Rita at work at Hood Famous Bakeshop

Embracing Useful Tools Rita Is a Sound Success Story

“Before Sound came into my life I didn’t know that this type of treatment was even available!” Sound Client, Rita exclaims.

Prior to Sound, Rita received services from a behavioral health provider in Oregon before moving to the Seattle area. She worked with Nicholas Michiels and Scott Waite at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation who referred her to Soundworks for employment services. Her primary care provider referred her to Sound for services in 2016.

As a single parent working to finish her bachelor’s degree, Rita became overwhelmed with legal issues associated with divorce and child custody. In addition, after a head injury suffered during an automobile collision, Rita was directed by her human resource supervisor to provide a Doctor’s note to continue employment. She was unable to comply at that time and resigned her position. Once she did see a primary care physician, she received a referral to follow up with a mental health provider, which brought her to Sound.

At Sound, Rita found the services and behavioral healthcare resources she needed, receiving both individual and group therapy, which have empowered her with tools that she now employs to help her regulate her symptoms. She participated in anger management, grief and loss counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and trauma management. The work was demanding but it started to pay dividends.

“It was some of the most difficult therapy I ever faced,” Rita discloses. “I put my effort in and it started to work.”

Rita then worked with Jennifer Teehan, Sound Supported Employment Program Vocational Specialist, who provided occupational guidance.

“Rita has made a ton of progress,” Teehan declares. “Rita now manages the stressors that come up in life much more effectively. For Rita, the team at Sound has been hugely impactful, and it’s been inspiring to see that the support she has received has made a difference.”

Rita and Teehan started with a Community Based Assessment with The Pastry Project, a baking training program in Pioneer Square, for people with barriers. This allowed them to try out various roles in a bakery environment. Through this process, Teehan and Rita noted strengths, weaknesses and preferences and Rita was able to validate her goal of working in a bakery. She then helped Rita find suitable employment that she could perform well and sustain.

Rita found employment at Hood Famous Bakeshop and has been enjoying the work. The location is within walking distance of her home, and the immediacy and focus of the job has helped her to stay in the moment. It has been a significant contributing factor to her success.

Teehan has continued working with Rita over the past 18 months and has witnessed Rita master the skills she needed to make improvements in her life. Rita’s trauma symptoms have decreased and she now has a better means to help her manage her symptoms when they do occur.

Rita’s mother has been institutionalized for 48 years. This was a driver for much of the trauma Rita has experienced. Rita is proud of the work she has done to learn the skills she now uses. Rita explains that “reaching out for help has made me feel a sense of connection to my mother.”

“I allowed myself to analyze the pain that I had been living with since childhood,” Rita expounds. “I made the determination to follow through and adopt the useful tools I learned, and I’m so happy that I’ve been able to do that.”

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