“It’s rewarding to hear that I helped someone get back in touch with their own light to work towards their desired goal,” says Nydia Guity. “I really believe in helping people to help themselves and take the lead in their life.”
Originally from the Bronx, New York by way of Guadalupe Colon, Honduras, Nydia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at Southside Medical Center (SMC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Working in a family practice setting, her role is to provide psychoeducation on emotional health and wellness. She serves as a bridge between primary care and long-term behavioral health, and also collaborates with various healthcare organizations that facilitate linkage to long term behavioral health services.
“I fell in love with being a psychotherapist when I learned to be present with self,” she says. “When I really allowed myself to just be, feel all of my feeling and address them, I was then truly able to hold space for others to trust themselves and feel safe enough to share their stories with me."
Nydia believes that validation of a client’s experience is powerful in the therapeutic process. “I think it’s also important to be mindful of systemic issues that impact individual stressors. It’s challenging to work on self-fulfillment when basic needs are not met as a result of trauma. I support clients in exploring their emotions and unlearning maladaptive behaviors that trigger their symptoms of depression and anxiety. The goal is to link clients to community resources and to explore and implement healthy coping skills to keep symptoms at a reduced level.”
Looking back on her undergraduate years at the University of Vermont, Nydia faced an important crossroads in the spring of 2007. “I was on academic probation with the University and scared out of my mind,” she recalls. Remaining determined, she knew two things in her mind. “I wasn’t going back home without a degree, and I was going to graduate on time in May of 2009.” Then she made a decision that changed her life.
“I was really in a low space at that time,” she recalls. “Despite how challenging that was, so much good came from it. I needed kindness, and The College of Education and Social Services was kind to me. To my surprise, social work was a better fit than nursing for what I needed emotionally at that time in my life. That experience reminds me daily to always be kind to people; you never know what someone is going through.”
Nydia also remembers the critical support she received from UVM's ALANA Center, currently known as The Mosaic Center for Students of Color. “Beverly Colston was one of my Vermont moms. She validated me, let me vent and cry, and then helped me to create a plan to reach my goal to graduate on time. She also helped coordinate support from TRIO Student Support Services and many tutoring sessions as well. I was thankful for all the support I received, to have people vouch for me and go the extra mile for me left a lasting impression."
During her senior year internship at Spectrum Youth and Family Services, Nydia discovered the different avenues where she could take her career in social work. “My supervisor Deanna Cameron, who I am still in contact to this day, played a major role in seriously pursuing social work as a career.”
After UVM, she earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) at Fordham University. “It was only two semesters (one year) for me because my senior year at UVM was equivalent to the foundation year of a social work master’s program,” she explains. “Thanks to UVM, I graduated with my MSW a year after I received my BSW. Looking back, that was incredible!”
Overcoming Daily Challenges
“A challenge that I face often is being consistent in unlearning things that no longer serve me. Habits are challenging to break, but not impossible. I am a therapist who also sees a therapist. I think emotional self-care is very important and drives how we interact with others in our families, at work, and in business. Being kind to myself consistently has been a new priority in life, and ongoing therapy is supporting me in my journey.”
Serving Vulnerable Communities
Nydia is a proud member of Black Therapists Rock (BTR), which has a mission of increasing awareness of social and psychological issues impacting marginalized communities and reducing barriers that prevent emotional healing. BTR includes community leaders, personal development experts, and clinical professionals working together to decrease the stigma and other barriers to mental health and emotional well-being. Nydia also co-authored BTR’s first book, Black Therapists Rock: A Glimpse Through the Eyes of Experts.
“In this season of my life, I actively feel joy,” Nydia says. “I am filled with gratitude and actively practicing how to be present, thankful to just be and enjoy the moment. I believe in giving from a place of abundance, and it has truly transformed my life.”