Addressing Trauma as a Clinical Social Worker
Chantel Windy, MSW ’20
With a family and a full-time job in Michigan as an elder advocate serving older victims of abuse, Chantel Windy knew she couldn’t relocate for graduate school and needed to find an MSW program that would allow her to balance school, work and life. She found it in the MSW@Denver online program and will graduate in March 2020.
The two year-long field internships in her own community were the most valuable part of her education, Windy says, helping her to experience and discover a passion for clinical mental health work. In one internship, she provided individual and group therapy to formerly incarcerated individuals who were struggling with substance use disorder. In her second internship, she provided group and individual therapy for people recovering from traumatic brain injuries. “These experiences helped me to see different facets of mental health and learn hands-on how to help people,” says Windy, who plans to shift her career focus to counseling after graduation, with a focus on trauma.
Although she came to MSW@Denver looking for flexibility, Windy found friendships as well. “You wouldn’t think you would become close with people you see through a computer screen once a week,” she says, “but you really do make some of the best friends!”
Relationships with faculty were key as well. “Professors understood that we are living busy lives and were understanding when we were sick, or late because of a work emergency, or who just simply let you hold your dog in your lap during class because you had a rough day at work and needed a little peace,” Windy says.
“I am ready to go into the world and offer my services,” she adds. “I am so grateful for the friendships I’ve made, the great professors I’ve had and the knowledge I’ve gained.”