I joined Rising Hope Counseling in April 2019 as a clinical supervisor and then added the clinical therapist role in August 2020.
Prior to Rising Hope, I was the Coordinated Care Social Worker at Avera Medical Group Gregory for the past 6 years. During my time with Avera, I provided mental health counseling services to those struggling with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, addiction issues, loneliness, suicide and self-harm, job loss, school problems, marital and family discord and many more. In addition to my therapeutic skills, I used my knowledge of resources and networking to help my patients. I used solution focused techniques to foster motivation to change and looking to the person’s strengths to build upon.
Today, I continue to be employed with Avera as a hospice social worker providing emotional support to patients who are at the end of life and their families and caregivers. We talk about what to expect, how to work with anticipatory grief and feel the emotions associated with losing someone you love and care for. I encourage good self-care and how to ask for help to reduce caregiver burnout. The more we give to ourselves, the more we give to others.
Over the course of my career, I’ve gained experience with the Rosebud Indian Health Service, the Human Services Center in Yankton, SD, Lewis and Clark Behavioral Health Services in Yankton, SD and the Department of Social Services in Winner, SD and Mission, SD.
I am a graduate of the University of South Dakota and the University of Iowa where I majored in Social Work. I have been a member of the National Association of Social Workers since 2005 and I am a member of the South Dakota Healthcare Social Work Association. I am licensed as a Certified Social Worker and Private Independent Practitioner in South Dakota and hold a Qualified Mental Health Practitioner certificate.
Since becoming a social worker, the most rewarding part has been hearing my patients say that they didn’t know what kind of help they needed but after having someone to talk to they were able to figure out their situation. I believe in trusting that people are placed in our paths for a reason and as a therapist I strive to be present and an active listener when a person feels like their world is upside down. My approach to counseling is largely inspired by meeting the person where they are at and seeking to understand the pain they feel. Feelings and emotions are part of us and help us identify what we think and do and how to find ways to live our best lives.
In my free time I enjoy walking with my dog in the mornings, meditation, reading, gardening and spending time with my husband and children. As I write this bio, my kids added this, “you listen really good and you smile a lot so you don’t look mad.” Visit our website at risinghope605.com and click on “new client” or call 494-1500 to schedule an appointment. I look forward to hearing from you.Take care, Blair