Summer Blog Series
Passion. Perspective. Purpose. 
A Summer Blog Series
Ghost Written by Hannah Rials

Shannon Follett: A Dedicated Therapist 

     I’ve only been here at New Hope for six months, but if I had to pick one word to describe this organization, I would have to say “dedicated.” Without a doubt. New Hope is a place that tries to support children and families who have gone through trauma without re-traumatizing them again. It’s a very difficult, taxing job. But every minute is worth it.
     Hi, I’m Shannon Follet, the newest addition to the New Hope Team! I came to Blount County six months ago to work as a therapist, but I promise, I’m qualified.
     I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and continued Masters degree in Professional Therapy at Argosy University in Nashville. I’m also a Nationally Certified Counselor, just to throw that in there.
     My first job after school was with the Department of Children's Services, and after that, I provided “At Home” services for Foothills Care Incorporated. Both of these positions involved the prevention of state custody and/or the reunification of children in state custody.
    My most recent job before New Hope was as a counselor at Campbell County Children’s center, which is very similarly run and operated to New Hope. That made coming here a very easy and comfortable move. I was familiar with how the organization was run since Campbell County is also a Children’s Advocacy Center. 

"Dedicated." Without a doubt.

     So as I said before, I’m a therapist, which is an absolutely essential piece in the puzzle that makes up New Hope. Our therapy provides Trauma Focus Cognitive Behavior Therapy, along with play and art therapy. All of our therapists have also been trained in the SMART therapy method (Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment). Trauma Focus Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) is a therapy method that helps children and parents learn new ways to process thoughts and feelings that have been caused by a traumatic event. It encourages and enhances safety, skills for parents, as well as family communication. So not only does this focus on the child, but on the family. We help to build their lives back up and put their family together again as much as possible to help children return to a safe and loving home.
      Therapy sessions depend on the child’s abilities, interests, or development. Some spend an entire session playing with board games, and I garner information through their play. However, some experience what people might consider a “stereotypical” session and just talk. It all depends on what is best for the child, and part of my job is figuring that out for them.
     Working as a therapist in a high stress job, helping traumatized children and families to work through their pain, definitely takes a toll on me. Anyone in a high stress job needs an outlet. Personally, I dabble in art, and I love hiking, camping, and reading. They are a great way to escape and detox from an intense day. However, we also have a Peer Support Group among therapists in the Eastern Region of TN who are a part of child advocacy centers. We just talk to each other, make sure we’re handling cases correctly, reassure ourselves of our abilities because in a job like this, it is really easy to start doubting yourself. You have a child’s well being in your hands. How can you not doubt yourself occasionally? But it’s a wonderful community and resource. Training sessions are helpful as well because they keep fresh ideas flowing and provide new and helpful ways to help our children, which is always our main focus.
     Dedication is key in any job, organization, or person. I’m proud to work in a place that is dedicated to our community, to our staff, and to every child and family that walks through our doors. 

One Story.
One Time.
One Place. 


"Dedication is key in any job, organization, or person." 

New Hope Blount County Children's Advocacy Center
Copyright © *2016* *New Hope, Blount County Children's Advocacy Center*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
*P.O. Box 5058, Maryville, TN 37802*

*Mission: To restore hope to abused or traumatized children and their families.|*
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