Lynda Akiyama, a licensed clinical social worker who started at Child Guidance Center’s Fullerton location nearly 19 years ago, was honored as the “Shining Star” at this year’s Holiday Tree Fantasy Event.
It’s hard to believe today that Lynda came to CGC with very little clinical experience and even some uncertainties about whether being a therapist would be a good “fit” for her. She began as a full-time therapist and quickly realized she had a passion for helping children and teens who were living in group homes, and teaching parenting classes.
In 2007, Lynda became the program coordinator of CGC’s Buena Park clinic and began supervising unlicensed staff. Two years later, she became the assistant clinical program director for the Fullerton and Buena Park clinics, and remains in this position today.
Over the years, Lynda has continued to be a clinical supervisor and has provided clinical services to clients including Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), as well as helped facilitate the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS). In addition, she enjoys “giving back” to her profession by supervising and training masters-level students.
Lynda accepted her award and thanked everyone for the honor as well as supporting her and giving her the opportunity to do what she loves.
“So many things have changed since I started at CGC, but there’s one thing that hasn’t changed – the reason why I came to work here in the first place. It all comes back to the children, teens and young adults who we serve,” said Lynda. “I became a social worker because I wanted to help people in need. I wanted to help children better cope with their problems, and know that they have a safe place to talk and they aren’t alone. I wanted to educate parents and caregivers to improve their parenting skills and strengthen their relationships with their children. Ultimately, I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and help them to grow to their fullest potential.”
“And CGC has given me the privilege to be able to do all of these things,” she said. “The work can be difficult and challenging at times, but it is truly oh so rewarding!”
Lynda’s husband, Dean, and two children, Manu (10) and Keala (6), were at the event to celebrate this recognition with her.