Steven Weinman, LMFT operates his Savannah practice on this mantra…
“First, we’re here to help carry your burdens, and then we’ll help you leave them behind you.”
It’s this spirit of service that has always motivated Steven. But the counselors at his practice and the many patients who have passed through his office all have a happy accident to thank for leading Steven to his career in therapy.
Steven originally wanted to be a teacher. In high school, he even took a child development class that included working at the on-campus daycare. Entering college, he was gung-ho about becoming an elementary K-3 teacher.
When he needed to take an elective one summer, he was disappointed by the lack of any education-oriented classes available. He chose to take a Systems Theory class, thinking it may be useful in his child development knowledge.
“I totally fell in love with the class and everything the teacher was saying, who was a private practice LMFT,” recalls Steven. “I knew right away that this was my future.”
After meeting with the professor privately, Steven changed his major. Then it was on to graduate school in Rhode Island. He was thankful for his supervisor during his practicum at their on-site clinic.
“She knew exactly how nervous I was,” he recounts. “She understood that I was afraid to screw it up, so she found a way to give feedback that boosted confidence rather than hurt. After my first session, she had me watch the video and told me to count how many times I said ‘um.’ I think I counted over 30 times. She said, ‘The nice thing is that the clients probably didn’t notice. But now you know.’”
Right after graduating, Steven worked full-time at a community mental health clinic that served all of eastern Connecticut. With roughly 30 therapists and a variety of other medical services, Steve got to dive right into a variety of learning opportunities.
“I quickly realized that one of my specialties was working with people on the Autism spectrum,” explains Steven. “My mentor and supervisor was the leader of the newly-formed Autism team and he was instrumental in helping me realize an early niche.”
He notes that experiences with this supervisor were exceptional. “Of all my supervisors, he really paid attention to my self-as-a-therapist and the concerns that I had personally and professionally,” Steven points out.
“If I brought up a case that I was feeling unqualified for, he’d make me do it anyway. He’d say, “That’s what supervision is for.’”
Soon after that, Steven took a job in the rural community of St. Marys, Georgia. The clinic was attached to the hospital, so in addition to providing therapy for families, and for those on the spectrum, Steven worked on-call for the hospital to do evaluations during weekends and evenings.
In 2015, he was able to move to his dream location of Savannah and open his own practice, where he still specializes in Autism, while also focusing on family and couples therapy.
“It was definitely more of a challenge than I expected it to be,” Steven says, of his venture in running a practice. He’s brought on two other therapists, which he also supervises. “I’m now getting into the groove of keeping my schedule as a therapist while still managing everything else.”
Steven is on his final training to become certified by the Gottman Institute, as this certification aligns with his specialty as a clinician of working with couples.
Want to schedule a time to connect with Steven? Click here to schedule an introductory call.
While Steven remembers his first two supervisors with admiration, he didn’t have a fulfilling experience once he moved to Georgia as there was a lack of LMFT supervisors. Instead, he was supervised by an LPC social worker. She was not as familiar with systems theory or the other areas of study that Steven had focused on.
“We wouldn’t butt heads, but I felt like I had to justify why I was doing what I was doing systematically,” explains Steven. “I wasn’t getting challenged by this supervisor. I wanted to try new things, but she encouraged me to ‘stay in my wheelhouse.’ I think all trainees should be challenged and encouraged to grow. And I didn’t feel that.”
Now that he is a supervisor, Steven says his top value is setting his supervisees up for success.
“There’s a lot of different ways to measure success, and I want them to be successful in all of them—clinically, professionally, however it means to them—whether its involvement with professional organizations or getting into education or opening a private practice. I want to help them achieve their goals,” he describes.
He is thrilled about how Motivo can help clinicians find the right supervisor for their circumstances, especially when he remembers his less-than-ideal match when he moved to Georgia.
“In my state, there just aren’t a lot of LMFTs for supervision,” he points out. “Motivo eliminates the ‘can I drive to them?’ as a question. Instead of driving two hours to do a session, they can do it from the convenience of their home or office.”
Think Steven might be the perfect supervisor for you?
We’d love to introduce you to Steven through a free, 30-minute video call. Click here to let us know if you’re interested in connecting with him or one of our Motivo team members.
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