We are very happy to introduce Michele Reitsma, MSW. Michele joined the Green House in January of this year. We talked to Michele about their decision to join the Green House and what it means for them.

How did you learn about the Green House?

If I remember correctly,  I originally heard about this program through someone in my graduate program in my final semester of my MSW degree at Loyola.

What drew you to the Green House? 

Green House sounded like a place to further clinical skills in an intensive, intentional environment within a social justice aligned framework, which is important to me. I also liked the idea of being part of a cohort, as I think there is so much to be gleaned from discussion with colleagues. I’m a big believer in truly community-oriented spaces – powerful stuff!

What are you hoping to gain by being in the Green House and how do you imagine it will impact your future?

I hope I come out of this experience more seasoned and knowledgeable. The field of mental health is so discursive and dense that there is no point in which I imagine I will feel a sense of arrival. However, I hope to have a clearer sense of what areas I can best serve others.

In the short amount of time, since you joined the Green House, what has surprised you most and why?

I think what I have been struck by is how cohesive the practice seems, thus far. There seems to be value placed on joy and compassion; two things I also value quite a bit. My mother died unexpectedly shortly after being accepted into the Green House program and I was questioning whether or not I could go forward with my plans to complete the program under such circumstances. It helped to be met with the patience and compassion I needed by those running the program.

Anything else professionally that you are particularly looking forward to this year?

I am very much looking forward to completing education modules, both, in and outside of the program. There are so many great topics to explore!