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Thursday, June 22, 2023

Three Questions with Dr. William Healey, Licensed Clinician at Catholic Charities Boston’s Family Counseling and Guidance Center

From providing play therapy to encouraging a child struggling to express their emotions to offering telehealth for young parents unable to afford transportation into Boston, the staff at Catholic Charities Boston’s Family Counseling and Guidance Center are skilled at accommodating their clients’ unique needs. They work tirelessly to ensure that everyone has access to quality mental health services, regardless of their age, background, or socioeconomic status.

Dr. William J. Healey, a psychotherapist at the Family Counseling and Guidance Center Labouré location in South Boston, has been working at the Agency for over eight years, in addition to teaching philosophy at Framingham State University. In both roles, he is driven by a passion for helping people to grow and live meaningful lives. We spoke with Dr. Healey about the Family Counseling and Guidance Center’s model and how it is making a difference.

On What Makes the Mental Health Services Provided by the Center So Impactful:

The Center’s main priority is not simply seeing as many clients as possible but rather truly providing quality services to each client we meet with by offering them our time and undivided attention and accommodating our approach to meet their needs. If I have a young client that I meet with once a week for an hour, I may also try to talk to the family once a week for an hour as well and offer them additional resources and services. It’s about building strong relationships with the clients we meet and ensuring they have access to all of the resources we have to offer. The goal is, on some level, to provide effective enough treatment that at some point people are in a better place and can leave the Center and become self-sufficient.

How Staff Ensures That Counseling Clients are Receiving Quality Care:

One of the ways we do so is by participating in peer supervision as a group. It is not required by the Agency, but we have done it ever since I’ve been here, in which one of us presents a case and the rest of the clinicians offer insights and feedback to them. I think it is something that should be done everywhere because the only way you grow as a therapist is by learning from others who are also in the field. We also participate in many workshops and group training courses throughout the year that the Agency secures funding for, and those are very helpful as well.

What He Finds Most Meaningful about Working as a Psychotherapist:

The thing I value most about my job is that I actually get to meet with clients directly and form genuine connections with them every day. I worked at various juvenile detention facilities in Massachusetts before coming to Catholic Charities, and I worked with some great people at those programs, but in those systems, it was very uncommon to do any therapy because it was primarily based on responding to emergencies. It sounds strange but what I love most about working at the Labouré Center is just getting to do something I’m passionate about and what I went to school for. It feels great to be able to help people firsthand.

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