With mental health on the forefront of education, the connection between students and therapists has never been greater. This connection has also been true at Gaggle, where therapists are on the front lines serving students across the country and supporting them through these trying times.
Dr. Aida Vazin has been instrumental in creating Gaggle Therapy by providing expert oversight to the development of the service. She’s leveraged over a decade of clinical experience to help tailor the teletherapy model to kids and teens, and has had a hand in ensuring that Gaggle Therapy is inclusive, equitable, and accessible for all. She’s also passionate about serving students and provides 1:1 therapy sessions to students in California.
We asked Aida five questions to get to know a little more about her and her time with Gaggle Therapy. Here’s what she shared:
Why did you decide to become a therapist?
It was my first psychology course in college that made me realize this was my life path. I was deeply engaged and fascinated to learn about how we operate as human beings and what motivates our actions.
What are some of your career highlights?
After gaining a bachelor’s degree from UCLA, I acquired an M.A. in marriage and family therapy from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a Ph.D. in human behavior from American Premier University. I have a lot of experience working with youth and adolescents as a foster care social worker, facilitating therapy with foster and bio families to help kids process what’s going on in their lives. I’ve worked with one-year-olds all the way up to the geriatrics age group. I’ve also worked in a low-income children’s clinic, predominantly providing therapy to teens, which is my favorite population to serve. In my private practice, I have worked with clients ages 11–60, providing mental health support for over a decade and online therapy since 2017.
I’ve also had the opportunity to do presentations around stigma reduction for underserved populations. I further specialized in postpartum depression and worked on the root causes of women who suffer from postpartum depression.
Becoming a consultant for Gaggle Therapy is another highlight. The Gaggle Therapy model makes this service available for those who wouldn’t be able to access it otherwise—it’s changed therapy from an elective support to an accessible resource.
“The Gaggle Therapy model makes this service available for those who wouldn’t be able to access it otherwise—it’s changed therapy from an elective support to an accessible resource.”
Dr. Aida Vazin
What are some benefits to providing teletherapy?
Accessibility, stigma reduction, and making technology the main platform for therapy can reduce barriers for youth to access care. Teletherapy can add a level of privacy that may not be present with a brick-and-mortar office.
Why are you passionate about working with kids?
Working with children and families is the most preventative approach to creating healthier communities and societies, and Gaggle is one of the strongest ways to identify at-risk youth. When I first heard about Gaggle Therapy, I knew I wanted to be part of the team and support its growth.
“When I first heard about Gaggle Therapy, I knew I wanted to be part of the team and support its growth.”
Dr. Aida Vazin
What’s something you wish everyone knew about therapy and mental health?
I wish everyone knew that therapy is a safe place to self-reflect, grow, and learn life skills. You don’t have to be severely mentally ill to benefit from therapy. Keep in mind that we are in the era of mental health—we have not focused on emotional well-being and coping before. It’s incredibly important for individuals to find a platform to learn how to regulate and cope with their emotions. We’ve just evolved to that level of human need.
Want to learn more about Gaggle Therapy? Watch our recent Everything You Want to Know About Gaggle Therapy webinar. To hear more from Dr. Vazin, listen to our recent episode featured on It Takes a Village: A Gaggle Podcast.