ALAMFT Member Spotlight

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Name/Title: Sarah Bradley, MS, LMFT

Work Setting: Owner, Bradley Family Therapy, LLC (private practice)                                   

Length of time: 3 1/2 years

Education: Auburn University

B.S. Human Development and Family Studies
M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy

  • How did you come into the field of MFT?

          During my undergraduate years, I was walking with several friends and loved ones through difficult situations that were made worse by the families’ lack of ability to cope with challenges in a healthy way. I was so frustrated that the choices made by the parents had so negatively impacted the children, and I kept thinking “Someone should have been there! Someone should have helped these families through these issues!” I realized shortly thereafter that I could be that “someone” for somebody else. I discovered the field of marriage and family therapy not long after, and the integration of systemic thought into the addressing of issues within the individual and family was exactly what I was seeking.

  • What do you like most about your job?

          The moment that a client realizes that they can make a difference in their own lives and chooses to do so. I get excited right along with them when they notice that their own actions have improved their situation! I approach every client with hope, and watching that hope dawn within each person is a truly humbling experience for me.

  • Do you have a crucial career lesson you have learned so far?

          Take care of yourself. Be aware of your own flaws and limitations. When I prioritize my health and that of my family, my clients benefit from a therapist who is healthy and fully functional. Being aware of my flaws allows me to address them as best as I can, in a timely way, so that they do not negatively impact my clients. Knowing my limitations allows me to avoid burnout and maintain balance.

  • Is there someone special who inspires you & why?

           My grandmother, who passed away from cancer a few years ago. She was brave, bold, and loving. She was very proactive in her service to others, solid in her faith, and unafraid to confront or to be confronted. Her effortless love of others is something I strive toward and do my best to emulate.

  • We know clinicians need to take care of themselves before caring for others - share with us one important self-care tip.

           Take breathing breaks! They do not have to be longer than 5 minutes, but sprinkle them throughout the day as needed. Listen to an audiobook or music, walk outside, breathe deeply - anything that soothes you and enhances your sense of calm. I find that this enables me to stay fresher throughout the day, so that I do not end my day feeling worn. My clients appreciate this, and so does my family!

  • Is there something you want to achieve in the duration of your career?

         I deeply value the systemic aspect of our profession and feel that it has so many practical applications for our families and communities. I also very much enjoy teaching. I would love to help establish resources and workshops in my locale for schools, churches, and community groups seeking to enhance the relational health of their members.