Clinician Spotlight: Jennifer Cardine, MA, MHC

We welcome you back into the world of the Nourish Your Mind Family, where we like you to get to know our team on a deeper level! We love to share that we’re people too, not just therapists. Meet Jennifer Cardine, MA, MHC. Jennifer specializes in working with Children, Adolescents & Families in our Warwick and Middletown locations. Here’s a little bit more about both her therapeutic and personal style.

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

That I can be brave and terrified at the same time. As a parent, a spouse, therapist, friend, sister and human being I have often felt afraid of making mistakes, big or small. I’ve learned that the best way I can face my fear is to stand up, do my best, and when I make mistakes, try again.

From Jennifer:

What is your favorite part about working for Nourish Your Mind?

I really appreciate the supportive environment. It’s great to work with therapists because everyone is so warm and encouraging!

Tell me how you first got involved in with Mental Health. . .

I have always wanted to help people. I spent some time doing mission work in Jamaica and Europe right after high school. During that time I realized that I could help more if I had some training, so I went home and went to college to study behavioral science.

What do you like most about your job?

The individuals and families who I get to work with! It is so rewarding to see my clients grow and change. I am so encouraged by the strength of the human spirit.

What are your hopes for the future of the Mental Health Industry?

I hope to see the stigma of mental health care continue to diminish! I also hope to see mental health care as part of typical, well-care for everyone. In schools I see teachers beginning to incorporate yoga, meditation and mindfulness, I see school counselors coaching children about relationships and feelings and I am optimistic about what this means for the future of mental health care.

How would you describe your therapeutic style? 

I integrate several modalities, but I have strong ties to family systems theory and trust based relational interventions. These theories pose that we are impacted significantly by the families we are in or were part of. Our ability to cope, make connections, and regulate ourselves is significantly impacted by experiences we’ve had. In a family, each member impacts the next. I like to incorporate family members into one another’s treatment, when appropriate and healthy. 

I believe that people are strong, resilient and created for a purpose. My role as a therapist is to help you find who you were meant to be all along.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I have a sister who lives locally who looks a lot like me! Many people mistake us for each other.

Motto or personal mantra?

Change a life and you change the world. I remember reading this somewhere as a child and it has always resonated with me. I believe that the  positive impact we have on another person has a ripple effect.  Similarly, the story of the starfish reminds me that even what might feel like a small difference, is important. The story goes like this: One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…” I made a difference for that one.”

What would you tell someone who is thinking about seeking counseling for the first time?

You are so brave! It takes courage to step into the uncharted waters of ourselves. It takes vulnerability to show up for an appointment with a stranger and begin the process of unpacking your experiences. It’s ok if you feel awkward at first, lots of people do, but it will be worth it. I love the lyric from the Dar Williams song ‘What do you hear in these sounds’ that says: “Oh, how I loved everybody else when I finally got to talk so much about myself.”

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I am usually with my husband and kids. Our kids range from preschool to middle school ages, so they keep me on my toes! We love the water so we gravitate to lakes and water parks and pools whenever we can. One of my favorite things is getting a night out alone with my husband, so we can have an uninterrupted conversation!  

What is the last joke you recall?

Well, I live with middle schoolers so … here we go: What is Mozart doing now? Decomposing. 

Interested in meeting Jennifer in person? Give us a call or text at (845) 547-0479 to begin your journey to find balance!

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