I have been privileged to have worked with the Trinity Boston Counseling Center since the time it was being planned in 2001 – 2002. I had closed my suburban private practice in order to work with people suffering from poverty, racism, and other injustices, as well as with Trinity parishioners and members of other faith communities wanting to include faith issues in their healing work. Since the beginning, I have done psychotherapy; supervision of interns; offered groups on issues such as grief, job loss, divorce, and trauma; and have done teaching both within TBCC and with community partners such as Roxbury Presbyterian Church. In our early days, we offered breakfasts for clergy with talks by our staff on issues such as depression and substance abuse.
Working together as a committed staff of clinicians and interns, we have developed, over the years, our “trademark” service, which is “spiritually-based seeks professional excellence”. Our “trademark” is informed by knowledge of how trauma and injustice affect individuals, families, and communities. Personally, it has been a joy to connect deeply with diverse individuals, to hear their stories and see their transformation. Some of these people include:
- A woman who came in after attempted suicide, then aged 26, who now at 35 has her own hair salon and provides a ministry of dance for the church in which she was recently baptized
- A woman who suffered trauma in an Irish orphanage who has become a wise and spiritual grandmother
- A brilliant Harvard Divinity School student and mother, raised in a fundamentalist church, whose “complaint” at intake was “feminist angst”. She has become a minister who struggles to integrate differing theologies as she works for social justice in a deprived neighborhood
- A college student attempting to remain loyal to her roots in a troubled community while at the same time succeeding in her chosen profession
- A financial trader, devoted husband and father, fighting panic and depression as the economy is in crisis
- An 83 year old woman, once a model, facing illness and death, who seeks to maintain her sense of elegance and humor as she fights intense fear
- A man raised in traumatic conditions and poverty in the south
- An ordained minister, now entering social work school, after overcoming immobilizing depression and anxiety.
The sense of being a community of sisters and brothers, with our clients and with our colleagues, is what sustains us as individuals and as a staff at TBCC. This is what will allow us to continue the work into a second decade.
-Betty Case, (Elizabeth Case LICSW, PhD), Clinical Supervisor, Trinity Boston Counseling Center