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Meet Wanda Lipson of Perspective Growth in Millis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wanda Lipson.

Wanda, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Watching the ants march along the cracks of a South Bronx sidewalk, my 4 year old self already had a penchant for tuning into the small, magical moments of life. As a survivor of traumas associated with poverty, being raised by parents with untreated mental health struggles, and the experiences of being the daughter of first generation immigrants, the ability for me to tune in to what was going on within and remaining hopeful and connected to the majesty of creation and nature, was key to my own healing and career path.

The journey of being identified as gifted and talented within the South Bronx public school system, struggling to fit into the shiny world of the Upper East Side as a scholarship student at a prestigious high school, and finding my roots in career and personal life at Trinity College and Simmons Graduate School of Social Work, lent itself to many lessons. The teachings that resonated most were always ones that highlighted the importance of love, compassion and connection through the ability to tune in.

As I sat in the Dean of Student’s office in front of my assigned therapist every week my junior year of college, grappling with the reality that I still carried so much pain from the past, slowly but surely gaining a new kind of strength through validation in the compassionate eyes of another, my own career path became clear. I knew I needed to pay it forward.

24 years later, I still am. Each client I see, each word I use, each smile and warm eye contact I share, is an authentic testament to how I have come to be who I am with the assistance of the beauty, peace, harmony, and love presented to me along the way; as well and my willingness to observe and tune into and accept them. I bring this into my work with clients every day.

My practice has grown exponentially in the last year, and I am thankful everyday I am able to sit with someone and validate where they have been, where they are, and where they want to go.

Has it been a smooth road?
Balancing family life and being fully present for my children and husband, close friends and family have been the biggest struggle during my most recent adventure of starting my private practice. I told myself by the time I was 40 I would jump into my vision as a private practitioner, and holding on to the vision while tuning into the need for balancing my life pace has been an incredibly rewarding skills building exercise!

I was diagnosed with a genetic defect contributing to a metabolic disorder which can make it difficult for me to keep a high paced lifestyle, if I am not careful about how I nourish my body and sense of peace. I have an abundance of ideas and have a dynamic approach to my work, so it was humbling to be told by my body to find another way to be successful, weaving in the pleasures and necessity of letting go, and replenishing.

I often connect with my clients over the interplay between mind, body and environment, and how harmony between them is greatly affected by our choices about ourselves and our environment.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Perspective Growth story. Tell us more about the business.
Compassion while building skills through insight, as well as experiencing the therapeutic relationship is at the heart of my practice. I specialize in Trauma, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mandala Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Women’s Issues, Eating Disorders, Expressive/Art Therapy, Chronic Illness, Borderline Personality Disorder, Mindfulness, Complex PTSD, Teens. Anxiety, and Depression. I’m known for my effective Integrative Approach to Dialectical Behavioral therapy, Environmental Conscientiousness, and Women’s, Teen’s, and Dialectical Behavioral Groups.

I am most proud of my commitment to providing high quality service despite the array of financial burdens some of my clients face. I have made a philosophical decision not to utilize insurance companies for reimbursement of mental health services, and have devised a program for clients to be able to access services regardless of their financial situation.

People often say that they feel cared for and heard when they work with me; I hear statements like “you are so real” and ” I feel like we could be friends”. I believe this sets me apart, and allows for clients to engage in a therapeutic workspace, that, although I often refer to as a “laboratory”, does not feel like one. I believe this is a result of my willingness to draw upon my own struggles and successes as a catalyst for the work of validation and healing.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I believe clinical social work has an important role in reaching out and responding to the community’s needs. I can see our profession positively impacting society in a variety of ways through several forms of media.

Within the last year, I have expanded into expert consulting for the literary as well as film industry to help develop characters they have written who have mental health and wellness struggles. I am currently working with a Sundance Film applicant located in New York City, and last fall had the pleasure of doing a short series of workshops for a group of published authors in Rhode Island.

I am currently writing a book which serves to integrate skills in a narrative journey of empowerment. Members of my Women’s Group have agreed to be featured in my book, which I am honored and thrilled about!

The ability to offer my expertise and warmth through consultation to other avenues of what touches the community at large is an important goal.

As a representative of my industry, my hope is to offer expert consultation as well as create opportunities to pave the way toward providing probono services as part of my commitment to always be paying it forward.

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