Green House cohort group photo

It’s been nearly eight years since LifeWorks launched the Green House fellowship, a postgraduate clinical training program for mental health clinicians. The Green House is a yearlong, part-time program for clinicians seeking theoretical training and hands-on experience serving LGBTQ+, polyamorous, kinky, and sex worker clients from a psychodynamic and depth-oriented framework. 

I am an alumnx of the Green House and am currently the Programs Manager at LifeWorks where I manage the fellowship that greatly impacted my professional and personal life. I recently caught up with a few fellow alumni to hear about how their experiences in the Green House impacted their journeys. 

What are alumni doing now?

Green House alumni are now working across the country in various settings and fields. Some of us are therapists for individuals, families, and relationship constellations. Others run therapeutic and psychoeducational groups or teach progressive sex education in public schools. Some alumni are intake coordinators in private practice, professors in university psychology departments, school social workers, political activists working to make the mental health field more accessible and liberatory, hands-on somatic bodyworkers, and clinical supervisors. We are troublemakers, mentors, learners, and changemakers. For many of us, the Green House fellowship was pivotal in guiding us to where we are now.

The Curriculum

For some alumni, the content of the Green House’s signature curriculum stands out as a program highlight that still informs the work they do.

“I learned so much more about gender and sexuality, polyamory, kink, and sex work, and how to explore these identities from a depth perspective,” Mariel Gardiner, LCPC (2022 graduate) shared. 

Valerie Hughes, LCPC is a graduate of the 2020 cohort, who shared: “The Green House gave me new avenues to explore my work that I frequently utilize when things feel stuck, slow, or shaky and those routes continue to increase my self-awareness.”

The Value of Lived Experience

Because the Green House invites fellows to bring their inner selves to the learning space, participants often gain a deeper understanding of themselves personally as well as develop their professional identity as a therapist. Sarah Burnette Hemphill, LCSW, is a 2017 graduate. “One of the things the Green House helped me see was that my own real experience [provides] far greater knowledge than some idea of what ‘professionalism’ [is] supposed to look like,” Sarah noted. 

The fellowship supports new clinicians in understanding and navigating the intersections of personal and professional identities, and 2021 graduate Teresa D’Astice, LMFT, notes, “I’ve become more aware and comfortable with my personal identities, which has positively influenced exploration with clients.”

Guidance in a New Career

For some, the Green House fellowship was a steppingstone toward a new career as a therapist. This was the case for Christy Darcangelo, LCSW, who is a 2020 graduate. “The fellowship was not only a portal to a new career, but also to new ways of understanding myself, others, and the world,” she said. Christy’s cohort mate Chris Edwards, LSW, similarly noted how the program supported him as a new clinician. “I participated in the fellowship right at the beginning of my tenure as a new therapist; it was an incredibly important experience that has helped ground me in my work and confront a lot of my fears as a new therapist (and some just as a person, too)! I am thankful to this day for how much this program and these relationships have helped me grow.” 

Several of the alumni remarked that the cohort-based model was central to the support they received during their fellowship and beyond. Many cohorts have maintained and grown their relationships with one another, providing support, consultation, and friendship. Sarah shared, “I am still close with and deeply appreciate so many of the great therapists I met through my time in the Greenhouse.” Christy maintains close contact with her alumni cohort and says, “It has been a lifeline in times of doubt or stress, a fount of celebration and joy in times of triumph, and a reservoir of wisdom.” Of the same fellows, Valerie says “They offer a soft-landing place when things feel hard.”

Bringing together wisdom and offerings from supervisors, full-time staff, external trainers, community groups, and the fellows themselves, the Green House offers growth opportunities that are transformational. “The cohort model, and the supportive community of LifeWorks as a whole, gave me a holding environment to learn, make mistakes, grow, and become a better therapist. Truthfully, I don’t know where my life would be had I not done the Green House fellowship,” Cate Morrow, LMFT, 2021 graduate shares. 

I feel lucky to be in community with these fellow alumni who are doing such important work for our communities and for the larger world. 

Greenhouse Psychotherapy Training Program Logo

Could the Green House be your next professional move?

If you (or someone you know) is interested in the program, please join me for an informational session on Zoom on Saturday, July 22, 2023 from 11-1CT to learn more. The next Green House cohort begins in January 2024, and applications open on our website in August.

Reach out to me directly at for more information or to connect. I look forward to being in community with you!