This year, Concord Academy welcomes back Aimée Lim-Miller to the community as a mental health counselor. While Elise Hoblitzelle, another member of the counseling center, went on sabbatical last year, Lim-Miller took her spot and got her first glimpse at her current permanent position as a CA faculty member.
Lim-Miller discovered her passion for working with kids after participating in a training fellowship at the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center a couple of years ago. The program, called Racial Reconciliation and Healing, brought together a group of teenagers, half of whom identified as white, and half of whom identified as people of color, to engage in tough, but significant conversations concerning race. Through workshops, individual reflection, and healing circles, group members collaborated along with social workers to learn more about themselves and the world around them. This experience was energizing for Lim-Miller, and refreshing to hear the experiences and opinions articulated by young adults about society today, and was a large motivator for her to work with high schoolers.
Before coming to CA, Lim-Miller worked in different hospital settings as a social worker. This field fascinated her because of the many ways that it interacts with social justice and studying not just an individual, but the whole overarching system. As a trained psychotherapist and clinical social worker, she currently works at her private practice located in Cambridge, MA, where she helps determine the best treatment plans for her patients, composed primarily of college students and graduates. Although the age group she usually works with is older than the student body at CA, Lim-Miller believes the meetings will have common themes, such as: conversations surrounding cognitive thinking, how feelings and thoughts impact behavior, and learning what makes one tick and why that is. While being in an educational environment is somewhat new, she is excited about this switch and to engage more deeply with the CA community.
While many aspects of CA’s counseling center are still being formulated due to the pandemic, Lim-Miller will work twice a week virtually, seeing students and interacting with families in need of mental health support. Besides counseling, Lim-Miller hopes to propose some projects for the community during this abnormal time. Firstly, she would like to introduce a community art project where students can express their emotions about the world right now through creativity. This project has already been done in her neighborhood, where community members shared their feelings surrounding COVID-19, using art as a form of therapy. Secondly, Lim-Miller hopes to create a structured, and therapeutic BIPOC support group. Similar to the program she participated in earlier, she wants to create another affinity space on campus that emphasizes de-stressing and having space for BIPOC to share their thoughts and opinions in a supportive, healing way.