As mental health counselors, we assess and treat mental and emotional health disorders, relationship issues, and life challenges. Through various methods of psychotherapy, our counselors work with clients to develop meaningful behavior changes that can be applied to their everyday lives. They also offer coping strategies for navigating life’s struggles.
It’s a very rewarding career with a lot of responsibility. Here is part two of “Why I became a therapist” from the rest of our compassionate team of clinicians.
I have always been interested in how the mind works; why people think, feel, and do the things they do. My first time taking a psychology course was during my senior year of high school. It quickly became my favorite subject. I loved learning about how thoughts are formed, shaped, and what made humans so unique from one another. I grew to love solving problems through reflection and communication.
With time I learned that topics related to mental health were taboo in the Muslim Ethiopian-American community. I felt strongly about their resistance to acknowledge mental health. It was evident that my community sacrificed their well-being out of fear of being isolated. This issue became my motivation to help those who felt silenced by their families, their religion, and their communities.
I would call my journey of becoming a therapist “different” than most. I took my first psychology course during undergrad and I felt like it was not for me. It was overwhelming and I figured I would focus on something else. A few years passed and I decided to give psychology another try; I fell in love with it! I realized that it did not click the first time because I was simply not ready; like many people seeking counseling who also might not be ready.
This time around I continued on because I felt compelled to learn what it is like to be a helper, and how different schools of thought were beneficial in their own way. I like to connect with people in a way that becoming a therapist felt like the right fit for me. I was finally ready to learn more about others and most importantly, myself.
I don’t think there was one particular thing or event that moved me to be a therapist, but it was the best response I could have had to the many different things in the world, and in my life, that called me toward it. Growing up, I considered all sorts of careers before this one: veterinarian, youth minister, lawyer, teacher, florist, doctor, camp director, fashion designer, etc. You name it, I thought about it and probably wore a Halloween costume to match. However, through all my interests and hobbies, one thing that remained central to my identity was the commitment to serve others.
To me, serving others can look as simple as participating in the community, being a good friend, and sitting with others as they navigate the uncomfortable and resilient parts of themselves and the world. (Can you believe I get to do all of those things at The Wise Family?!) I have always loved sitting with friends, family, and sometimes even strangers, laughing and crying over what makes life so good and so challenging. The best part of these conversations is somehow finding the courage and confidence in each other to keep on going.
As humans, we need these spaces to connect with others, and I decided to be a therapist to respond to this need. After exploring every possible career, I’m so grateful to have found one that encourages not only what I can do for others, but the central parts of who I am. I look forward to all the ways I will continue to grow as a professional and individual with The Wise Family!
We have such an amazing team here at The Wise Family! We hope you have enjoyed learning more about what motivated our team of clinicians to be in this field. Until next time, Be Wise!
“We read through your website from start to finish and were so impressed by your extensive credentials and training but, the real reason why we want to work with you is your clear enthusiasm for children and families and the wisdom and deep love you share for both!”— Mom of 12-year-old child with special needs
“I went home and practiced what Dr. Amy taught me…and it worked!”— 8-year-old coaching client
“Dr. Amy brings together the best emotion-focused strategies with cutting-edge brain science to change the lives of children and families”— Parent of adopted twin girls
“Dr. Amy is like Oprah – she’s the neighbor you love who is very, very smart”— Parent of 14-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter