Just a Therapist, Gone Rogue: Meet Brie
Listen, we’ve been together all this time and I realized I never introduced myself or told you my whole story. I say I’ve done a full transition to training from direct service (aka rogue therapist), but you haven’t heard the story. So here, my dear, are the receipts.
Hey, my name is Brie. I’m the daughter, sister, and niece of social workers. Granddaughter of women who sewed clothes together and donated time and goods to folks in need. Care is in my blood.
It only makes sense that I would solely want to become a therapist, right? Wrong, I was trying to be a concert cellist and you couldn’t tell me ANYTHING different. But I have always had an outward-facing heart. I went to school, got my bachelor’s degree and then went BACK for my master’s degree. I put myself through my master’s by working in an inpatient psychiatric facility in New Jersey for 5 years.
That job was eye-opening. I saw all the different levels of care that folks needed from encouragement up to crisis intervention. I learned to de-escalate crisis situations, make snap decisions, and be less afraid of mental health challenges. That’s right, in the beginning, I was super uncomfortable with anything related to mental health.
I took another leap from there and worked in colleges, doing grief therapy with students at my undergraduate alma mater. Yet ANOTHER scenario that scared me; doing group but especially groups about loss. My mom died while I was attending that college during undergraduate and here I was, back on the campus where I realized my mother’s cancer was consuming her. Here, I learned how to hold space for people and that feelings deserve acknowledgment.
I took ANOTHER leap after I got my master’s, packed up my dog and plants and moved to Philadelphia to work with men who were re-entering society. And, just in case you don’t sense the theme yet, I was scared of all of this, too. After years of high-intensity care for folks (who I reaaaallly liked), some toxic environments, and unrelenting barriers for my clients (insurance, probation, finances, not being able to find job, tone-deaf program rules) I burnt out.
And ya’ll, I burnt out hard. It wasn’t the first time, but it certainly impactful. I was stressed, overworked, horribly underpaid, and exhausted. I couldn’t see my “why” anymore. That’s when I knew it was time to change. So, I did what I usually do and took a big ‘ole scary leap and pray that it pans out.
I applied relentlessly and got my first training job, pulling on previous research and clinical experience. I tried new things, like instructional design and developing eLearning. No one had ever told me that clinical skills and psychology could be used in any way other than direct service, so I had no idea that I had options. My new skills got me a new position I started training full-time. I train, develop content, oversee a Learning Management System (10,000+ learners strong!), and create eLearning.
I decided that was awesome so… why not work for myself? I got myself a partner and away we went, creating BR Training and Education.
I’m telling you all this to say, you don’t have to be pigeon-holed into one specific path. Your skills are important, your brain is amazing, and someone is looking for exactly the stuff you’ve got.
You’re not building a career, darling. You’re working with us to build a life that you can’t wait to wake up and be a part of every day. Time for you to go rogue too.