Position: Clinical Intervention Specialist
What led you to your current position? I was contemplating pursuing an MSW for over ten years before finally taking the leap. I think that my work as a Therapeutic Musician at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where I performed music for the patients in waiting rooms, labs and in their hospital rooms, was the final impetus to fully jump into work with children and youth. I ended up interning with Los Angeles Unified School District School Mental Health for two years during my grad program, and I really fell in love with school-based work. After graduating last year and relocating to Oakland, I ended up landing my dream job with Seneca at a small alternative high school called Street Academy – a wonderfully creative and open place where I can dig further into mindfulness practices, restorative justice, art therapy and whatever else I can dream up. It has been a great place to cut my teeth as a new clinician and I am looking forward to a second year there!
Fun Fact: I am a collector of vintage analog synthesizers from the 1980’s. Playing them is my favorite way to practice self-care and meditation and I hope to find a way to incorporate them into my work someday. I have big plans…
What does your average day look like? I usually arrive around 8:30am, taking some time to greet the early bird students and staff. If there is time, I’ll take a moment to water the plants in my office, set up my aromatherapy diffuser, flip on my water fountain, and make the space cozy and inviting for the day. Then, I will see clients for sessions and connect with collateral when possible. My office is right in the middle of our tiny campus, so I often have drop-ins and visits from students either coming by for a snack or for some individual rehabilitation, so I’m generally pretty busy until the minute I leave around 4:30. Time really flies.
Why do you do this work? I do this work because during a very vulnerable and difficult time in my own life, a social worker was there to support me and help me navigate my way through. Because of that impact of that experience, I feel compelled to give back in whatever tiny way I can, and help others on their journey towards empowerment, self-compassion, and a sense of hopefulness. I also appreciate that this work continually challenges me beyond my comfort zone, keeping me constantly in a state of growing and learning. Sometimes I wonder if I learn more from my clients than they learn from me, and I’m alright with that!