Meet Our Board: Jeremiah Gibson

NEAFAST is a professional organization with a volunteer board of directors. The Board of Directors provides guidance and vision for how NEAFAST meets its goals of supporting quality training and practice of family and systemic therapy. Our board members have a diverse set of professional and personal interests, which contributes to the development of an organization that seeks to systemically address the needs of therapists in Massachusetts. In the initial installment of our series Meet Our Board, we introduce you to the NEAFAST President, Jeremiah Gibson, LMFT.

NEAFAST: How did you get interested in becoming an MFT? 

JG: There are a few answers to this question. The self of therapist answer is that I came by it early; I was the family therapist for my own family as a teenager. I have always had a lot of interest in doing some sort of relationship work, be that in ministry or through couples counseling. Abilene Christian University, where I did my undergrad, has one of the best MFT Masters programs in the nation, so I applied, got in, and absolutely fell in love with the practice and implementation of systems theory. When I moved to Massachusetts in 2010, I realized that there were few people that knew about systems work. My desire to improve the quality of family therapy services for underprivileged folks in our state, combined with my need for community in a new state, contributed to my interest in advocating for the training and implementation of systems theory.

NEAFAST: What is your specialty/additional training? 

JG: I dabble in a lot of different modalities--including narrative therapy, IFS, EFT, multigenerational therapy, existential work (I really like Irving Yalom). I've had a decent amount of training in each of these modalities. In 2016, I began working toward my certification in sex therapy, which I completed in April 2018.

NEAFAST: How did you come to that? 

JG: I really stumbled into sex therapy. I work at the South Shore Family Health Collaborative in Quincy, directed by Stephen Duclos. In 2016, Stephen and Paula Leech co-launched the South Shore Sexual Health Center, which provides all of the educational requirements to be an AASECT-certified sex therapist. Stephen encouraged me to join the first cohort, suggesting that sex therapy would help me focus my career as a couples’ therapist. He was not wrong. The sex therapy training has changed my life in some really notable ways. I'm able to pay better attention to family process through the sex therapy and differentiation lens. I'm much more assertive, both personally and professionally. I'm also able to more effectively manage my own anxiety and self-reflect from a place of curiosity, rather than fear.

NEAFAST: Who is your inspiration or mentor? 

JG: I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of mentors, largely because I've utilized the professional association for the relationships and experience that it has to offer. Nancy Knudsen taught me how to build professional relationships and network--it's been amazing to see how she's built multiple networks of therapists together in various contexts. Howard Wolfe taught me about the practical perspectives of therapy, which has helped me take myself and my career more seriously. Rick Hendricks and Rachel Sachs Riverwood have taught me about how to effectively use my energy to organize a group of people, be that a professional organization or a couple. Joe Winn, my sex therapy supervisor, has provided an excellent blend of empathy and confrontation as I've worked through some really damaging, limiting narratives from my childhood. I'm thankful to him and my colleagues at South Shore Family for helping me grow as a person and therapist. This is quickly turning into an Oscar award speech. So many people to be thankful for.

If you would like to learn more about the work of the NEAFAST Board of Directors, or are interested in joining the board, please email us at [email protected].

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