Mia Gajdosik, LMSW, MPH, M.S.
Lecturer Narative Medicine
My name is Mia and I graduated from the residential Narrative Medicine Master's program in 2016. Before completing my Master's in Narrative Medicine, I completed my clinical training in social work at Columbia School of Social Work where I learned the power of personal narratives as a form of self-advocacy, healing, and resiliency for my clients. Most importantly though, I learned how much more I needed to learn about the art of storytelling that led me to stumble upon the Master's in Narrative Medicine program. It was one of the best things that happened to my professional career, and to me. I felt instantly aligned with the values of the program, "it called my soul," I would tell others. But it so much more than a theoretical study for me. It was a journey within and became a way for me to reflect on my experiences, connect with own narrative, and observe myself through a professional lens as I interacted with my clients. Years later, my learnings in Narrative Medicine sparked me to approach my clinical work with patients in individual therapy in an unconventional and impactful way. The things I learned in the program about the ethics of the self-other relationship when bearing witness to, engaging with, and transforming the space between, came to prosper for me in my therapy work because of the study I did in the program years before when studying these theories with my colleagues and faculty, as you and I and your colleagues will do together in this course in a virtual platform.
After my study in Narrative Medicine, I went on to complete my Master's in Public Health from Mailman at Columbia. Since then, I've worked in various health care and social work settings in research positions, and after not finding fulfillment in those spaces, found my way to my passion of clinical work with patients in individual therapy. As a therapist, I've been able to draw directly from the learnings of Narrative Medicine to inform, elevate, and bring cutting edge practices to my work. The integration of Narrative Medicine with clinical care has both grounded and fueled me as a therapist, and I feel strongly about sharing how powerful the program can be in transforming the way clinicians and practitioners in the field approach, think about, and practice their work with patients.