Greater MN Spotlight Interview
We like to include an interview of a Greater MN member and metro-based member in each edition of MAMFT NEWS. Below is the Fall 2018 Greater MN interview of Louise Ferry, PhD, LP, LMFT.
Name: Louise Ferry, PhD, LP, LMFT
BA from University of Minnesota in Morris
MA from Adler Graduate School
PhD from Capella University in Clinical Psychology
Place of employment/What do you do?
I am employed at Stevens Community Medical Center in Morris as a Psychologist as well as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I complete psychological testing as well as evaluations for many outside agencies. I provide psychotherapy to individuals, families, and couples from ages 6 and above. I am also a Board Approved Marriage and Family Therapist Supervisor in Minnesota. Most of my work is in the outpatient provision of services but we are also available for consultation with the emergency room and urgent care at our facility. Collaboration takes place often with medical providers and social service agencies in the area.
I also serve as a core faculty member of the Adler Graduate School in the Twin Cities and teach a number of classes mostly in the online environment as well as serve as a chair and reader of master’s projects. The classes that I teach on a regular basis are Developmental Psychology, Essential Interviewing Skills, Clinical Treatment Planning in Counseling and Psychotherapy, and Comparative Theories, as well as Abnormal Psychology occasionally.
Why do you do what you do? What motivates you?
I enjoy helping others understand why they do what they do and how to make their lives more of a positive experience. I enjoy solving puzzles and find the cooperative experience of doing this with others to be very rewarding. My therapist role also serves to fulfill my enjoyment as a teacher in that I help to educate those also in the therapy office as well as in the academic domain.
How did you get into this field?
Since early in my adult years, I was often approached by others that wanted to talk about their issues in their lives and so I seemed to have the natural listening skills that are so important. I took many other pathways and increased my knowledge through various life experiences before I eventually completed my degrees.
What do you know now that you wish you had known as a beginning therapist?
I was more concerned about what to ask in the beginning and even would create a list before session of what to talk about. I quickly realized that such planning might limit what is important to address the natural process and dance that occurs in session.
How has a client impacted you?
There have been those clients who have experienced extreme losses in their lives and I have learned that I really have nothing to say at those times other than just being with them in their grief. That is something that I realize is also the case in my real life experiences with those who are close to me.
How do you practice self-care and keep balance in life?
I am not a good example for others perhaps although enjoy taking just a few minutes if possible to be outside each day to enjoy nature. Mindfulness in the moment in the outdoors is very refreshing. I also love to travel and play Words with Friends. My brain does not shut off too much and I believe that creating words is a way to keep my neural pathways open and alive.
If you weren’t a therapist what would you do instead?
I had wanted to be a physician early on but did not proceed in that direction early enough in my life. I also have an undergrad major in music and have taught music in the past so I would perhaps be a music teacher.
What are people surprised to learn about you?
That I have 6 children, 10 grandchildren and a great grandson.
What are some of your hobbies:
Words with Friends, crocheting, cooking, travel, being outside.
“Everything can also be different” by Alfred Adler.
Ultimate bucket list item?
River cruise on the Amazon River
What is your involvement with MAMFT and why do you choose to be involved?
I only just became involved and decided that with the changes in the field and in the organizations related to Marriage and Family Therapy, we truly need representatives to ensure our continued professional role in the mental health field. Marriage and Family Therapy is such a different type of service provision that we need to protect the viability in the mental health field. I especially want to ensure that greater Minnesota is also active with the organization and fully represented. Consultation is an important part of our role and increasing the collaborative networks in greater Minnesota is necessary as well as providing additional educational opportunities in order to continue to learn and move forward with the newer research and findings in the field.