TCA would like to spotlight one of our newest members, Talley Webb. You can read about where she is from and what brought her to the Therapeutic Consulting field in this high-energy interview.
Where are you based?
Based in Marin County, just 15 minutes north of San Francisco, although the surprising benefit of Covid is working with clients scattered across the country.
What do you consider you “home town”/where did you grow up?
I consider Sacramento California my hometown where I grew up, but have spent the last 26 years in the Bay Area.
How did you get into this line of work?
I am trained as a Marriage, and Family Therapist, with a history working with at-risk teenagers. When my son was 16, he began struggling with mental health and substance use challenges, ultimately needing to go to wilderness. As a parent, I first chose a program based on where I thought he would have the most fun… yes, truly the worst selection criteria, which proved to be a waste of time and money. He came home, fell back into the same cycle and needed to return to treatment. This second time, we found an Educational Consultant to help us, and her recommendation made all the difference in the value of the experience for our whole family. His path continued with an RTC and a YA program. Navigating this unknown, emotionally fraught territory was vastly helped by our EC. At that point I realized I wanted to pivot my career to help other families understand treatment options, and find well-matched program placements.
What is your favorite kind of client to work with?
My favorite kind of client is an adolescent or young adult who is invested in their own healing. They may have struggled significantly, but are brave enough to be vulnerable with me and willing to participate in the process. These kiddos tend to have families who are similarly aligned, and willing to work very hard.
And what referral call do you most dread getting?
The calls I most dread are families in significant crisis, with very limited resources or insurance options to support them.They have burned out what little coverage they have in programs that have not sufficiently improved their child’s struggles, leaving them feeling helpless.
Tell me about something that you participated in or that defined you in your high school years that would surprise your colleagues today?
High school… now that is a long reach to the past. One thing that defined me in high school was becoming a choreographer for the annual dance concert performance. I was always an introverted kid, except when I was on stage, teaching and directing dance.
What is your favorite band or musician?
Do you use a paper day planner, smart phone calendar, or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
As for planning, I use a smart phone calendar and still fly by the seat of my pants! Time zone changes continue to bite me.
How do you recharge after a hard day of work?
I recharge after a day of work by a long walk with my Australian Shepherd, Tigger, while listening to an audio book or podcast.
Some consultants are known for their work with a particular profile and have special expertise in that area. If your peers were to specifically think of you to refer certain cases to that they felt ill-equipped to manage, what would that profile be?
I seem to have developed a leaning toward complex mental health and neuro diversity with co-occuring substance use issues. I have had numerous clients experiencing psychosis symptoms along with depression, as well as debilitating anxiety disorders exacerbated by substances. Having a fascination with cases that are not psychologically clear-cut keeps me an active partner on the assessment journey.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
If I had a super power, it would be the power to fly, but with a warm onesie magically enveloping me.