Meryl Morris, LCSW is one of four therapists to join LifeWorks this year through the Green House, our postgraduate psychotherapy training and mentoring program.
What first drew you to the Greenhouse?
I first became aware of LifeWorks after meeting Rami Henrich and Cindy Trawinski at the 2015 Alternative Sexualities Conference. They invited me to a KPACT seminar and I remember my surprise. I had found a practice that specialized in helping groups of people who for many reasons may have had to keep parts of their lives secret from family, friends, society and even from their therapists. The people and lifestyles that LifeWorks embraces – LGBTQIA, polyamory and non-monogamy, kink and BDSM, trans and genderqueer– included my colleagues, my friends, friends of friends, partners of friends and many acquaintances. I have heard their struggles, I knew my own. Marginalization was not new to me, it had always been a part of my life. I felt a kinship with the population they served.
I am a licensed clinical social worker and have for many years wanted to find my way back to doing therapy and to create a safe space for people to talk about those secret lives and struggles. I knew that I needed a way to hone my therapeutic skills and combine them with all I had learned through my work as a mediator with families for many years. So, I was delighted to find out that LifeWorks had a new program that offered what I had been searching for. I loved the idea of getting the training I needed and collaborating with brave and wonderful therapists who were embracing the idea of creating a sex-positive and life-affirming space for their clients.
Tell us about your goals, challenges and aspirations —-what are you hoping for in 2017 and beyond?
My goals are to integrate all that I can from my training at the Green House with the knowledge I already have to become a therapist that can help make a difference in others’ lives and to use who I am and my own experiences to form my identity as a therapist. I also want to challenge myself to use not only my strengths, but my weaknesses and my life experiences to collaborate with my clients on their journey to self discovery and healing. I am hoping to build a foundation for a private practice serving people who at times feel marginalized for how they relate to society or for who and how they love. I want to participate in creating a safe, inclusive, sex-positive space for people to explore themselves free from judgment and rejection.
What are you most looking forward to in the Green House?
I am looking forward to embracing and being an integral part of LifeWorks’ mission. I am hoping to collaborate and learn with my three colleagues in the Green House and with the therapists at LifeWorks. Expanding my knowledge base and getting to know all of these talented clinicians is very important to me and represents a very important part of my future and growth not only as a therapist, but as a person.