Understanding the Mind
Elizabeth Domack, RWU Class of 2013Alumni
Elizabeth Domack sees clients for individual therapy through her private practice. She got her start in RWU’s Master of Arts in Forensic & Legal Psychology program, graduating in 2013. We recently talked with Domack about the ways her background in the forensic field helps her make a difference to her clients.
What populations do you work with?
I get some clients who are purely mental health oriented, with anxiety or depression, but I also get clients who have more of a forensic, juvenile justice background. They may have been suspended from school or may have been arrested. When I first started I was working with a lot of problem sexual behavior in children and juveniles and doing psychosexual assessments. Recently I started specializing in postpartum depression and anxiety. I see a diverse array of clients.
How did RWU prepare you for your career?
Dr. Whitworth and Dr. Zaitchik’s classes were meaningful because they helped encapsulate the mental health issues that would be a factor in criminal behavior. Understanding the mind, how their childhood adversary might affect their behavior, or their own history of trauma. In my assessment class I learned what the risk factors are. What does somebody who commits this type of crime tend to be like and what are protective factors? Are they going to reoffend? I still remember specific lectures that were really good.
How does your internship experience at RWU help you today?
I did my internship at the RI Department of Corrections in the sex offender treatment program. It was a good experience of hitting the ground running and understanding what prison is really like. I have some clients who have served a brief jail time or prison time, so it’s good to have that perspective.
How has your career changed and developed?
I don’t see as many offender clients now. I now see a lot of victims. I had a cross-training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. It was a lot of the treating of the victims of assaults. I see quite a few clients who have that background and there is a lot of overlap between the populations.
What made RWU’s program stand out?
Our cohort was pretty small which was good because we all got to connect and some of us are still friends now. I don’t think that would have happened in a larger program.