Since Robyn Wendell has been with us the longest, we decided she would be a great place to begin. I sent Robyn several questions and asked her to answer a few of them. First a little more about Robyn:
Originally from Chicago, Robyn attended Stanford University and University of Texas where she completed her LCSW. She has been in Austin since 2000 and enjoys curling up with a good book, solving logic and jigsaw puzzles, yoga, exploring the outdoors, and traveling and spending time with her husband and daughter.
How did you choose to go into therapy?
My path to therapy was not so much a single decision on a particular day as it was a realization that many of the things I enjoyed and chose to do in my spare time were related to working with and counseling others.
Looking back, I starting counseling others as a teenager. Once in college at Stanford, that need to help others grew stronger and I chose to volunteer at our student Sexual Health Peer Resource Center. Later, I became a Resident Assistant in the dorms as a way to help other students and give back to the school. Even in my first job out of college, my team asked me to be one of the employees to help everyone else cope with the uncertainty around us as layoffs and corporate downsizing started happening. It was after leaving that job and starting to work with social workers at the statewide abuse and neglect hotline, that I finally acknowledged that I wanted to spend my life helping others through counseling.
I went to graduate school at UT to obtain a Master of Science in Social Work and worked in many settings over the following ten or so years. Last year, I chose to shift my focus and go into private practice. I saw private practice as a way to have greater control and flexibility over how I provided care for my clients. It is a wonderful privilege and awesome responsibility to now be the person making the choices and policy decisions on how to structure my practice, but I truly believe it allows me to be the best therapist I can be to my clients.
What is something that may surprise us to know? / If you were in a different profession, what would you choose and why?
I started out in college as an Electrical Engineering and Psychology double major. If I were to choose a different profession, it would likely be in the technology sector. Before starting my private practice, I contemplated enrolling in a coding bootcamp to learn software programming and web design. Also, I am a fan of sports cars. As a child, I wanted to be a race car driver by day and an emergency veterinarian by night.
If you could go anywhere, where and why?
I would love to visit Australia, New Zealand, and some of the Polynesian Islands. The photographs have always looked amazing.
What is your ultimate comfort food?
Mango with sticky rice!
Robyn specializes in:
Adjustment to changes in health and/or ability
- Coping with life's transitions
- Issues related to aging
- Caregiver burnout
- Work-life balance
- Family conflict over care decisions
- Grief and loss