My Experiences & Passion for Working in Mental Health

Hi everyone! I thought I’d get a bit more personal in my next blog post. To begin, my name is Caroline Hubschman, and I am a licensed social worker (LSW) from New Jersey. I have my bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Maryland and my masters degree from Rutgers in social work. I have over a decade of experience in the mental health field working with many different populations and in various settings. My main focus now has been in the treatment of depression and anxiety as a private practice psychotherapist.

In one of my last semesters in college at the University of Maryland, I had a lot of free time. I have always been a go-getter and life-long learner. I reached out to a local psychiatric hospital and a residential mental health rehabilitation community to apply for a couple of unpaid internships. I wanted to grow my experience and learn more in a field that fascinated me. The funny thing is, the rehabilitation community did not have any positions open but I cold-called them and convinced them to hire me as an intern! They gave me a full-time position once I earned my bachelor’s degree and I worked there for almost 3 years in total.

In residential mental health, our clients lived in an apartment setting and our office was an apartment as well. We helped people with case work, medication management, groups, apartment care, and outings. There was always something to do and I loved the team atmosphere. My group “Feeling Fabulous with Caroline” was one of my favorites to bring self-care to the participants in the program. I would go out and buy self-care items like nail products and love to see the beaming faces of my clients as they engaged in a fun activity. Most of this early work was with people with schizophrenia which was a fascinating and great first experience for me.

As I moved on in the years with different roles in transitional living for substance use and community mental health casework, my passion grew for the disability community in particular. Losing an autistic family member to suicide inspired me to work with this population. I wanted to learn how to teach people with disabilities and neurodivergence the skills for leading fulfilling lives in particular. I worked as a counselor in a workshop with folks with developmental disabilities in Florida for a couple of years. This was a program that prepared adults to enter back into the mainstream workforce and was a great place for people to learn as well as make a paycheck completing piecework. The humidity, hurricanes, and flying cockroaches were not for me, so I decided to move back to my home state of New Jersey after 4 years.

After a couple weeks back, I jumped right into a training course to become a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). I worked with autistic clients from ages 2 to 18 in this time for a few years, mostly in-home work and in centers. I loved the problem-solving and quick thinking that came with this job, as well as the creativity in teaching clients new skills. Hearing a child speak for the first time, learn how to eat on their own, or how to socialize with peers were just a few of the experiences that inspired me to work in this field.

I decided that to really pursue my passions, I would need to return to graduate school with my already 12 credits from attending the University of Maryland School of Social Work. I was accepted into Rutgers and continued there until I earned my masters degree. During this time, I also interned for a charity program with Muslim refugees, and then as part of the disability community as a support coordinator. Visiting and observing different facilities, homes, families, and other supports made me more aware of how to work with stakeholders to ensure that people had the best lives possible. My final internship was working in community mental health doing one-on-one and group therapy with members of the IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) population . The intersection between the IDD and LGBTQ+ populations has been a passion of mine since then.

This has brought me to where I am today as a private practice psychotherapist. My rich experiences throughout the years have continued to inspire me to do what I love; helping others and making a difference in people’s lives. Of course, there have been ups and downs and a lot of learning opportunities. I feel that I will be a student my entire life as I navigate different areas of mental health. I hope you enjoyed my brief story of my experiences throughout the years as a mental health professional and that you too can find your passions.

Comment below any questions that you may have about the mental health field and if you are interested in learning more!

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