Acacia Spotlight looks to highlight the clinicians, staff, and programs that make Acacia what it is today. August’s clinician is Camille Carlson, LMFT.
Camille Carlson, LMFT, is a therapist at Acacia Minneapolis, joining the team in 2018, just about 10 months ago. Originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota, Camille Carlson made her way closer to Minneapolis and looked to join a team working with college communities. Despite the cold weather (we just had to put at least one weather reference, it’s Minnesota!), Camille has warmed up the office, quickly becoming an essential member of the team!
I appreciate college students’ energy, gusto, and super awesome desire for change in themselves and in a global sense. I say to at least one client per week, “I just love this generation,” as they give me so much hope with their passion and relentless spirits.
What do you enjoy most about being a clinician?
Camille: I try to remind myself every morning before work what a privilege it is to get to do the work I do. I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to share my clients’ joys, despairs, and everything in between. I truly believe that the most important thing we have is our connection with others, and being a clinician offers me a chance every day to support and facilitate the idea of connection as an agent of both acceptance and change. Beyond our therapeutic goals, my foundational goal of every session is for my client to leave the office feeling more connected with another person than they did when they came in. I love being a therapist the most when this happens.
Why do you enjoy working with college communities?
Camille: College students are at such an awesome time in their lives to be making therapeutic changes. Many are on their own for the first time, and really learning who they are, what they value, and the kind of life they want to live. These are major discoveries and changes to be making in the midst of a highly stressful academic time. I focus on identity and values with many of my clients, and college poses the perfect opportunity to take a look at these aspects of the self as a step in managing any other presenting concerns. They also keep me young! I appreciate college students’ energy, gusto, and super awesome desire for change in themselves and in a global sense. I say to at least one client per week, “I just love this generation,” as they give me so much hope with their passion and relentless spirits.
What college clubs or activities were you (or would you like to be) a part of?
Camille: I was a member of the Psi Chi Psychology Honors Society and Psychology Club in college. I was also involved with the Green Team and helped focus campus efforts on sustainability. I was a gymnast for 16 years until I graduated high school, and would have LOVED to continue on a college club team but my school didn’t have one 🙁
If you could switch places with anybody for a week, who would it be and why?
Camille: Probably one of those people who travels the world taking amazing pictures for a living! I love adventure, traveling, hiking, and exploring, and to be able to capture those experiences in breathtaking photos would be such a joy. Especially if these adventures included waterfalls, I’m a sucker for a good waterfall.
Have you had a moment as a therapist (or even in therapy) that has made significant reflection or discovery in your life?
Camille: I don’t know that this qualifies as a specific moment, but a series of moments over time that has lead to reflection and change. I think one of the most important things my clients have taught me over time is that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. This perspective has changed how I view people in general, from those I know closely and personally, to those I’m just passing on the street. What may look like questionable choices to the unknowing passerby may be a trauma response, a learned behavior, or the only way this person knows to cope. I see “the other side of the story” in my office every day, and have been granted the opportunity to empathize and understand people from a perspective I wouldn’t have outside the therapy room. This has reminded me to stay warm, kind, and as non-judgmental as possible because I know the battles people fight daily, even if I don’t know yours specifically.
Lastly, we asked another therapist, Andrea Deuring, MA, about what she admired most about Camille…
Camille has the best boundary setting skills of anyone I’ve ever met. Ever. When she talks in group consult about setting healthy and helpful limits with clients, I think to myself, “How does she do that so effortlessly?” And the most wonderful part about it is that she’s truly doing what’s best for her clients, while doing what’s best for herself. Damn, girl.
With Camille on the Minneapolis team, we only predict sunny (sorry, one more) days ahead!
Stay tuned for more Acacia Clinician Spotlights! And check out Camille’s bio on the Minneapolis page!
Authored (a lot) by Camille Carlson and (a little) by KorbyQuan Reed.