Clinical Director of the Adolescent Day Treatment and Therapeutic Day School, Riverside Community Care
Adjunct Instructor at Wheelock College,
Department of Social Work
Adjunct Instructor at Boston University,
School of Social Work
Boston University, Masters of Social Work
with a Certificate in Advanced Group Work
Pine Manor College, Psychology Major
Tiverton High School, Tiverton, Rhode Island
Life after Graduation
“After completing my internship at Taunton State Hospital, I remained at the hospital for five years. I then attended Boston University for and completed my Masters of Social Work. As a social worker, my first position was in the Psychiatry Department at worked for Children's Hospital Boston in the Psychiatry Department. I am now the clinical director of an adolescent treatment program.”
Sera’s internship at Taunton State Hospital, an intensive residential treatment program for adolescent girls, was instrumental in preparing her for later work with adolescents and families. As Sera commented, “Having to complete an internship was a transformative experience that lead to a job after graduation and inevitably my career path.”
Sera has been an active alumna of the college, returning to the campus to speak to psychology classes about the helping professions and participating on alumni panels. As she noted, “The relationships I have built with my faculty have lasted years beyond my education.” The psychology faculty often call on Sera for advice on the program. In fact, Sera was recently asked to sit on the newly developed advisory board for the department. Dr. Ramirez noted that, “Sera’s knowledge and experience make her an invaluable asset to the college.”
Currently, Sera is the director of a group-based day treatment program and school for adolescents with mental health needs.
In this role she:
- Supervises a team of clinicians and clinical interns in the implementation of a creative, engaging and practice based therapeutic program.
- Provides training and consultation on comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, a range of clinical interventions, research and presentation, case management and discharge planning.
- Provides individual, group and family therapy in support of treatment goals within a therapeutic milieu.
- Collaborates with adolescents, their families, The Department of Mental Health, school systems and other providers toward the successful treatment and transition of resilient youth.
Sera has developed a number of specialities with children and adolescents including group work, group supervision, expressive therapies, family crisis intervention, and self-injury and suicide assessment/intervention. She is also currently working on a project entitled, “Behind the Lens,” which uses filmmaking to assist adolescents in their recovery.
How PMC Helped Me
When asked how the college influenced her career, Sera said, “Pine Manor was essential in my career path in mental health care. I would not be where I am today without the education, relationships and opportunities I was given there.” She noted that the sense of community and the caring staff and faculty were essential to her growth and development as an individual.
Sera was recruited to play basketball for Pine Manor and fell in love with the philosophy of college educating students for leadership positions. “The emphasis on leadership and the creation of a portfolio were powerful for me,” said Sera. In her sophomore portfolio, Sera used her position as point guard on the basketball team to illustrate her ability to successfully lead and encourage others. As a point guard, she needed to assess the situation, identify the strengths of the team, and communicate effectively to all members in order to successfully execute plays. Sera learned that encouragement is essential in helping individuals realize their full potential. She took this lesson and applied it to her current work helping individuals through group and individual counseling. Sera is currently a board member of the International Association of Social Workers with Groups and devoted advocate of group work. Dean Diane Mello-Goldner remembers Sera as a leader on the court and in the classroom, “Sera was not only an exceptional individual athlete, but was always concerned about making the team better. She was eager to apply her love for basketball and teamwork in the classroom and in her future career. It was because of Sera’s interest that I developed and first taught the course Sport Psychology here at PMC.”
Her experiences at Pine Manor College helped prepare Sera for the variety of clients and students she would be working with in the future. “I appreciated having women from so many different cultures and countries to enhance my learning in a culturally diverse manner”, stated Sera. This served as the foundation for Sera’s work as a counselor with adolescents and their families. She has used her knowledge and experience to train new social work students in the field. When asked about what makes Pine Manor special, Sera said, “You get a big city education within a warm small town environment. You are able to get the support and community of a small college with the opportunities that Boston has to offer you and your future career.”