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Meet Alison Mitchell, PhD, LCSW

By July 2, 2020July 14th, 2020Blog

Meet Alison Mitchell. Alison is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Bangor, and teaches part-time (adjunct) at the UMaine School of Social Work. Alison typically teaches social work research methods and social welfare policy classes for undergraduates (BSW) and graduates (MSW).  In her private practice, she works with adults of all ages with a focus on women who have experienced interpersonal traumas or relational disruptions. She also offers clinical supervisions and enjoys supporting conditionally licensed clinicians on their journey to licensure.

Recently Alison completed her PhD in clinical social work through the Smith College School for Social Work (Northampton, MA). The doctoral program at Smith is psychodynamic in orientation, reflected in both her practice approach and research. Fun fact: Alison’s dissertation defense was the first Zoom-defense of the COVID era! Her research interest is about supporting rural opioid-affected families; she has completed projects focused on impacts of innovative programs in Maine supporting infants and young children affected by parental opioid use, and has also evaluated efforts to support adults. Alison’s dissertation is The problem and the solution: The potency of relationships in addressing rural opioid use, an effort to identify biopsychosocial factors (social determinants of health) that predict outcomes for adults receiving OUD treatment in Maine through analysis of state treatment episode data.

When I’m not in private practice, I’m: Teaching, spending time with family, in my garden, playing with our pets, or volunteering in the community. Until recently, I was also writing my dissertation (have to admit I’m relieved that’s not on the to-do list anymore!).

Why behavioral health matters to me: When we are healthy as individuals, we are healthy as a community.

My favorite way to de-stress: Laughing, taking a long walk, and playing with the pets…somehow we currently have 5!  3 cats (a 4-ish year old and 2 adolescent kittens) and 2 dogs (a puppy and a 10 year old, both Labs).

Words to live by: “Well behaved women rarely make history.”

Most interesting thing I’ve read recently: Oh gosh…having just completed a PhD, I’ve done a LOT of reading, but not all of it is terribly interesting!  I’m re-reading Bessel van der Kolk’s book The Body Keeps the Score right now. Loved Michelle Obama’s autobiography Becoming.

The music I jam to alone in the car is: I’m not sure you can “jam” to classical music, but that’s often what I have on in the car.  80’s rock, classic rock, whatever is on my kids’ playlists…

Favorite ice cream: Any that doesn’t have nuts or peanut butter in it. Current fave is Gifford’s new flavor German Chocolate Cake.

Recent Netflix obsession: The Great British Baking Show and the Babies Docuseries.

Sweet or salty?: Yes.

Mountains or beach?: Mountains and fresh water lake. No knock on the beach, which I love, but childhood summers were spent with family at a lake in mountains and that feels like home.