Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Celebrating 15 Years of the Natalie Haimowitz Postgraduate Fellowship Program

Are you a clinician with one to five years of experience?  Are you interested in deepening your clinical skills and learning more about trauma treatment and the feminist relational perspective?  Are you ready to grow and join a community of supportive therapists?

I was part of this engaging professional training program from 2010 to 2013.  I interviewed some of the therapists in the program with me to hear more about their experiences.  Here is what they shared:

“I learned so much during the program.   Besides learning a lot about working with survivors and feeling like I deepened my skills as a therapist with this population, I also learned how to be in community with other therapists and what a benefit that is for my work.  In fact, I am no longer able to go it alone.  I can't imagine doing this work without support and consultation.  Womencare embraced me as a community and the support has been a lifesaver to me professionally,” shared Tovah Means.  Tovah Means is the founder of Watch Hill Therapy.

Anna Horvath, who trained as an art therapist, currently works at a hospital's psychiatric emergency room assessing patients who are either hospitalized or referred for outpatient psychiatric care and/or psychotherapy.  Anna shared, “I loved my relationships and contact with my mentors Judith and Ellen.  I learned a lot from their exemplary, empathic attitude toward clients.  As their student, I could experience their compassionate concern and thoughtful contribution to my learning process.  I could sense their wish to understand the nature of my concerns and to assist in resolving difficulties."

Check out what some of my other fellow postgrads are up to now:

*This blog post was written by Alissa Catiis, Staff Therapist and Yoga Teacher at Womencare Counseling Center.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Mentor

As therapists, it is crucial to understand and apply theory in our work. A degree and a license give a therapist the right to practice. But therapy is also an art, which requires us to be an instrument, finely tuned and resonate. An artist cannot emerge by simply being given a canvas. It is not something one can accomplish alone or in isolation. Consultation and mentorship is key to the development of a skilled clinician.

A mentor will not give you a detailed map or prescribe each intervention- they will invite you on a journey, the journey of becoming a therapist. A mentor will teach- not with lectures but with who they are and with their response to your questions and the dilemmas you encounter in your work. They will honor your strengths and vulnerabilities. Your mentor helps you turn your strength and vulnerabilities into the instruments necessary to do this remarkable work.

  • A mentor will ask you to show the same compassion for yourself that you show to your clients.
  • A mentor will greet mistakes with curiosity and compassion.
  • A mentor will invite you to welcome and embrace your demons.
  • A mentor will want you to know what moves and what frightens you.
  • A mentor compassionately confront when you inadvertently objectify, distance or pathologize a client.
  • A mentor understands that to be impassive in the face of your clients’ nightmares, abuse and betrayals will intensify their shame and despair.
  • A mentor will create a safe space to discover the meanings that emerge in your work with your clients.
  • A mentor will applaud your authenticity.
  • A mentor will help protect you and your client from the difficulties that lax boundaries can cause for you and your clients.
  • A mentor will teach you to be an exquisite listener, hearing both the rhythms and melodies in the therapeutic relationship.
  • A mentor will know that humility is essential to do this challenging work.
  • A mentor will show respect for you as a person and a clinician.

*Click here to learn more about our Post Graduate Fellowship Program. Information night is Thursday, January 23, 2014; 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.*

-Laurie Kahn, MA, MFA, LCPC