Staff Spotlight, Alison Paniccia
TEP: Tell us about yourself!
Alison: Hi! I’m Alison Paniccia! I am an outpatient therapist in our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office. I have been with The Emily Program for just over two years now, doing intakes and outpatient therapy with children, adolescents, and adults. In this role, I have specialized particularly in providing FBT/Maudsley treatment for adolescents with a variety of eating disorders as well as providing CBT-E for both adults and adolescents. I particularly enjoy working with adolescents and their families.
TEP: Describe the path that led you to The Emily Program.
Alison: The path to the Emily Program for me has been particularly diverse! With a bachelor’s degree in biology from Boston College, I initially worked in a laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts that specialized in compatibility testing for organ transplants. While this work was important and very meaningful, I eventually really missed having direct contact with clients. As a lifelong musician, I was also seeking a way to combine my musical skills with caring for others.
I completed my master’s in mental health counseling and music therapy in 2013 at Lesley University. Since then, I have worked in a variety of clinical settings, all of which have brought me greater clarity and insight into my particular skills and professional goals. The bulk of my clinical experience prior to TEP was in residential settings with adolescents and young adults with significant mental health concerns and high-risk behaviors. Over the last two years, I have enjoyed learning how to adapt all of my previous training in the treatment of eating disorders. I feel as if I have really found my niche in that!
TEP: What have our clients taught you?
Alison: In the treatment of our clients, I have learned the importance of being kind to ourselves and others as well as the need to continually foster patience, open-mindedness, and commitment to personal growth. I am constantly amazed by the qualities of persistence and resilience that I see in our clients on a day-to-day basis—particularly in such a time of great difficulty in the world.
TEP: What three words would you use to describe The Emily Program?
Alison: Inclusive, friendly, and effective
TEP: If you could do another job just for a day, what would it be?
Alison: President of the United States!