Story by Sincere Harris, Class of 2019
Just before the 2017-2018 school year began, BRYC brought on some new helping hands for its Fellows. BRYC introduced free group and individual counseling services to all Fellows. Licensed Clinical Social Worker Vanessa Egerton and Master’s in School and Mental Health Counseling Candidate Bree Quinn are providing these services at BRYC. I sat down with Egerton for an in-depth interview about BRYC’s newly-offered mental health services.
What is the most rewarding thing that comes from being a licensed clinical social worker?
“Moments like this. I genuinely enjoy working with young people. I think there are times when it’s really hard, and you hear stories that you feel helpless to change. A lot of you, because you’re young people, can’t change your living circumstances. I sometimes feel like I can’t do anything, but then I also have moments where I’m able to get a peek at what the future holds for this person. So, being able to not just experience the sad, the stressful, the anxious, and the negative feelings of life with other people but also the positive experiences as well.”
Do you feel like you’ve impacted some of the Fellows who come to you?
“I would like to think so, but you don’t know until further down the road. There are moments when I feel like, ‘I feel really good about this session.’ Ultimately it is about learning skills that you can apply when you’re facing difficulties in the future. Then there’s other times where I don’t know if I was helpful enough or impactful, but then down the road you might hear a Fellow or advisor say, ‘Oh yeah. So and so said they really enjoy meeting with you,’ or ‘They’ve been applying those skills that y’all worked on.’ So in those moments, I know that I’m making a difference or being helpful in some way.”
What’s the difference between individual and group therapy?
“In group therapy, you will usually be with three to five other Fellows addressing the same topics. You’re offering support, sharing similar experiences, receiving skills, and interacting with other Fellows who are dealing with similar challenges. In one-on-one or individual therapy, it’s just you and the therapist or counselor addressing the concerns you have. It’s a little more intimate when its one-on-one.”
BRYC Fellows have similarly favorable opinions of the new mental health services being offered. One Fellow said, “I feel that BRYC did everyone a favor when they got a social worker. Ms. Vanessa makes it so easy to talk to her. She is always welcoming and has a warm smile on her face. I feel like I can talk to her about anything, and her feedback is so real.”
BRYC Fellows interested in making group or individual counseling appointments should visit thebryc.org/fellows.