I am a recent Graduate of my Master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy. Within the last year, I have grown exponentionally in my personal and professional life, and I thought I could share some of my growing pains/adventures with others.
I am passionate about Military mental health, and went back to receive my Master’s because of losing too many friends and family members to their battle with PTSD. The invisible wounds of war are not seen on a daily basis, but felt so deeply by those affected. It’s a ripple effect throughout the entire family system. I had been volunteering for the local Army chaper for awhile, but needed something more. I had been working in social media marketing for several years, and thought about becoming a consultant, or going back to get my MBA, but that just didn’t fee right. Back to my psychology roots I went, and I haven’t looked back.
While I was still working full time in Marketing, and going to school, I needed to start a Practicum (or intern) placement for 9-11 months to complete my degree. I tried to get in with the VA, but of course, unless you are on the Doctorate path, you are not welcome there for an internship. I was deflated. I knew that was my area of focus, but how do I do that in Minnesota – one of the very few states without an active military base? So, I went for a location that was not too far from home, was very focused on attachment (which I had just written a huge paper on), and felt like a good fit for me. However, the main clients were children, and I swore that I didn’t want to work with children. Ha (as I snort), funny how those things happen.
In the midst of all of this, I met an unbelievable guy, who also had an adopted son with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), which was also very prevalent in my client base. I stopped the quest for learning everything I could in a short period of time, and started to focus on things that would help me and my client base at that time. I was becoming burnt out, overwhelmed, and frustrated with the job switch. Technically, we would call that an Adjustment Disorder, but that is a whole different story. So, I started to focus on family therapy in the context of RAD work. From Facebook groups of other RAD parents, I soon realized that it was really hard for people to find RAD focused family therapists. Learning how to be a better therapist for my clients was also helping me be a better errr….step-parent to the 14 year old that was now living in my house.
I haven’t given up on my dream of focusing on military families, but am adapting as I go. I’ve always struggled with finding the perfect niche, but have found that the more I just roll with the changes, the more the Universe talks to me. So, here I am. I want to share my journey with other people dealing with the same struggles. I don’want to just focus on the military, or just focus on social media, or just focus on RAD, or just focus on being a new therapist – I want to just focus on the overcoming of the struggles. With that adversity, I know I can help other people. I hope you enjoy 🙂