Madeline Hodgman, MSSA, LSW
Contributions: How to Help Clients with Queer Impostor Syndrome
Identities: queer, bisexual, cisgender, woman, femme
Language(s) Spoken: English
Get to know me:
I am a bisexual femme social worker living in the Midwest on Erie and Mississauga land with my partner, dog, cat, and many plants. I love cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, and other DIY-making projects. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about sustainability, and have been making my own homemade alternatives to reduce the single-use plastic and paper product usage in our house.
What does affirmative psychotherapy mean to me?
Affirmative psychotherapy acknowledges the systems that compound the issues our clients are facing: racism, sexism, heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and more. Affirmative psychotherapists believe that our clients are resilient and capable of helping themselves, rather than instructing them or viewing the relationship as charity. We seek to remove barriers for clients to obtain what they need, and assist clients in finding their path.
What populations do I work with? What is my level of expertise (friendly, knowledgeable, expert) for each of those populations?
I work in integrated mental health in primary care in a family medicine practice. While my patient population is diverse, I consider myself highly knowledgeable as a queer clinician practicing with LGBTQIA+ patients.
What is my approach to healing?
I think of working with clients like making a series of combined agreements together — we both commit to showing up at a certain time, in a certain way, and seek to understand your situation a little more each time. I conceptualize cases using a bioecological systems model, looking at a client’s support network, the systems they are a part of, and other influences in their larger environment that might have an impact on their current situation. I am committed to anti-racism and value intersectionality in my work. I came to social work through student activism, and the desire to advocate for change has persisted as a therapist: I want to help my clients, and tear down the system that has harmed them. I use a trauma-informed approach, prioritize clients’ choice and individuality as much as possible, and am transparent about my thought process. I use humor and irreverence with clients to establish a shared language and build rapport — some of my favorite pop culture recommendations have come from clients I have worked with.
What issues am I most skilled at addressing as a mental health professional?
I have the most experience treating clients with mood disorders, but have worked with populations with a variety of conditions, including schizophrenia spectrum disorders, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, and more. I have previous work experience with people living with HIV, as an employer assistance program (EAP) counselor, and in dual diagnosis substance use/mental health treatment. I love group therapy and hope to get back to it someday.
EDUCATION & LICENSE
Education: Master’s of Science in Social Administration (MSSA)
Years in Practice: 3
School: Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University
Year Graduated: 2019
License # and State: Ohio, License # S.1903680