We are pleased to introduce you to Mars Vallon, MSW, who recently joined LifeWorks Psychotherapy as a therapist.
How did you first learn about LifeWorks?
I initially became aware of LifeWorks because the practice was listed with the Pros Network, an online directory of sex-work informed providers sponsored by SWOP. I made a mental bookmark of this and when I saw that LifeWorks was looking to bring new clinicians on staff, I didn’t hesitate to apply.
What drew you to LifeWorks?
I applied for a position with LifeWorks because of the practice’s focus on identities and experiences that often go overlooked in the therapy world — folks who are navigating non-traditional relationships, who have a history of working in sexualized labor industries, or who’s identities fall under the vast LGBTQIA2S+ umbrella. My own life histories have allowed me to cultivate specialized knowledge regarding many of these experiences — whether they were my own experiences or experiences of others who I hold in community. The alignment of my clinical and personal values with the values of the practice is ultimately what drew me to the practice.
What are you hoping to gain at LifeWorks and how do you imagine it will impact your future?
My choice to accept a position with LifeWorks was rooted in the practice’s investment in the continual education of their therapists. I hope that my time at LifeWorks will help me to nurture my skills as a therapist — particularly in relationship and depth work. Additionally, I am confident that working within a community of clinicians who are coming to this work from different seasons in their lives and who come from different backgrounds can allow me to continue to grow in ways that may not have been possible elsewhere.
In the short amount of time, since you joined the LifeWorks, what has surprised you most and why?
The thing that stands out to me the most about LifeWorks so far is the staff’s ability to have difficult and open conversations — often surrounding race, violence, and disparities in privilege. Staff members have openly acknowledged times where staff members and leadership have been called in and have responded with care. The culture of care, growth, and learning is palpable and is something that I hope to continue to watch unfold during my time with LifeWorks.
Anything else professionally that you are particularly looking forward to this year?
I am in the end stages of training through the EMDR Institute and many of my emerging clinical interests are in somatic and trauma work — which feel so complimentary to the depth approach that LifeWorks takes with clients. I am excited to continue to grow as a therapist and as a person. More than anything, I am excited to be clinically immersed with clients here at LifeWorks.