ALAMFT Clinician Spotlight

Name/Title: Caroline Hill, MS, LMFT

Work setting: Private practice at Center For Marriage and Family Therapy

Length of time in practice: 4 years post grad

Education: Auburn University for both undergraduate and graduate studies

How did you come into the field of MFT?
I found the field of MFT after taking the class “patterns of family interaction” during my undergraduate studies at Auburn University. The class spoke to me so personally that I decided to see what opportunities were out there to continue to learn more, and I soaked up all of the knowledge I could on the topic. Thankfully I learned Auburn had a top-notch graduate program in MFT and decided to pursue this as a career mostly out of a desire to continue to learn as much as I could!
What do you like most about your job?
I love experiencing others heal and through such varied, creative outlets. What works for clients is so uniquely different to their individual stories! I find that exhilarating and also healing to my own soul. I enjoy the lightbulb “a-ha” moments and the privilege of being witness to them.
Do you have a crucial career lesson you have learned so far?
Careers are for growing into, not beginning having it all figured out. Mistakes are inherent and often necessary for effective learning. Many a mistake have I made, and many a lesson have I learned. Trial by fire is a great teacher is a great reframe for stress (but also really stressful, and I sincerely hope you are able to avoid it!).
Is there someone who inspires you & why?
Our fearless ALAMFT leader and chair, Sarah Beth Earles, inspires me. I cannot fathom how she has been able to simultaneously wear so many hats in her life - mom to Mallie, wife to William, chair to board, friend to many, and therapist working a full schedule! She does so much behind the scenes to make ALAMFT an organization that works for all of us. And she is so endlessly kind and non-judgemental as a clinician!
We know clinicians need to take care of themselves before caring for others- share with us one important self-care tip. 
GET YOUR OWN THERAPY. “Therapist, heal thyself” is the best wisdom ever handed down to me and has been crucial in my journey of becoming a better clinician. It is especially helpful in understanding the great vulnerability we ask of our clients when they enter our therapy offices. I cried thinking about scheduling my first therapy appointment! Imagine how non-therapists may feel. Also don’t work on Fridays if you can swing it.
What is a piece of advice you have for new clinicians?
Besides get your own therapy, go easy on yourself, and try to show the same compassion for yourself that you hold for clients. You’re not supposed to be a Minuchin or Satir at this point in your career. You’re supposed to be a student and continue to learn from your colleagues and clients, and you’re really supposed to continue doing that throughout your career. Schedule regular consultation with others.
Is there something you want to achieve in the duration of your career?
I would like to become a supervisor and also teach someday. I value being a lifelong student and would love to be able to pass down what I have learned in my own practice. The supervisors in my life have shaped so much about who I am as a clinician, and I see it as the best way I could give back to the field.

An Interview/Reflection from the prior Spotlight Clinician, Shay Robinson:
I had the opportunity to sit down with our current spotlight, Caroline Hill.  Through our engagement, Caroline was warm and welcoming in sharing her journey to becoming a clinician in Marriage and Family Therapy.  She is a very charismatic individual with a lot of humility.  When speaking with her, it was easy to see that marriage, family, relationships, and meaningful connections are very important to her.  Caroline’s personality exudes energy and she has a smile that radiates a room. She is a very kind and compassionate person with a drive to continue to learn and grow in the profession. From speaking with Caroline, I gathered there is no doubt that she has chosen a profession that suits her well and it is evident she was born to be a leader! 
Interested in the Process of Spotlight a Clinician?
Clinicians who are spotlighted get networked with the previous clinician by a Board member.  They then facilitate a short (15-20 minute) conversation around the questions outlined above.  Each clinician has access to a Google Form with the questions before the live conversations so that the interview serves as a fun way to network with a new professional.  Our Student Intern helps with this entire process, so you are not alone! Have additional questions, feel free to reach out!