Sandra is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has her own private practice.
What is your job description and what are your responsibilities?
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. My responsibilities vary from day-to-day but I do a lot of psychological assessments, individual, family and couples therapy, blogging and podcasts about mental health. I have a private practice www.meridian-counseling.com in Santa Monica and also work full-time at a treatment center for substance abuse.
What career path led you to your current role?
I always knew that my purpose was to help guide people. When I began studying psychology in under-grad, I took a class called Psychology of Love. I was instantly hooked and knew that I wanted a career that allowed me to understand relationships at a deeper level, which is what led me to go to graduate school to become a marriage and family therapist.
Describe your day-to-day schedule.
The nice thing about my job is that I am able to make my own schedule, especially in private practice.
What programs/tools do you often use?
I often have client’s watch Ted talks, read inspirational books and complete journaling assignments. Also, I find it really beneficial to have client use apps such as, Head Space and Calm to meditate.
Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
Seeing how much people are able to transform themselves and their lives through therapy. There is nothing more rewarding then seeing my clients have a “aha” moments and reach their fullest potential.
Which aspects of your job do you find most challenging?
When I take home the emotional trauma from my work and also learning to remember to take time for self-care so that I don’t burn out.
How did you develop the necessary skill-set (e.g. courses, training, activities) to be a Marriage and Family Therapist?
To be a licensed therapist requires a master’s degree, 3000 hours of clinical experience and two exams. It’s been a transformational journey that has allowed me to learn more about society, humans and myself in general. It’s a job that is spiritual, emotional and intellectual all in one.
Is there any additional advice you would give students who are interested in becoming a Therapist?
If you have a passion for helping others heal, it’s a really rewarding career, but it takes a lot of dedication and it may take time to make good money, but the fulfillment that you receive is well worth it!