Tell me a little about yourself – your background and your education.
I’m originally from Northwest Ohio. I grew up in a town just outside of Toledo, Ohio. I completed my education in Ohio as well. I have a Bachelor’s of Science degree in psychology from Bowling Green State University. I completed my Master’s/Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
How long have you worked for Aspire?
A little over 2 ½ years. I started in July of 2011.
What positions have you held with Aspire?
Since July 2011, I have been Aspire’s Director of Training, Clinical Supervision, and Outcomes. Prior to starting in that position, I completed my pre-doctoral internship at Aspire’s legacy site, BehaviorCorp, during the 2006-2007 academic year.
Describe your current position, including your responsibilities?
As the title of my position suggests, I work in a number of different capacities for Aspire. I provide oversight on the use of evidence-based practices as they are implemented by Aspire’s clinical teams. I research and provide training on promising new treatment methods, and I monitor the improvement of the agency’s mental health service outcomes. I am a licensed clinical psychologist, so I also review treatment plans, staff cases with various treatment teams, and help supervise the work of trainees from Butler University and the University of Indianapolis.
What does a typical day as a Director of Training, Clinical Supervision & Outcomes look like?
Honestly, no two days are ever alike! I think that’s pretty great—I thrive on the variety of challenges and opportunities presented by my position. On any given day, I might provide some face-to-face training, review treatment plans/send feedback to staff, or travel to an Aspire office to meet with a clinical team.
What in your educational background and work experience prepared you for your current position?
As a graduate student, I completed three years of supervised training at community mental health centers in Indiana. I worked out of offices in Connersville, Lawrenceburg, and Indianapolis, respectively. I was really fortunate to have great mentors during those experiences, so I had learned some valuable things about the community mental health system before coming to work at Aspire. That said, I still very much feel like a “beginner” here at Aspire. The senior leadership team at Aspire is fantastic, and I feel like I learn something new about health care in Indiana everyday that I’m here.
If you weren’t working in this field, what would you be doing?
Wow, this is a fun question to consider! It might sound strange, but I really loved math and science when I was a student, so I can definitely see the appeal of working in a discipline like engineering or chemistry. I also really enjoyed writing and literature, so I could see myself in a job where I could explore those interests, too.
What is it that drew you to psychology?
This will probably sound like a cliché, but I became interested in psychology and mental health because I wanted to be of service to others. I feel like I’ve been very fortunate in my own life, so trying to help others—as a listener or witness as they find their way to something better—just seemed like the right thing to do.
What impact do you feel your work has had on Aspire and its clients?
It’s my hope that through my work, clients who seek assistance through Aspire get access to the best services possible. Whether it’s through training, consultation, or the supervision of care, I want to do whatever I can to make a client’s experience here a positive one.
What things do you do to help you cope with the demands of your job?
Outside of the office, I love to stay active. I enjoy running, softball, and volleyball. I’m also a huge music lover, so I’m always up for discovering a great new artist or checking out a live show around the city.
Dr. Michael Gray is the Director of Training, Clinical Supervision, and Outcomes for Aspire Indiana. While the beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Dr. Gray, you can learn more about community mental health at http://www.facebook.com/AspireIndiana.
You can also follow Dr. Gray on Twitter @michaelgray_phd.