Alumni Spotlight: Rebecca Macy, M.A.
As I sit down to write about my experience as a graduate student in the Community Counseling Program at Lewis & Clark over the last two and a half years I am flooded with a multitude of thoughts, memories and emotions. Part of me feels I have had so much information stuffed into my head; another part of me acknowledges I have so much more to learn about counseling and life in general. I came into this program with the idea that I wanted to devote my future career to counseling others. I’m leaving with a stronger purpose. I’m interest in learning as much as I can about myself and others and advocating for those who are less privileged than myself.
I am a “small town girl” from the northern California coast and have had the great opportunity to live in Portland since 2007. I have fallen in love with this city and its surrounding natural beauty. I plan on staying here for a while to pursue a career in counseling. Yet, I think I have always been an adventurer at heart. At some time in the near future, I’D love to move to a different country for a year or two to immerse myself in a different culture. I am interested in discovering how western counseling practices can apply in another country, as well as learning how to serve others in ways different from what we know here in the United States.
I have been very fortunate to have professors at Lewis & Clark who have inspired me to pursue different avenues of counseling. I have been drawn to using creativity in my counseling practice, an idea which began by being asked to create my own therapeutic art in a few of the counseling courses I have taken. I believe everyone is an artist and healing can occur by providing a safe, open space for creative expression. Children naturally communicate through their play and art and many adults can, too. Art, music, and dance are used in many different cultures to promote well-being. In 2010 I joined the Association for Creativity in Counseling, attended the annual conference in Portland, and became a member of the graduate committee co-hosting the event. We were asked to provide two creative interventions of our own; the compilation will be published in the near future, either online or in print form.
I also have written an article on environmentally focused graduate programs in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that will be published in the December/January edition of Ecopsychology, a peer-reviewed journal. I have taken a few of the Ecopsychology courses at Lewis & Clark and am interested in learning more about how to encourage others to reconnect to the natural world. I am intrigued by the idea of sustainability. I want to know what influences people to lead more sustainable lives. I am especially interested in the connection between sustainability and well-being. As I write this, I am preparing to leave for southeast India in a few days to live in an eco-village for three weeks, a study abroad program through the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While I live, study and work in this international community I plan on investigating these questions.
I have made many memories during my time at Lewis & Clark that will stay with me forever: meeting with classmates at Buffalo Gap after Thursday night class, surviving my hour and a half presentation for Theories, hiking a mountain and sleeping under the stars with my wilderness therapy class, leading my first therapeutic group on a hot summer afternoon outside of Rogers Hall, listening to the stories of guest speakers in class and realizing the humanity behind the pain and beauty of their lives, meeting my first client during practicum at Roosevelt High School, and saying goodbye to my clients during my internship at Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare. Many of these memories have led to some important insights I will take with me: never forget to listen, strive to use my privilege to advocate for others, remember the importance of cultural humility, and pursue lifelong learning by always searching to know myself and others better.
Rebecca, Macy, M.A.
Counseling Psychology: Community Counseling