Job Shadow: Tammy Janke, Family Innovations, Therapist

By Izzy Bandettini

I started this assignment with an open mind about who I wanted to shadow and based on my double majors I had two options, to interview a journalist or a therapist. I chose to interview a therapist named Tammy Janke. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is currently employed for Family Innovations, and she works through a multitude of offices. When I first arrived at the office it felt like I was going into a therapy session because the atmosphere felt very inviting and comforting.

Janke and I sat down in her office and we began to talk and the first thing we started to discuss was her education prior to becoming a therapist. She became a therapist six years ago after graduate school and since then has been working for the company called Family Innovations. Before working at the company, she underwent 7 years of schooling to receive her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. She earned her undergraduate from the University of Wisconsin River Falls in 2010, and soon after graduating she started to apply to graduate schools. She got accepted into St. Mary’s University and graduated in 2013 with her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Tammy Janke works on paperwork after seeing a client
©2019 Izzy Bandettini

Janke informed me that there was a lot to do post graduate school in order to be licensed in the state of Minnesota. The first thing she had to complete was 4000 hours of unlicensed supervision, and once she completed her hours, she had to take the National Examination. Janke passed the exam the first time, and straight-away from finding out, she had to apply to take her Oral Exam. Once she completed and passed all the hours and exams, she became a certified Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

It takes a lot of time and effort to become a therapist, but Janke was so excited to start her new career. She now has a very flexible work schedule and can choose her own schedule, which means she only works Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. During those days she either does supervision for her staff, because she is also a supervisor, or she does out-patient. Out-patient requires Janke to be in her office all day because as her clients rotate through, she only has 10 minutes in-between each one to eat, write down notes, or to take phone calls.

Being able to work next to Janke really opened my eyes of what it means to be a therapist and all it entails. Janke noted how rewarding it is to see the progress of clients and that gave me inspiration to one day become a therapist myself. There is a lot of work involved in becoming a therapist, but the rewards are endless, and it was great to see how much therapy can impact the lives of people.

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