Through its varied and flexible funding streams, Pathways is able to serve children and families both with and without Medi-Cal. Youth who are at-risk for involvement with the juvenile justice system receive counseling and case management through a contract with the Alameda County Probation Department. A Child Abuse Treatment grant allows us to provide for youth with a history of victimization.
When Pathways merged with the Mosaic team in July 2022, we were asked to generate a list of values that guided our work. When given the opportunity to write this blog post we wanted it to reflect this co-created list. Each of our clinical staff chose a value and shared how they express that value in their work. Below are descriptions of how we put our values into practice, beside photos of us in either our Golf Links or home office. We hope these photos capture the essence of the therapeutic spaces that we strive to cultivate in all aspects of our work.
Connection and Learning from One Another
The value of Connection and Learning from One Another is meaningful to me because I tend to structure my clinical thinking and approach to therapeutic work on this value. I lead with this value in the therapy room with children and families and with my team members. The "work" and therapeutic growth only happens once the willingness to learn and grow from one another is engaged (no matter how young or old, verbal language, body language or anything in-between. Every voice has a story to tell and be heard). The most beautiful moments of healing occur when we meet one another in our humanness. Recognizing how to show up and support one other becomes clear when we hold a curious space for understanding. This space is where the deepest connection and learning from one another takes place. The future of mental health is in supporting the healing of communities through fostering continued mutual learning and connection!
Commitment to Work Against Systems of Oppression
Pathways clinicians typically meet remotely or in our offices, but this year I’ve been able to meet in schools and in the community with families. This allows me to not give up on those who may have been told that outpatient “wasn’t a good fit” because of barriers to access such as not having a car or not having space at home to meet privately. My team members have encouraged me to recognize that when problems seem binary (access services or end services), there is always a third way through (make services more accessible).
As Pathways clinicians we have a value of multidimensionality, which I’m imagining you’d get a different definition for with each clinician you ask to define it! This value, to me, really emphasizes the whole humanness of each clinician, person, and human being on our team. Our unique identities, positionalities, life experiences, and orientations not only have a place here, but are valued and celebrated. It’s truly a joy to be a part of this team as my whole self and feel welcomed as such.
Self Care/Preservation of the Self
At Pathways, we prioritize caring for ourselves as individuals in the different ways we each find healing. With the encouragement of team members and supervisors I have felt grounded and balanced by starting my own therapy and by taking time off to nourish myself when needed.
Connection and Learning from One Another
When I started at Seneca in April 2021, I was impressed by the organization’s commitment to building strong relationships, not just with clients and families, but also between staff. Building relationships and lifelong learning are key values for Pathways. At work I put this value into practice by seeking opportunities in which our team can learn and share ideas together. Last year I shared a list of offerings by the Ackerman Institute for the Family as possible trainings our clinical team could view and discuss together. The team selected two excellent talks which we then viewed and discussed together. We found it so valuable that we have chosen another two trainings to watch and discuss this year.