As a Licensed Professional Counselor with a background in both anthropology and archaeology, Jessica Deckert knows how to help her clients "dig deep."
Name: Jessica Deckert
Program Center: Fargo
Therapy Speciality: academic and career counseling; LGBTQI+ population
How long have you worked at LSSND?
I will have been at LSS for a year in August.
Tell me about your role as a mental health therapist.
I see clients in an outpatient setting, and I work with them either individually or with their families depending on what their needs are. I try to help my clients gain some new skills, resolve any past experiences they might be struggling with and then figure out what is going on for them and give them some insight so that they can start making the progress they need in their life to be in a better spot.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
One of the reasons I wanted to be a therapist is because I enjoy making connections with people. I appreciate getting to listen to people who maybe haven’t felt like they’ve been heard in the past.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Managing my own self-care and making sure I’m prioritizing the right things and time managing the way I need to — that can be the hardest. I am always worried about my clients and giving them what they need, so sometimes I let other things fall on the backburner. Sometimes it’s tough to balance managing my own self-care while trying to help other people manage theirs.
What is something people might not know you do as a mental health therapist?
I think one thing clients don’t always realize is that I will ask them to slow down and take a minute to be in touch with themselves. I use a lot of mindfulness and guided meditations. These are things that I think people don’t always know are going to be helpful, but sometimes we need to slow down to get back to where we need to be to work at full capacity.
What’s the weirdest or most interesting job you’ve ever had?
I would say my job at Icelandic State Park (in Cavalier, N.D.). One of my undergraduate degrees is in anthropology, and so I kind of used that degree while I was trying to figure out if I wanted to keep teaching or move more into therapy. I worked with the state park as a conservation educator. It was a really cool experience. I did that last summer right before I came to LSSND.
What’s your favorite quote/motto/personal mantra?
One quote that always stands out to me is from Brené Brown: “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
I talk to my clients a lot about being vulnerable, and I have to be willing to be vulnerable to. It’s important to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Where is your hometown?
I kind of grew up all over the place, but I would say mostly Fargo. I went to middle school and high school here, and then I went to NDSU.
Tell us a fun fact!
I went on an archaeology dig to American Samoa when I was in undergrad and we found the largest (at that time) intact piece of ceramic pottery on our dig there!
What's the best advice you've ever received?
I would say the best advice I’ve heard is to remember to look for the small steps and celebrate them.
You can learn more about Abound Counseling and read therapist bios at lssnd.org/aboundcounseling.