Alumni Reflections on 2020: Marika Dillard (’13)

Marika' DIllard ('13) head shot

Marika’ Dillard (’13)

Marika’ is a Mental Health Therapist at Catawba Mental Health & Stepping Stones, LLC in Charlotte, NC.

What has been most difficult for you throughout this past year?

As a mental health therapist, the most difficult aspect has been adapting to tele-health requirements and regulations while still providing the best services for clients. Throughout this experience, I realized that every client has their individuals needs and feelings that should be acknowledged. Everyone adapts to change differently and a global pandemic impacts the individual in all facets emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I had to navigate my experiences in conjunction with the experiences of those around me. Self-care and caring for others can co-exist, but it does take boundaries to ensure that everyone remains healthy and stable.

What has been the most positive aspect of this past year for you, personally and/or professionally?

The most positive aspect has been my spiritual growth throughout this season and learning how to rely on my faith, during times of uncertainty. Praying more and reflecting on my needs have made me recognize areas of improvement and growth. Professionally, I have learned to advocate for my needs as well as the needs of the client. Setting boundaries and recognizing your limitations also helps you to ensure that your clients are in a good headspace. You can’t be effective if you aren’t taking time to care for yourself as well.

How have you grown, changed, and developed throughout 2020?

I have grown spiritually and personally. I am advocating more for myself in regards to making sure that I am 100% well, so that I can be there for others.

What lessons from 2020 will you take with you into the year(s) ahead?

I will continue to set boundaries and recognize my limits, so that I can continue advocating for the mental health of others.