Dec. 12, 2018
Chris Woodley, firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the book, Self-Care in Social Work: A Guide for Practitioners, Supervisors, and Administrators (Cox & Steiner, 2013), self-care is a disposition, attitude, or ongoing state of body and mind. Some may associate self-care with a vacation to reduce stress and maintain a healthy well-being. But one Master of Social Work alumna will help social work professionals combine a relaxing vacation, the benefits of self-care and Continuing Education Units in a unique setting.
Melody Nadeau, LISW-CP, earned her MSW from the College of Social Work in 2015 and is now an independent clinician, professional speaker and adjunct instructor for the university. In April 2019, she will present, “Mindfulness for Clinicians: Being Intentional with Self-Care,” to social work professionals during the inaugural Social Work Studies at Sea five-day cruise.
“The president of the South Carolina Society for Clinical Social Work reached out to me and asked if I was interested in presenting on the first of two pilot cruises,” said Nadeau. “She knew of my work and presenting to a variety of professionals from business, school and therapeutic settings, and doing presentations throughout the state. I felt honored and thought, ‘How could I not do this?’ What better way to be mindful and focused on self-care than presenting on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean? Talk about awe-inspiring!”
Nadeau was told that CEU cruises are common in the medical field, and this would be a good way to serve others in the helping field while encouraging time with family and learning about mindfulness. She is excited to participate in a learning vacation to help promote the daily practice of self-care.
“At first, I thought, ‘I don’t know if I’d want to do CEUs while on vacation,’” said Nadeau. “But after hearing the details, my topic of mindfulness and self-care really lends well to taking a cruise with family and earning CEU’s at the same time. It’s an interesting concept.”
Nadeau began speaking publicly while earning the required hours of supervised clinical experience for her Licensed Independent Social Worker licensure.
“My instructor challenged me to present because she said you really have to know what you’re talking about when presenting to other professionals,” said Nadeau. “As a mindfulness-based therapist, I am also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) with an attachment and somatic focus. Additionally, I utilize a DBT-informed approach, using the skills and principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Mindfulness is the core skill of DBT, which is a wakefulness that turns off the autopilot so that you can engage and be present in your daily life.”
Nadeau could never have imaged she would speak on self-care for clinicians during a cruise when she began her professional career in the business world years ago. But it was an experience while serving on a Greenville-based charitable foundation board that inspired her to change careers.
“Part of my duties on the board were visiting local non-profits and approving grants,” said Nadeau. “As a native, the more I was involved in the community, I really started to feel that I was being led in a different direction professionally. After volunteering at two organizations that are close to my heart, Pendleton Place and The Family Effect (both in Greenville), I talked with my husband, and he was supportive in my decision to return to school.”
Nadeau received her bachelor’s degree in applied psychology from Franklin University before enrolling in USC’s MSW part-time program in Greenville.
“There is so much flexibility with an MSW degree as far as employment opportunities,” said Nadeau. “In-person classes in Greenville on Saturdays made it convenient for me since I worked during the week. Many appreciated the program being offered at the University Center in Greenville and having the option of not driving to Columbia.”
After graduating, Nadeau became a certified addictions counselor and worked as a clinical counselor at The Phoenix Center, Greenville County’s largest provider of substance abuse services. Eventually, she decided to open her private practice, Melody Nadeau Therapy, LLC, in Aug. 2017.
“Opening my practice was more about having flexibility and being more present with my clients,” said Nadeau. “I also wanted to be my own boss. As a woman, being a business owner in the Upstate is something I’m very proud of. Initially, it was scary in the first few months and I was thinking, ‘Do I really know what I’m doing?’ But it falls back on my education, being confident in my skills and my experience and years of trainings and expertise.”
Earlier this year, Nadeau also begin teaching as an adjunct instructor at the College of Social Work’s Greenville site. It is her way to give back to the college.
I sat in these seats, went through the program, and now have my own practice, teach and speak professionally on the importance of self-care as a way of life. For me, it speaks volumes about the program and how it prepares students.
“Teaching and presenting keeps me in the research while keeping my skills sharp,” said Nadeau. “I am also a diehard Gamecock. I bleed garnet and black! To have the opportunity to contribute to the field of social work through the University of South Carolina is an honor. I’m passionate about what I’m teaching and instructing future social workers, who will impact numerous families. I sat in these seats, went through the program, and now have my own practice, teach and speak professionally on the importance of self-care as a way of life. For me, it speaks volumes about the program and how it prepares students. I’m humbled to be called to this field and confident in my resiliency and tenacity. As a Gamecock, I have no limits!”
The Social Work Studies at Sea will be a five-day cruise from April 13-18, 2019 from New Orleans to Cozumel and Yucatan, Mexico. Professionals will receive six social work CEUs for attending Nadeau’s presentation, “Mindfulness for Clinicians: Being Intentional with Self-Care.” For more cruise information, email Partners@SocialWorkStudiesatSeaLLC.com. You can view Nadeau’s practice information at melodynadeautherapy.com.