Tell me a little about yourself – your background and your education.
I’m from a family of eight children and lived most of my life in a small community. I received a BSW in 1984 from a small private all-women’s college. I married and had five children within a seven-year period, remaining a stay-at-home mother raising children, dogs, horses and 4-H hogs. We had a 40-acre farm in which I worked with the animals, gardened, and bailed hay. After my children were raised, I went back to college for my Master’s in Mental Health Counseling.
How long have you worked for Aspire?
I have worked for Aspire since September 2014.
What positions have you held with Aspire?
I am a therapist.
Describe your current position, including your responsibilities?
I am a therapist specializing in substance abuse. I facilitate group and individual therapy, initial intakes, and crisis intervention. I am currently a member of the substance use disorder task force (SUDS) in which I help track all addictions treatment and protocols for Aspire Indiana’s substance abuse treatment. I am currently developing a Grief and Loss Group as well as a Co-Dependent Group. I have also been asked to provide training for the Department of Child Services on substance-related issues.
What does a typical day as Therapist look like?
A typical day includes providing individual therapy, group therapy, program development, assessments, and SUDS meetings.
What in your educational background and work experience prepared you for your current position?
All of it, in one way or another, prepared me for the work I do.
If you weren’t working in this field, what would you be doing?
Landscaping, working with animals, farming, or teaching music.
What is it that drew you to the field of mental health?
I had my own personal experience of struggling with alcoholism and bi-polar disorder, and am now over 20 years stable. I am willing to share my story of success.
What impact do you feel your work has had on Aspire and its clients?
All of my past work and life experience has helped me become a compassionate and effective therapist.
What things do you do to help you cope with the demands of your job?
Self-care is extremely important to me. I eat well, exercise, attend my own support group meetings, take my medications as prescribed, use my supports, including family, and I have fun with many interests, including include music, horses, etc.
Brenda Blake is a therapist at Aspire Indiana. The beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Ms. Blake. You can learn more about Aspire Indiana at https://www.facebook.com/AspireIndiana.