ICP+P New Member IntroductionsICP+P2021-01-25T16:27:29-05:00
Please welcome Valeria D’Amato Caputi, LPC, NCC, MA, EMDR, a new member to ICP+P!
Interview by Terry Chang
What is the newspaper article headline of “your story” the last 6 months? And what is the subheading?
Moms Are the New Superheroes. Working mothers juggle multiple jobs at the same time – and are surviving!
Sounds like many of our members can relate to your COVID-life! What is your current professional situation?
I recently obtained my license as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia. I am continuing to work in private practice in the area.
Is there a population that you are passionate to work with?
Currently, I am working with adults and couples. However, in the future, I hope to work more with trauma patients as this field greatly interests me.
You have two degrees in political science – how did you go from there to mental health?
I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Political Science (at Universita’ Statale degli Studi di Milano in 1999). I used my degrees in Italy for my career that was in a completely different field. When I moved to the United States in 2009, it was the height of the Financial Crisis so it was quite challenging to find a job. I tried other professions such as real estate agent – if you need help finding property in Manhattan let me know. I quickly realized that real estate was not my passion. I was always interested in psychology – a profession I saw as useful for people – so I decided to return to school. Thirteen years after my first graduate degree I found myself enrolling at NYU for my Master’s Degree in Counseling Mental Health and Wellness.
Tell me about your education experience in the U.S. compared to Italy.
My experience at NYU was incredibly positive. Of course it was more difficult as I was studying in my non-native language. What I appreciated most was a new way to learn – in every class or lesson and/or aspect of the learning process, students are solicited to think critically and to provide their opinion. I was used to a more passive learning experience in Italy.
You were born and raised in Italy. Tell me about your immigration story.
The decision to emigrate was an “easy one” as it was due to love – my husband is a US citizen. However, coming here was far from easy for me as I had to leave my country, my career, family and friends. As I mentioned, finding a job in 2009 was quite impossible. Additionally, I was adjusting to a new culture, language and attempting to build a new support system. I was privileged as I arrived with my husband who had a good support system of family and friends that I could indirectly benefit from.
Are you hoping to work as a bilingual therapist?
Yes, I would like to work with Italians but so far, I have not had any requests for bilingual sessions.
I wonder about your experience regarding a different plague that reared its head this year – systemic racism. What is it like for you to be in the U.S. during this time?
It is heartbreaking. As I grew up in Italy, from far away, I thought that the United States was an example of racial equality, freedom and opportunities open to all. Clearly, this is not the case, there is still much work to do, and I would like to learn more. I am currently educating myself on minorities and on my white privilege.
Why did you choose ICP+P?
I was introduced to ICP+P by a colleague in Virginia who recommended that I visit the website. In this profession, especially in the early years, there is much to learn and I was looking for a community of professionals that could mentor me in discovering my therapeutic stance. I read about ICP+P and I was very pleased to learn about this very active community. I am looking forward to learning more and to possibly join a study group.
What do you like to do for fun? To keep yourself balanced?
For now, yoga and cooking are the only hobbies that I have enough time to practice. Cooking has been especially useful during COVID-19. When the pandemic eventually ends I wish to return to my main hobby – traveling with my family!
Tell me one last thing you want our community to know about you?
That I love to learn, and that I would like to be the best therapist that I can be.
Please join me in welcoming Valeria as a new member to ICP+P. If you see him at any of the many ICP+P events, please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself.