22 Years of Heart-Centered Work

On May 11, 2017, the Wright Institute presented a prestigious award - an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy Degree – to Judith Gable, our longtime Acknowledge Alliance Collaborative Counseling Program Director. We’d like to congratulate Judith and recognize her for the life-changing work she continues to do every day.

For the past 22 years, Acknowledge Alliance and the Wright Institute have built a solid working partnership and internship program. 9-12 students from the Wright Institute Doctor of Psychology program are selected annually to join our team as counseling interns. They work on school sites and deliver direct counseling services to traumatized and underserved youth. We support our interns with regular clinical supervision and clinical training focused on the best practices for working with this specific population.

The intensive training of our Wright Institute doctoral interns is crucial. The students they serve show signs of depression, academic failure, and aggression as a result of the trauma they experience at a young age (along with other factors out of their control). The deeply rooted issues that they face are oftentimes related to their sense of hopelessness and anger at the adults who fail to meet their basic needs for consistent care, safety, and attachment. Through consistently providing students with meaningful and quality therapeutic relationships in a nonjudgmental safe space, they improve their school engagement; find compassion for themselves and each other; and experience renewed hope and a glimpse of a future with new possibilities.

Under Judith’s dedicated and outstanding leadership throughout our 22-year partnership, the Collaborative Counseling Program has overseen 186 Wright Institute interns – many of whom are successful and recognized psychologists today.

We sent a survey to our past interns and asked, “How did Acknowledge Alliance prepare you for where you are now?” Here are just a few of the glowing responses that speak volumes about the lasting impact of Judith’s guidance and our program:

“It was a great experience – my first in thinking dynamically about people's behavior. Judith was one of my favorite and best supervisors. I still think of her insightfulness and compassion (for clients, but also for me as a trainee).”

“The supervision that I received from Judith was stellar. She helped me think about complicated trauma and find ways to reach kids who others had decided were unreachable. I think often of my work at Acknowledge and it is always with gratitude and appreciation.”

“Judith has been an inspiration and a pivotal part of my work/training since the day I moved back to the Bay Area for grad school. From supporting me and helping me to develop patience as a beginning clinician, to providing further opportunities with Acknowledge Alliance, I, like so many others, owe so much to Judith, Beth and the rest of the family at Acknowledge Alliance.”

To gain more understanding about the unique ways we train our interns and work with traumatized youth, read Judith’s publication:  “Unlikely Transformations: Kids in Prison and the Psychotherapy Interns We Train to Work with Them.” 

In one of her passages, she wrote, “These kids need adults who can meet them where they are, honor their open wounds, and consistently shine a light on the beauty and innocence that lies beneath their protective armor.” Judith, thank you for living up to that example – you have truly inspired and shaped many lives throughout your decades of heart-centered work.