We address the unique cognitive, adjustment, and physical difficulties which can interfere with successful living. See how we successfully worked with some remarkable people to overcome these obstacles.
Hillary has her Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Washington State University and is currently working on her Master's degree in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University. She has worked at MLRA since October of 2016 as a Neurocognitive Specialist. Before MLRA, she was employed as a Therapeutic Staff Support where she worked with children and adolescents diagnosed with autism and various behavioral disorders. She has also worked as a Domestic Violence Advocate where she provided advocacy and counseling to women and children in a domestic violence shelter and transitional housing program. In her short time with us, many of the individuals that she works with have sung her praises. Hillary jumped right in and was quickly recognized as someone who truly understands the essence of what we do here at Main Line. With very strong clinical skills and compassion for others, she is already making a difference!
We asked Hillary few questions to learn more about what makes her so great!
Why I enjoy working at Main Line: As you can see from my previous employment, I love working in the helping professions. My professional goal is to work with people to improve their daily living and quality of life. I love that every client is unique and that every day and every session is different.
How you found Main Line: I was beginning to feel burnt out as a TSS and wanted to make a change. Main Line came up on a job search I did on Zip Recruiter so I applied. It seemed like working with clients with a brain injury would be interesting and just the change I was looking for.
Tips for new staff: Your Clinical Coordinators are an invaluable resource and support as a new employee, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, to get help with session ideas, or even just to vent!
The most positive, influential learning experience: My most positive experience has been working with a wounded veteran. It’s what I was also most nervous about when I first started working at Main Line. I am honored to play a role in helping someone who was injured serving and protecting our country.
The different populations you’ve worked with: Most of the clients I have worked with are middle aged (50’s) who have had a TBI, stroke, or aneurysm. I work with a wounded vet who has a TBI from an IED explosion in Iraq. I also have worked with clients with Autism, including a teenager.
A challenge you’ve overcome during session:
I work with an individual who becomes irritable when she is cognitively and emotionally overwhelmed. It’s hard not to take it personally when this happens but I try to be empathetic to what she is experiencing and stay patient and supportive. If she is resistant to my suggestions, I don’t push. After months of working with this individual, I am now able to determine (mostly) when to give her space to work through her frustration and when she may be receptive to other ideas. This has really helped us to have productive and meaningful sessions.
An example of a time you saw your work really making a difference: I work with a client who is learning to use an Amazon Echo device (Alexa) as a compensatory strategy for several areas of functioning. He now adds doctor’s appointments without cueing and has begun to ask Alexa what is on his to-do list. There has been a huge increase in his independence with planning and organizing, especially with his kids!
Any goals for the future: My goal is to obtain my Master’s in Professional Counseling, and I would love to tie that in with working with brain injury rehabilitation.
Favorite things to do during free time: I love reading psychological and legal thrillers and historical fiction, playing the piano, crocheting, and spending family time with my husband and four children (daughter 17, son 14, and 9-year-old identical twin girls).