Taara Clarke is a social work practicum student at Mala. She is currently a master’s of social work student at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor with an expected graduation date of April 2024.
The expectations society places on us, and those we place on ourselves can be overwhelming! As a Black woman, I am intimately familiar with the pressure society places on individuals, and the ways in which this pressure can lead to perfectionism and a disconnect with our emotional and mental health needs.
I believe in the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment where my clients can feel heard and understood. I am passionate about working with young children and families, and utilize an intersectional approach to therapy, considering the multiple identities and experiences that shape my clients’ lives. I believe that every child deserves to be seen, heard, and valued, and I am dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment where they can explore their feelings, thoughts, and experiences. I am committed to advocating for my clients needs and rights and helping them to develop the skills and resilience they need to thrive.
I am excited to continue learning and growing in my practice as I work towards creating positive change with my clients and in the world.
Bachelors in Cognitive Sciences with a concentration on psychology and a Minor in Sociology – Rice University, May 2019
Masters in Social Work – University of Michigan Ann Arbor, April 2024
Why did you decide to become a mental health professional?
The first thing I ever remember wanting to be was a pediatric neurologist. When asked for my reasoning in this, I always cited a need to work directly with other people, an interest in the brain, and a desire to produce tangible change in the lives of others. As time went on, a combination of my psychological education, commitment to social justice, and my life experiences and mental health journey led me towards becoming a mental health professional.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I am excited to continue to learn and improve in a supportive and collaborative environment like Mala! Mala works to create an intentional space for healing and growth for both clients and practitioners.
What is your ultimate wish for every client?
My ultimate wish for every client is to feel empowered in their understanding of themself and their complex mental and emotional world. I hope for every client to feel actively heard and safe, both at Mala and within themselves.
What is your favorite quote?
“Mistakes are a fact of life: It is the response to the error that counts.”
― Nikki Giovanni
Who is someone who inspires you?
What is your favorite self-help book?
All About Love by bell hooks. This is not exactly a self-help book, but it was extremely impactful in developing my self-love and compassion for myself!