Stacie Freudenberg is Bright Future Foundation’s doctoral intern as part of the Colorado Psychology Internship Consortium (CO-PIC). CO-PIC is part of an effort to meet the needs of rural and underserved populations. Freudenberg is with Bright Future until August 2017 and provides trauma-informed consulting to clients.
Freudenberg is excited for the opportunity to work in Eagle County. She has designs to better serve the community’s mental health needs, including the needs of local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth. LGBTQ youth in rural areas often feel isolated and unsupported, which can lead them towards online social communities, placing them at high risk for encountering online predators.
“To decrease their feelings of social isolation, I hope to help increase social support for LGBTQ youth in the area and provide sensitivity trainings for professional who work with youth,” said Freudenberg. “I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate and provide trauma-informed consulting to other social service agencies in the Eagle County area. Multi-disciplinary collaboration and connection is imperative to community health and healing. The opportunity to offer counseling in this area has allowed me to actualize this goal for LGBTQ youth.”
Freudenberg originally was a photojournalist working with the Associated Press and Chicago Tribune. However, growing up in a household where her father is a psychologist sparked a curiosity in psychology. Freudenberg eventually made the career switch and decided to earn her doctorate.
“People always ask me why I made such a huge career change, but really I see my role in the mental health field as an extension of my photojournalism career,” said Freudenberg. “As a photojournalist I worked in disaster and war zones on the front lines of trauma, working to create change and awareness at a global level. Now, my focus as a psychologist-in-training is to help survivors heal from trauma at the individual level.”
Freudenberg regularly experiences the rewards of offering therapy, particularly with children.
“I am continuously humbled when people feel safe, allowing me to sit in solidarity with them through their most difficult times,” said Freudenberg. “One of my passions is working with children and seeing them develop trust and flourish through the therapeutic process is part of what makes this career so fulfilling to me. Often, kids need someone to believe in them and support them, and I’m honored to be that person in their life when they let me.”