To my wonderful Mala community:
As the year comes to a close, I wanted to thank you all for a great year. This time last year, I made the choice to start a new journey that would allow me to better serve the mental health and training needs of my community. I wasn’t sure where it was going to lead me, but I knew deeply that I wanted to bring together a group of individuals who were passionate about supporting the mental health of children and families. I knew that I wanted this group to value high quality care, commitment to ongoing training and growth, compassion and empathy, individual and collective healing, authenticity, and collaborative work.
The group started on January 1 of 2021 with three child and family social work post-graduate fellows, and gradually expanded to clinical and counseling psychology doctoral interns, post-doctoral clinical psychology fellows, undergraduate interns, social-work practicum students, and various supervisors, directors, and managers. The expertise within the group expanded from child and family work to perinatal work, couples therapy, chronic pain and health psychology, LGBTQ+, and substance use treatment. We formed our comprehensive psychological evaluation program to improve diagnostic clarification and help clients receive academic and work accommodations. We became certified in the Safe and Sound protocol, began running groups for kids and teens, brought on our first certified play therapist, and even began to offer private yoga services.
Organically, the group evolved, and collectively we decided to change the name of our group from Raveau Child & Family Psychology to Mala Child & Family Institute. A mala consists of beads strung on a string. Each bead represents one. However, the bead is not alone, but is connected with all the other beads to make a whole strand. As individuals, we may think we are separate, but we’re not. We are connected to each other, to our family, to the world. We are all living beings together and cannot exist without the other.
One of the best parts of this journey has been purchasing a 100+ year old house in Old Village of Plymouth, renovating it, and turning it into the Mala clinic. It was so important to me that we established our roots in a building that felt peaceful, calming, and cozy. The work completed in the house was so special and meaningful to me, and I hope that it will continue to be a safe space for our community for many years to come.
As I reflect on the active ingredients that made all of this work possible, I think about the amount of encouragement I received from my established clients. They believed in me, showed me so much grace, and motivated me to keep going. I also think about my colleagues, friends, and mentors who guided me, prayed for me, supported me, and stayed by my side whenever I needed someone to lean on. Lastly, my husband, Brian, who patiently and lovingly stayed my rock throughout this process, and did most of the behind the scenes work (often late at night after putting our two little ones to bed).
People often say to me, “How do you do all of this?” and my answer every single time is, “I am not doing any of this by myself”. If you are reading this, I hope you know that you are part of the reason my dream turned into reality.
Thank you for trusting us with your own care and/or your child/family’s care. Everyone at Mala has dedicated their lives to supporting the mental health of children and families. The work that we do is everything to us. Watching your growth and healing is everything to us. Supporting each other is everything to us. Having you be part of our community is everything to us. Thank you for giving us the honor of serving you and your families every day!
2021 was a hard year for all of us, and ended with so much trauma and hardship for our community. But even in hard times, there is so much to be grateful for. Just like you, I am carrying some baggage I hope to not take with me to the near year, such as fear, exhaustion, and self-judgment. I wish for myself and for you to leave behind as many of these burdens as the year turns and greet the new year with joy and gratitude!
2022 is full of potential for growth, healing, creativity, and collaboration. I am not sure how it will all unfold, but I have faith that it will be beautiful and magical in its own way. I pray that I stay true to my values and continue to make the right decisions that will benefit our greater community.
May 2022 be filled with every blessing for you and your family. I’m sending you love and appreciation for all the love you create in the world, just by being you. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!!
Hasti A. Raveau, PhD. LP
Founder and Director