Jackie Sabatino speaks about her path to graduation from the Infant Mental Health-Developmental Practice (IMH-DP) Master’s program
Hi there! My name is Jackie Sabatino. I grew up here in Long Island just a few minutes from the Garden City campus.
I have been interested in mental health for as long as I can remember and began my path studying psychology at Siena College in upstate New York. It was here that I found my second home, participated in an internship placement working with developmentally delayed children at St. Margaret’s center, was able to have the incredible experience of studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia, volunteered to help with the Twelfth Annual Battered Mother’s Custody Conference, and graduated with a B.S. in Psychology.
After a year of soul-searching post-graduation, I switched gears and applied for the Social Work program at Adelphi University. It was during this process I discovered this new Infant Mental Health-Developmental Practice (IMH-DP) Master’s program, in what seems like an act of fate. I had always loved working with children, so after inquiring about the IMH-DP Program, I found myself enamored with the idea of combining my desires to help others and work with kids. I am now a few short days away from graduating with the IMH-DP degree and it is a bittersweet time for me! I am proud of the work I did throughout the course of the program; learning about child development, understanding the importance of early intervention, becoming an advocate in an innovative field, and completing my Integrative Project on Attachment in Children of Military Families. This program has changed the way I look at the world! Children are incredible, complex, and on an ever-changing developmental continuum. They deserve to be held in mind, kept safe, and given every opportunity to be put on the best possible trajectory. I feel that I have become more empathetic, more reflective, more informed on the most updated research and practices, better prepared for advocacy, more observant, and more open minded. I am grateful for this unique, multi-faceted opportunity, the elite interdisciplinary staff, professors, and professionals who were dedicated to shaping us into well-informed clinicians, and my 4 other brilliant, compassionate cohort members; my support system, my team, my sisters.
Moving forward, I will start the MSW program at Adelphi this Fall semester. I look forward to graduating with an MSW and a Master’s of Science in IMH. My goal is to become an LCSW who works with young children and families in a relationship-based therapeutic practice and to continue advocating for mental health initiatives. I am really interested in general trauma work, as well as working with military/first responder families and pregnant women. I would love to find a way to include some of my personal interests into my work such as the use of therapy animals, sensory integration techniques, and creative therapies such as art therapy. It may seem a little bit all over the place, but a big concept that I’ve learned is the merit in having a toolbelt filled with various, collaborative concepts in approaching child development to tailor to each child’s own, individual needs, and the possibility of practicing multiple focuses separately.
In a world of growing focus on mental health (finally!), I am excited to bring my newfound clinical IMH background into the day-to-day and grow mental health awareness, lifting the stigma that comes with the topic, and offering people the help that is so desperately needed.