March is National Social Work Month – an opportunity to celebrate and honor social workers and the important work they do. Every day, the nation’s more than 700,000 social workers act as advocates, champions, and leaders who make society a better place to live.
Vicki Senesac is a therapist at Nexus-Indian Oaks Family Healing. Vicki made a mid-life career change, becoming a therapist to live out her goal to make a difference in the lives of young people. In honor of Social Work Month, Vicki shared her thoughts on why she chose this serving profession, and why she’s passionate about coming to work every day.
“A lot of people say that I was crazy when I decided to get my master’s degree and change professions at the age of 55. I gave up a Monday-through-Friday job with a predictable schedule, all holidays off with pay, four weeks of vacation, excellent benefits, a huge sick bank, and a company vehicle. And, I knew I’d be taking a huge reduction in pay.
Therapy seemed like the right track for me because my family and friends come to me when they need an unbiased opinion or someone to vent to, knowing I will listen and not judge. But most of all, I wanted to be “that” person I needed when I was struggling.
I’ve been through more therapy in my lifetime than most and I’ve seen and witnessed the struggles adolescents go through firsthand. I felt that they deserved someone they could openly talk to, someone that I needed when I was their age. If I can make just one difference in someone’s life for the better, it’s a start.
The kids that come to Nexus-Indian Oaks deserve mental health treatment. I currently work with males from ages 14 to 18. Some have sexually problematic behaviors, some are LGBTQIA+, and some are just struggling with emotional and behavioral issues. Nexus-Indian Oaks is often the first place they’ve ever felt safe. These youth deserve to know what unconditional love, care, and concern truly feels like. They need to learn that they are not bad kids and to have hope that things will be okay when they leave us. Most of them have endured horrific trauma – and despite it, are incredibly strong.
If each of my clients can take away at least one thing from our sessions, then I’ve done my job. I’m thankful every day that I was put on this path to try and make a difference for the youth of our future.”
The Social Work Field
Careers in social work and related fields can be extremely trying but can have some of the greatest rewards. Helping an individual find hope, growth, and move forward is life changing – and is one of the many reasons why people choose to go into social work.
This blog article was contributed by Victoria (Vicki) Senesac, Therapist at Nexus-Indian Oaks Family Healing.
Nexus Family Healing is a national nonprofit mental health organization that restores hope for thousands of children and families who come to us for outpatient/community mental health services, foster care and adoption, and residential treatment. For over 45 years, our network of agencies has used innovative, personalized approaches to heal trauma, break cycles of harm, and reshape futures. We believe every child is worth it — and every family matters. Learn more at nexusfamilyhealing.org.