I loved talking with Monica Goodwin all about how she got into her profession. She shared with us the best and hardest part of her career and advice she has for people suffering.
What is your profession and title?
Clinical Social Worker LLMSW
Why did you decide to go into Your Profession?
I wanted to be in the helping profession because I believe that everyone can benefit from therapy. I know that when a person finds the right “fit” with a therapist it can open up the door to tremendous growth and personal awareness. There’s a safety within the walls of that alliance that promotes introspection and change. I want to be that source of light for my clients.
What is the best thing about what you do?
I like being the person who can be there for my clients, helping them to feel heard, offering them honesty and a safe forum where they won’t be judged.
What is the hardest thing about what you do?
Pain and grief will find its way to each of us no matter what we do. I can’t eliminate pain and grief .. but I can listen.
What is some advice you have for those struggling with (mental health, illness and or pain)?
I think it’s important to reach out to someone, don’t suffer alone. Additionally, find ways to focus your mental energy in a mindful way because your thoughts can impact your physicality.
What does mental health mean to you?
Just like your physical health, your mental health is equally important. Mental health means an awareness of your emotional and psychological states and taking care of both. Getting help when you need it and not being embarrassed or afraid to say “I’m not ok today”.
What is a day in the life like for you at work?
It varies .. no day is exactly the same because no client is exactly the same.
How do you separate work from home life, especially if it was a tough day?
That can be tough some days. Life is messy and difficult and sometimes extremely unfair. Most therapists are empaths, meaning they feel others pain, so obviously it can impact our lives because we are human. That’s why self care is stressed so highly in our field. Being aware of burnout, taking time to to meditate, work out, or talk to our own therapist can help. I have a great support system of family and friends Sometimes just being with the people I love and practicing gratitude helps me.
Have you had any experince with (mental health, pain or illness) and has that helped or hindered you with work?
I don’t think anyone gets through life without dealing with something painful, either physically or mentally. For me, knowing that I have been able to weather many difficult storms in my own life has given me an awareness that no matter what is happening in life, it keeps moving forward .. change is happening every moment of our days.. so just take each moment as it comes, be in that moment and if it doesn’t feel good right now, maybe it will be better in five minutes, five hours or five days.
Is there anything else you want us to know about you or the field?
I love the helping profession and I worked very hard to earn my MSW while raising my family and going to school at the same time. I had an amazing support system who pushed me to accomplish my goal of being a therapist. There’s that story about a little boy on a beach with thousands of starfish that are washed ashore and how he throws one back periodically as he’s walking along the beach.. his friend asks how it can help throwing one back periodically when there are so many starfish left and the boy responds “ it helps the ones I can throw back”.. I can’t help everyone but if I can help even one person I’m happy.