Often I am asked, “Why do you do this work?” The creation of Modern Path was a response to where I was in my own life. I have identified as “different” for as long as I can remember. I hold authenticity as one of my highest values, along with autonomy, service, passion, and integrity.
Throughout my career, I have seen the entire spectrum of the delivery of behavioral health services. From the front lines of direct care for people affected by addiction and mental illness, to agency leadership positions and then on to administrative oversight in a behavioral health management system, I have seen how individuals are affected by their care providers and the system as a whole. Many years ago, I found myself in a professional position that was toxic (at best) and traumatic (at worst) that still impacts the person I am today. It led to my transition out of direct care as a means of prioritizing my own mental healing and well-being. And while the years that followed working in adminstrative oversight provided me with a wealth of information and countless relationships within the industry, I became uncomfortable with the part I was playing. While working for one of the largest behavioral health insurance companies in the nation, I came to the realization that I had become part of the problem and was not being true to my values.
A culmination of this values misalignment in my career and large scale transitions in my personal life led to my own need for counseling. The search for a therapist (who was not already a friend or colleague) turned up few professionals specifically knowledgeable about people who engage in consensually non-monogamous relationships, power exchange relationships, or body stress rituals. In an area as large as metro Atlanta, where our LGTBGEQ+ population is the 4th largest in the country, how was this possible? If I was struggling to find an affirming (not accepting- there is a difference) therapist, what are others doing?
Modern Path was born out of a need to align my personal values with my skills and abilities as a mental health provider. I am a therapist. I am a trainer. I know how to engage an audience. I have been doing it my entire professional career. My business partner and I began with a vision to reach those who identify as gender, sexuality and relationship structure minorities in a way that was meaningful. We developed a plan to create real, far-reaching change by not only providing direct support to the individual but also educating behavioral health providers on how to serve the needs of the community. We have invested in additional training, consultation and supervision so that I was not working only from life experience but also melding my existing clinical and business skills that I developed over two decades with new skills and information.
Our mission remains to provide quality behavioral health services to individuals who identify as part of a gender, sexuality or relationship structure minority. We have expanded our practice to include other clinicians who identify in ways that are consistent with our mission. We have been fortunate to find a wonderful team of folks, both new and seasoned in the field. Folks who share our vision and willingness to be authentic and remove the power in the therapy room. We commit to doing our best, to continue growing as clinicians, and to serve our community with integrity.
All identities. All genders. All relationships. All people.