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  • Writer's pictureTREC DC

Meet the founders of TREC DC!

The therapy relationship is a special one that relies on vulnerability and honesty; oftentimes your therapist knows a lot about you but that doesn't always go both ways. This is one of our ways to help even that out!  Have more questions for us and our practice?  Please contact us at! Why did you get into trauma work? What keeps you going? Lea Didion: From a really early age I knew I wanted to be a psychologist (I know, that sounds strange!) Both of my parents were school psychologists and I loved the idea of impacting people's lives by getting involved and offering pathways to healing. So I was set on this path from the beginning. In fact, there was only 1 other thing I wanted to be in life and that was in middle school when I desperately wanted to be an astronaut. This was due, in no small part, to my obsession with Star Trek: The Next Generation. I took a career aptitude test and intentionally tried my best to answer the questions honestly but specifically answered any of the "science-y" questions in a way that I thought would lead to a career path of being an astronaut. And the results came back saying "you should consider a career in the helping professions... consider being a counselor." I think very few people are fortunate enough to know what they want to do and then be able to do it so I didn't want to squander what the universe seemed to be telling me. As far as doing trauma work, I also knew at an early age that there are horrible things that can happen in the world. And that these things can happen to anyone. And I knew I wanted to help. I saw and experienced trauma as a child and I also lived with others who had been traumatized and knew how trauma can impact a system, not just an individual. I knew I wanted to help even before I had the language to put to those experiences. And yet, there's no way I could continue to do this work if there weren't treatments that help. I keep going because of the resilience of people and communities - I am in awe of how much people can accomplish when given support and skills and I am so grateful to be able to help in any way. Jess MacIntyre: As an undergraduate, I took a senior seminar with Dr. Sandra Bem called “Trauma and Treatment.” Dr. Bem was a phenomenal professor and it was impossible to leave that class without thorough recognition of the impact and prevalence of trauma, as well as an enduring appreciation for the resilience and adaptation that humans can show in the face of unthinkable circumstances. While I don’t love that trauma happens to people, I do love helping people to understand the impact of trauma and helping them to make positive changes in their lives. I particularly enjoy trauma work because I get to watch individuals who have suffered, sometimes for decades, make huge improvements in their life that they never thought were possible. I can’t imagine a better thing to get to do every day! Lisa Carlin: I started volunteering in college with a domestic violence hotline and safe house, which allowed me to learn more about how empowerment, education, and support can be a route towards fighting injustice and promoting healing from trauma.  I then worked for several years as a victim advocate at a rape crisis center, and saw the impact of the worst of humanity while also bearing witness to survivors with more resilience than I knew was possible.  Being able to sit with someone and bear witness to their pain, while also working with them towards empowerment to live the life they live, is incredibly rewarding. The relationships I've formed with clients, colleagues, and in advocacy work keeps me connected to the strength and courage of humans while also fighting for a more just world. You have a solo private practice, why form a group practice? Jess MacIntyre: I love the freedom and flexibility of private practice, but there are certain things that I really miss while working on my own. As I often tell clients, I don’t believe we can have  “too much support.” A group practice provides support for me as a clinician and allows each of us to be even better for our clients. Plus, I adore my co-founders and think the world of them so it’s pretty great to be able to spend more time together in an “official” capacity. Lisa Carlin: Everything is more meaningful (and in my experience more effective) when it's done in community with others!  I always knew that I wanted to form a group practice; to be exposed to a diversity of ideas and experiences allows me opportunity for growth, and greater ability to facilitate growth for others. I'm grateful to our founding (and soon to be growing!) TREC DC community for the support to continue to learn and grow! Lea Didion: Almost all of my training and work experience has been with the Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense. I have loved being part of a large medical organization and being able to collaborate on patient care. One of the things that kept me from exploring private practice in the past was not wanting to lose my connection to teams that I've worked with in the past. Starting a group private practice has been a logical step in being able to practice with freedom and still remain connected to a support network. Also, I have a tendency to want to be involved with and do everything. And since I'm human I'm learning this is impossible. My TREC DC colleagues are amazing people with a wide range of interests and I'm so thrilled to be able to rely on them to do projects that I can't and vice versa. Together I think we've created an amazing practice and we will be able to expand in ways I couldn't as a solo practitioner. We'll end with words from Jess MacIntyre that we think sum up our mission of TREC DC well: We do this because we actually care. Each of us has been successful in our own careers and we have plenty of things to keep us busy each day. We decided to create TREC because we all feel so strongly about providing trauma services to more people in our community and contributing to larger, meaningful change. Thanks for taking the time to learn more about us!  Please subscribe to our website to get monthly updates, and/or to our social media for more frequent sharing of updates, education, resources, and support! Sign up for website:

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