Spotlight on Staff - JoAnne Riegert

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 19:53 -- Anna

Each quarter we highlight an LCRC Staff Member. This quarter, get to know JoAnne Riegert

What is your role at LCRC?  Mental Health Counselor 

What does that entail?  My role is a supportive one for women and children of May’s Place, and community based men, women and children.  Research shows that talk therapy can be an effective tool in helping individuals improve their overall mood, and personal wellbeing.   

How long have you been with LCRC?  April, 2014.  Prior to that, I was employed on a contractual basis to co-facilitate Domestic Violence Re-education groups for men who have used violence against their intimate partner and want to change so that their families can remain intact.  I currently still co-facilitate these groups. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?  Seeing an individual make healthy change for themselves and their families is the most rewarding aspect.  Hearing a story in which they have utilized a skill that they have learned in therapy has an amazing ripple effect on their overall outlook on life as the person moves forward. 

What is the most challenging part of your job?  Even though perceptions about mental health have changed in recent years, there is still much stigma about accessing support for these types of issues.  Helping individuals realize that they have made a healthy choice to begin therapy is an essential part of overcoming these long standing stereotypes.  

What is your background?  I was raised on the White Earth Indian Reservation and have strong cultural ties to this community.  These cultural beliefs are core elements in how I understand others, and the foundation of how to embrace the whole person.  The principals of the Native American Medicine Wheel (Emotional, Physical, Mental, and Spiritual) guide my interactions and work with others.  My advanced degree of Community Counseling was obtained from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.  I am currently licensed by the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy as a Licensed Professional Counselor. I also have formal training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

What is your dream vacation?  My dream vacation would be spending time with my children and husband on a cruise ship bound for Alaska!

Who is the most influential person in your life?  My grandmothers and my mother.  These women have taught me how to be patient and respectful to all people and how to love and support my family, and lead in a humble way. 

What brought you to LCRC?  When I learned about the opening at LCRC, it felt as if it would be a good fit for me as I continue to build my knowledge base and assist others in need.  Helping individuals acknowledge resiliency, and helping families stay intact is essential to my work.  All families may not look the same, but their unity is important.  My goal is to guide and support them in their journey.

What is your favorite childhood memory? My grandmother taught me how to can food, bake and most importantly how to spend quality time with others.  My favorite times with her were often spent looking at catalogs to find the most current clothing trends.  Somehow, the clothing always looked better on the models than it did on her when she ordered it; it was often was returned!