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The ‘Rung Rundown’ is a blog series where we ask Rung staff and volunteers five questions about themselves and their work, allowing the public a chance to get to know more about them and the impact they are making at Rung for Women. The second installation of the series introduces us to Lupe Murillo Wink, a therapist with Provident Behavioral Health, and Sarah Al-Zadjali, a therapist with Safe Connections. Both Provident Behavioral Health and Safe Connections are co-designers at Rung for Women, providing on-site mental health support to our members. 

How do you describe your role at Rung for Women to new people you meet? 
Lupe:
I am a therapist at a new place that offers women co-located services and coaching as a way to advance financially and as individuals! I get to provide counseling as they work on all aspects of themselves, I am just one part of it in working with them on their mental wellness.
 Sarah:
I describe my role as being a Safe Connections therapist housed at Rung for Women. I am here to support women on their journey to becoming unapologetically themselves! I describe Rung as a new non-profit organization that has collaborated with other non-profit organizations in the area to provide holistic services to help women with their career, finances and personal growth. It’s a one-stop (free) shop under one roof—how convenient!

What do you feel is the most significant advantage of the Rung co-designer relationship for your organization?
Lupe:
It’s an opportunity to engage members where they are in the community with other agencies, while also receiving the support of a team to serve all aspects of these amazing individuals. It doesn’t have to all fall on me as a therapist because all of these Rung staff and Co-Designers are experts in their own field, providing services to meet the other needs of our members.
 Sarah:
Being able to collaborate and use each other’s strengths! I think people believe therapists have all the answers, or, by default, always know how to problem solve. Having the opportunity to work alongside other co-designers who tap into their strengths and resources has been so empowering as a therapist. Additionally, having access to holistic support that falls perfectly into other dimensions of our wellness (such as financial, occupational, spiritual and environmental) is almost like a catalyst to our mental wellbeing.

What role do you think counseling plays as part of the Rung membership experience and the personal development of Rung members?
Lupe:
I had hoped, and already have witnessed, that counseling would be an opportunity for members to look deeper at concepts that are inevitably coming up as they work with their coaches, co-designers, and other Rung staff. Members can further explore in counseling barriers to change, process past hurt, explore their strengths, and create balance in their lives as they continue with their other goals and work here at Rung towards a balance of wellness in all dimensions of their lives. 
 Sarah:
I think counseling can be seen as the steppingstone to any new journey. I haven’t heard of anything like Rung before, so I can imagine members may be placing a lot of stress, expectation and pressure on themselves to be “better.” Although this mentality can be viewed as healthy (to a certain point!), this can also be problematic in allowing them to actually appreciate and enjoy their journey here at Rung. Since we’ve launched, I have already witnessed some of these themes showing up in sessions, too. Counseling creates a safe space for members to honor all the colors of their emotions and experiences. We get to find ways to exfoliate irrational beliefs and expectations, and lather on healthy and nourished thoughts and beliefs instead. This way, we can enjoy the present moment for what it is, and not what it “should” be. Learning to adapt to this realistic and compassionate mindset will set members up for success and move them further along in their personal development.

As a member of the therapy team, what gives you the greatest joy when working with Rung members?

 

Lupe:
For me it’s hearing that they feel heard and are discovering things about themselves they never realized in all these areas they are working on, and seeing how they connect it all together to succeed. I’ve had multiple members bring up what they’re doing with other Rung staff or co-designers and in our sessions we get to connect them all together or dig deeper on these things so they can turn around and get even more out of their work in Rung as a whole.
 Sarah:

What gives me the greatest joy when working with Rung members is seeing a cohort of determined women rising! It’s so beautiful and empowering to see so many women choosing to put themselves first and to be in such an intensive program with everything else going on in their lives. I’ve met with members who are pushing themselves out of their comfort zone to try  new things for the first time, members who are actively willing to show up vulnerably and do the work, and members who have shown other members they are not alone. What a wholesome community Rung has created!