Getting to know April’s Featured Therapist, Gina Rothermel, MSW, LSW

Every month, Council for Relationships highlights one of our staff therapists on the blog. Read our interview below with April’s Featured Therapist Gina Rothermel, MSW, LSW.

Tell us a little about what makes you unique as a therapist and person?

I grew up on a farm, and although I loved that experience as a child, as I got older, I longed to explore the world and immerse myself in diversity. I’ve always been drawn to people who share the feeling of not quite fitting in. I started my career as a social worker, initially working with adults living with HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia. After finishing graduate school at Temple University, I moved to California and began working with children in the foster care system. Much of my professional career has been working with non-traditional families formed through foster care, adoption or divorce. As a therapist, I strive to help people find and celebrate what makes them unique and to find strength in their difference

What is your role at CFR?

I’m a Staff Therapist at the Center City and Wynnewood offices. I work with individuals, couples, families and children. Additionally, I’m the Director at the Wynnewood and Bryn Mawr locations. I also facilitate two therapy support groups: My Adoption Experience and Farewell to Flo.

What is something your clients would say about you?

My hope is that my clients would say they leave our sessions feeling heard, validated, supported, and challenged. I aim to create a safe environment where painful experiences, as well as areas of guilt and shame, can be processed without judgment.

What do you tell your clients who are struggling with depression or anxiety?

To be gentle and kind to themselves. I try to validate and acknowledge how hard it can be to struggle with something that can’t be seen, and often isn’t understood by their friends and family. Improvements in the areas of mood and well-being often happen gradually, and it’s important to recognize and be proud of all the small improvements and changes along the way.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give people who may be struggling emotionally and would like to seek to counsel but may not be ready?

The therapeutic relationship can be very powerful and healing when you find a therapist with whom you connect. When you are ready to seek counsel, ask a lot of questions of potential therapists to make sure they have the specialization, approach, and personality that meets your needs. If you are struggling, you don’t have to go through it alone, and your therapist can help you identify and work towards achieving your specific goals.

Favorite artist, musician, or famous actor and why?

Maybe it’s having grown up in the country, but Dolly Parton is one of my favorite people. I enjoy her music, but it’s the depth of her character that I truly admire. She exudes goodness and inclusivity, and her glitz and chutzpah make the world a brighter and kinder place.

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Gina Rothermel, MSW, LSW