One thing is definite within the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone – our team is a team. Each and every staff member not only plays a crucial role in accomplishing our mission to ensure our military families receive the care they’ve earned, but they do so from the heart and with a passion that can’t help but to inspire. Here’s a closer look at our Clinic Director, Julie Adams, LCSW.
Tell me a little bit about yourself, such as where you grew up and your background leading up to joining CVN?
It is an honor to share about myself and my career with our readers. I grew up in very small northern town. Long winters and short summers were the norm. I can recall snow to the roof tops as a child and the fun my brother and I had building snow forts. We had a long driveway so walking to the bus on those snowy mornings was not always the most ideal way to start our days. At least it wasn’t uphill both ways! While good memories were made, I am much more content in the Tennessee weather even though it’s unpredictable!
It was during my junior year of high school that I sat with my school counselor and chose classes for the following year. One class stood out to me: Psychology. Just the word itself intrigued me and I quickly added that to my schedule. The following fall at 17, I walked into that class and met the most dynamic teacher. She was a long-term substitute hired to teach that class. She was not from our community nor was she a trained teacher. She brought with her new ideas and an excitement about learning about human behavior. She invited guest speakers, had us conduct parent/child observations and taught all the material with such vigor. From my first week of that psychology class until this very moment, I hold that same excitement that was instilled in me.
I set a goal to learn as much as I could about the human experience, about the avenues for healing, and about how early experiences impact us. I earned a degree in psychology and a master’s in social work. I began putting my new found knowledge to task prior to earning my master’s degree. I worked as an Infant Mental Health Specialist in a prevention program in a rural county. For identified families, I visited homes and worked with parents and infants on enhancing attachment and attunement. While guiding relationships and supporting healthy infant development, my families were giving me the greatest gift; the gift of understanding the lived experiences of childhood trauma and poverty. I am eternally grateful for that time in my career.
Twists and turns took shape over the years, I have worked with people experiencing difficulty with substance and alcohol misuse and I have spent many years working as a child therapist. Working with military children and families has been a highlight for me and point of pride. I dedicated several years of my career providing direct services on Fort Campbell. It was doing those years that both my competence grew and my passion for working for military-connected individuals was anchored in as a lifelong commitment.
That commitment brought me to the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone. Here I have been a clinical supervisor, the assistant director, and recently assumed the role of Clinic Director. Arriving each morning to this clinic is easy! We have an outstanding team that hold themselves to the highest standards of mental health treatment. Our team is collaborative, skilled, and eager to grow. Arriving each morning to this clinic brings joy! Witnessing our clients reduce symptoms, reengage in activities, and demonstrate reconnection within their families is truly the most motivating thing to see. Arriving to this clinic each morning is exciting! We continue to innovate and add to our services. We have ongoing connections and collaborations with other entities dedicated to the wellness and health of our military community. Of the utmost excitement is our upcoming expansion of child trauma treatment and training services. This is near and dear to my heart. Our clinic will be filling a much-needed gap and we are looking forward to the impact we will have on military children, their caregivers, and this region of Tennessee.
Again, it is an honor to share some details about my journey, but it is a bigger honor to lead this clinic! I am proud of the outstanding work that is done each day. I am continually astonished by the dedication shown by our staff and in their commitment to providing the highest quality services to our veterans, Active Duty, National Guard, Reservists, and military families across the state. The day I walked into that first psychology class brought me to this very moment of leading with enthusiasm and pride!
You’ve taken life experience and built a career to help others, what was your greatest takeaway from this process?
Gratitude. I am so thankful to be in this position. I am grateful to have been given this opportunity to be in service to others, day in and day out. I am proud of the outstanding work that is done each day. I am continually astonished by the dedication shown by our staff and in their commitment to providing the highest quality services to our veterans, Active Duty, National Guard, Reservists, and military families across the state.
What do you hope for clinic and your clients?
My hope and commitment is that we continue to provide the highest quality care with the utmost passion every day. Our veterans, Active Duty, National Guard, Reservists, and military families deserve a warm, inviting clinic, with staff and clinicians that are dedicated to growth, innovation, and providing superior techniques and interventions.
What do you like to do for fun?
My favorite things involve family, music, and learning! I have three wonderful children that bring so much laughter and brightness to my life. I love concerts and singing loudly off-key at those concerts. I obsessively listen to podcasts with the hope that I will absorb all the knowledge being shared.
Favorite sports team? Sports… not my thing.
Cohen Military Family Clinic