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  • Writer's pictureAnna Marie Boyd LPC, RDT, RYT-200

An Open Letter To The Women Who Helped Shaped My Career

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

Still fresh in my career, the world is evolving like a moving freight train that has been so difficult to keep up with as a human, much less an emerging therapist. The process of finding your voice as a therapist is certainly a process. In graduate school, most of us are offered countless theologies, approaches, and specialties to consider as a part of our approach to the therapeutic relationship.

Personally, this was an exciting and overwhelming venture into the ever changing field of mental health treatment. Graduate school also consists of internships where you are thrust into different systems and placements to try out different populations that further authors your methodology and therapeutic philosophy. We are finding our place in this world and developing our identity as a therapist. Post school, many emerging therapists are limited to certain positions due to the never ending credentialing process where you work as an "intern" beyond your graduate school years and training.

Moving into the workforce is where you get to try out your wings and start to learn what setting you prefer, what job sites do not work with your style, and clinicians continue to forge their therapeutic identity. For me personally, my training began in the world of Drama Therapy and New York University where I got the opportunity to create therapeutic theatre and really feel drawn to the somatic experience of healing. I have worked in inpatient and outpatient settings, and even started my PhD in Mind/Body Medicine.

Throughout my journey to discover my clinical voice, there have been a few voices that have significantly impacted my clinical exploration and discovery. I want to acknowledge the female voices and leaders who have encouraged, supported, and walked with me through self discovery to discovery my life's purpose.

Starting with my former colleague turned manager, there is a licensed professional counselor who was always a sounding board to my curiosities and exhibited such enthusiasm for my passions. She is going to be a bridesmaid in my wedding in a few months. Her spirit never exhibited anything other than unconditional positive regard and encouragement, sprinkled in with hard truths regarding life and decision making.

My supervisor always held me accountable for asserting clear boundaries for myself as a woman in a male dominant organization. She reminded me to check in with my level of comfort around working with certain clients, and encouraged me to follow my intuition.

My current clinical director embodies a symbol of my future aspirations. She is around 5 years further into her career, and her role in the clinical workforce is clear and concise. She embodies a warmness that feels welcoming, and she stands firm in her position of leadership.

As I observe the women around me who have played a part in shaping my professional identity, I am humbled to reflect on the kindness that has been offered to me. Without these women, I cannot imagine where my journey would fall, and for that I am grateful, inspired and hopeful for women clinicians across the globe.

My story is just an example of how female connection can create space to dream, grow, and serve those around us with a gentle heart.

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