Rachel Gunner, LCSW,BCD,CPC
My work is my passion. I graduated with my Masters in Social Work in 1973 from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I humbly accepted the award for outstanding achievement, which included excellence in clinical practice. I was president of Student Council and after graduation became the youngest president of the Alumni of McGill School of Social Work.
Social Work Practice and Teaching
For the next five years I worked for Catholic Family and Children's Services in the Department of Children and Adolescence. I also began my teaching career at College Marie Victorin where courses included Personality Development, Communication Skills and Introduction to Counseling. My career path shifted to physical rehabilitative medicine where I was a member of an interdisciplinary team of rehab specialists (social worker, psychologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, nurse and doctor).
In 1983 a major life transition occurred as I moved to Austin, Texas. I began working at Brackenridge Hospital assigned to OB/GYN and Neonatal Services. Bereavement and loss became issues that I dealt with on a daily basis.
After the birth of my daughter in 1984 I began my private practice which continues to the present day. Clients include individual adults, children, adolescents, couples and families. My philosophy is to respect all who come through my door, whether victim or perpetrator, whatever age, presenting problem or diagnosis. I believe that our professional boundaries must be "elastic" - flexible and dynamic to meet the client's needs.
Psychotherapy is an art and a science. The art is the use of oneself combining the intuitive sense; the naturalness in expressing comfort and caring; the ability to relate to all people; and the comfort in self-disclosure. The science is the skills and techniques we learn and the knowing what techniques will be helpful in moving clients beyond their walls towards a healthier life. Therapies I use include psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, gestalt, hypnotherapy and EMDR.
Each year I attend 20 hours of continuing education to enhance my professional growth and to fulfill the requirements for my LCSW and BCD (Board Certified Diplomate).
In addition to my professional work, my community service has included being Vice-President of the Board of Trustees for the Care Communities, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide practical and emotional support for persons living with serious illness; President of Trella's Foundation, whose mission is to empower teens to choose healthy relationships and to prevent teen dating violence; and a member of the board of the Center for Attitudinal Healing, a national organization created by Dr. Gerry Jampolsky to help families and children deal with chronic illness.
I am President of the Board of the Integral Care Foundation whose mission is to raise awareness and funds for mental illness in support of Integral Care. I am also on a social advocacy committee, and have been involved in training folks who will be living alongside formerly homeless residents at the Community First Village, a one of a kind community bringing dignity back to the homeless. I am a leader for Austin Interfaith, a non partisan advocacy group We are currently working with community members and the police to promote community policing in Austin.
I tell clients that one must seek balance in life. To that end, I sing in a choir and am learning to play jazz and improvisation on the piano.
A client once labeled me "pathologically optimistic". Perhaps that is this trait that fuels my passion for life.
I have been inspired and uplifted by your special outlook on life.
I’d like to thank you because if I’m
happy today its only because of you You gave me the push I needed to live again.