Get To Know Your Therapist, Darien Hom, ACSW (ACSW 112919)
The JRM&A team welcomes Darien Hom, ACSW, to the team this January. Darien holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Social Work with a specialization in Children, Youth, and Families.
Darien began her career working with youth on the Autism Spectrum between the ages of 13-18. She then went on to volunteer in school-based settings and eventually pursue a career in social work with Child Protective Services (CPS). During her time at CPS, she gained valuable experience working with individuals and families of all ages and backgrounds and with law enforcement.
Darien supports her clients by being an active listener and providing a safe, non-judgmental space. She also places importance on building a trustworthy relationship where clients feel comfortable being themselves. Get to know Darien better and schedule a session with her today!
What made you want to become a therapist?
I sought out my MSW program believing that it would lead to a career in social services. I felt (and still feel) called to working with underserved populations. However, I became passionate about practicing therapy during my time in graduate school at USC, alongside many classmates who were active or retired military. I started my career with Child Protective Services, where I worked hand in hand with law enforcement, and had a glimpse into the traumatic events they experience daily. I realized that what I enjoyed most about the job was the personal relationships formed, specifically with at-risk children and their families, and being able to play a small role in their journey toward a happier and healthier life.
Have you struggled with mental health yourself?
Definitely. I’ve always dealt with anxiety and have been in therapy at different points of my life, beginning when I was five years old. My childhood was very unstable; I witnessed addiction, domestic violence, incarceration, and untreated mental illness. When I think about what it took to overcome the effects of this in my life, I recognize the profound impact therapy had on who I am today, personally and professionally.
What does trauma and post traumatic growth mean to you?
Trauma stems from being exposed to incidents that may be emotionally scarring or life threatening. It’s like an invisible wound that can affect both your mental and physical health. Post traumatic growth means that despite the many traumas one may experience, people are resilient. As you learn the skills necessary to effectively cope with trauma, you can begin to recognize your strengths, establish new goals, and develop a positive outlook on the many possibilities there are for your life.
Which clientele population do you have the most experience working with?
The bulk of my experience is from working with children, teens, and their families. My first clinical experience was working with youth on the Autism Spectrum, ages 13-18. From there, I went on to volunteer in school-based settings, and then began my career in social work with CPS. At CPS I was able to work with individuals and families of all ages and backgrounds.
How do you support clients in their therapy journey?
What’s great about therapy is that it is not one size fits all. Each individual will need support in different areas. I support clients by being an active listener and providing a safe space where they are met without judgment. From there, I make sure that we work on establishing a trustworthy relationship, where they can come to session and be authentically themselves.
What is one unique thing about yourself that you would like your clients to know?
I’m a student pilot! My grandfather is a private pilot and flight instructor, still contracted with the Air Force at 78 years young! Aside from learning to fly, I’ve really enjoyed the time we spend together, and getting to know a different side of him outside of our typical family environment.
In your opinion, what makes JRM&A therapy unique from other clinics?
Throughout my job search, I kept hearing from clinics and practices that were very adamant in their specific methodology or approach to therapy. Upon meeting Joelle and the rest of the team, what I most appreciated was their commitment to meeting folks where they’re at. There is no cookie-cutter method enforced here. This really benefits the client in creating meaningful and lasting change and allows our therapists to keep learning and expanding our skill sets.
What would you say to someone hesitant to use therapy?
Therapy can feel scary and inaccessible to a lot of people. It’s common and perfectly normal to fear change, judgment, and other unknown variables. Even considering therapy is a huge first step. My perspective is that therapy can be what you make of it—everyone has different goals that change and evolve. Give it time and be kind to yourself!
At JRM&A we lead with compassionate, trauma-informed therapeutic models that are personalized and solution-focused to help support our clients’ needs and attain their personal goals.
To schedule an appointment with us, call (650) 386-6753 or visit our website https://joellerabowmaletis.com