Matthew M. Nordin, MSW, LSWAIC, MHP
I come to the world of brain science and mental health with a long background in journalism. I got my first job in radio at the age of 16 in my small hometown in Southern Illinois. After college, television journalism then took me all over the country, to Europe, and China. I've appeared on the BBC, CNN, CBS Radio, ABC News Radio, and TV stations across the U.S. My work has been honored with an Edward R. Murrow Award, numerous awards from the Associated Press, and three Emmy nominations, among others.
With 40 on the horizon in a couple of years, I happened to look at the shelves in my home one day and realized I had a lot of psychology books. By this time, I was also concerned about what happened to the victims in our stories after all the camera crews left. Did they recover from the trauma? How? I was also becoming increasingly aware of the toll the profession was taking on my mental health and that of my colleagues'. I was beginning to recognize that there was a lot of undiagnosed PTSD among photojournalists and reporters who are first at the scene of shootings and car crashes --- not to mention those overseas covering wars. In addition, hearing victims' stories day after day can build-up secondary trauma.
I was also facing the reality that local TV news stations in the United States were largely biased against LGBTQ+ journalists. In my case, it seemed the more I went to therapy and became comfortable with my authentic self, the more those in powerful positions became uncomfortable with me. I made a plan to apply for grad school and become a therapist. I wanted to thank those therapists who'd helped me by "paying it forward" with the LGBTQ+ community and learning how to become an effective clinician for those coming out.
But if I was going to become a helper, I didn't want to screw anybody up. I wanted to learn from the best. That led me to enroll at the top-ranked Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where the community was still trying to understand how to move forward after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson when I arrived. It caused most in my cohort to carefully look at ourselves, the findings of blatant racism within the justice system in the area, and to acknowledge that as we serve people of different backgrounds in our careers we must not only be antiracist but culturally humble.
And that is what I try to be with every client, humble. I don't know you as well as you know yourself. I don't know what it's like to walk in your shoes. But once a week, I get to metaphorically walk beside you. As fellow travelers, as master therapist Irvin Yalom would call us, I see us as equals sharing time together and forming a relationship that will be therapeutic for you.
Please use the contact form below, or give me a call, to let me know how I can be of help.