Like most therapists, Lindsay Scarpate, LMFT works to help her clients live fuller lives and maintain healthy relationships. But Lindsay’s clients are dealing with a specific barrier to those goals: chronic illness or chronic pain. She works with medical doctors to help their patients thrive.
After completing her Master’s degree from Valdosta State University in Georgia (where she also earned her Bachelor’s degree), Lindsay went on to get a certification in Primary Care Behavioral Health because she found the topic of chronic illness fascinating. With several members of her own family struggling with health issues, the topic was also close to her heart.
Lindsay started her career working with adolescents in a community mental health clinic. This population of teenagers had diabetes or other serious medical conditions. She also coordinated care for the 300 children at the clinic, making sure they each had all the help, support and resources they needed.
“The thing about chronic pain or illness, is that it doesn’t just impact you and your body,” Lindsay explains, “It actually affects your relationships with your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends. It affects your perception of yourself. It may alter your goals. It affects your job and your finances. A lot of patients are dealing with the stress, depression and anxiety that comes from that. Some of them are dealing with PTSD-like symptoms because their injury is the result of an accident. The changes in their mood impacts marriages deeply. The dynamics have changed and they need a little help navigating new roles and new boundaries with their partner.”
Presently, Lindsay works at a spinal and musculoskeletal institute, collaborating with an anesthesiologist pain management doctor and a podiatrist to ensure that their clients have their mental health needs addressed. She conducts a lot of in-room intervention, as well as one-on-one therapy sessions with those who want and need it. Utilizing a variety of theoretical interventions and techniques like narrative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment Therapy and solution-focused therapy, Lindsay helps patients deal with their circumstances while they get help with pain management.
“I feel honored to have the opportunity to affect change in someone’s life,” Lindsay says. “Someone comes to you because they need help and even though I can’t fix all their problems, I love just being one small piece of their story. And I love watching people as they progress. It’s wonderful to be a part of that.”
Lindsay counts herself fortunate in terms of supervision. She had two excellent supervisors; her first, who she met while working in community mental health, is still a source of wisdom and feedback when needed. And Lindsay calls her second supervisor “a marriage and family therapy Yoda” because everything she said “was just mind-blowing.”
With two mentors like that, Lindsay is committed to paying it forward.
“The number one thing I think about when I think about supervision is collaboration,” Lindsay says. “And collaboration in a way that is most beneficial to the supervisee. I am a huge fan of teamwork and I always think two brains work better than one. When I go into session with my supervisees I don’t think of myself as having ‘one up on them.’ Barring legal or ethical matters, I see everything as a collaborative relationship where we come up with ideas and look at different ways to think about something.”
She also always keeps in mind the dreaded imposter system that hits during the early days as a therapist.
“You leave grad school with a lot of confidence but soon you’re saying to yourself, ‘What am I doing? Am I qualified for this?’” says Lindsay. “I’m six years in and I still question myself at times. Having someone you can talk about that with is really helpful and that’s part of what supervision is for.”
She combats the imposter syndrome with confidence building. She also makes sure to continue to build up their toolbox by passing along articles and webinars from the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association and from the University of Massachusetts Primary Care Behavioral Health program.
Currently, Lindsay is providing supervision for a therapist also working in a medical setting in a different part of Georgia. She recognizes how hard it can be to find someone with these specific credentials and experience. In fact, Lindsay is the only therapist in her town doing integrative health care and her supervisee knows of very few in his region.
“I really wasn’t sure when we started how I was going to like it,” she admits, referring to the concept of supervision through video conference. “But I really like it. I like the flexibility and freedom – for myself and the supervisee. Sometimes I’m at work, sometimes I’m at home. I do check in with him from time to time, asking ‘Is this still working well for you? Are you getting what you need?’ Overall, it has been great. Motivo is a great platform.”
We’d love to introduce you to Lindsay through a free, 30-minute video call. Click here to let us know if you’re interested in connecting with her or one of our Motivo team members.
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