise throughout the year that require less of a time commitment.
If you are interested in volunteering with the ISST-D, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!