We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Daggett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, if you are a parent, what do you think is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on your children?
Well, I am a very new parent of an incredibly sweet and wild 14-month old little man. So, my experience is limited to this first year and change and the bulk of my parenting journey lies ahead. However, both my husband and I have been blown away by how much parenthood has already challenged and changed us. With the beauty and excitement of newness also comes fear, discomfort, and frustration, and we have felt it all. Becoming a first time mother has shook me to the core. I know that there are going to be so many ways that I will both positively and negatively impact my children, but I feel certain that the single most important thing I have already done as a parent is millions of little things amounting to what I’ll call “doing my own work”. It has to do with facing my own demons, questioning the “given” narratives, and taking care of myself. No human on this earth is immune to the innate duality of our existence – life is a beautiful thing, and yet we all face and internalize trauma, shame, betrayal, hurt, and loss on some level. Even those with the most quintessential of childhoods have attachment wounds – if not from family, then from other relationships. Whether we are conscious of it or not, these experiences, and how we perceive and respond to them, shape who we become and how we show up in the world. If parenthood is part of our story, this obviously impacts how we raise our children. Because we are human and we just can’t help ourselves: we repeat what we don’t repair. I know that I will fail as a mother. I will disappoint my son in ways I can’t even imagine yet. I will not do this perfectly. But I know my weak points and vulnerabilities. I know where my wounds are and when they need attention. I will have to be so curious, open, and willing to sit back to observe and listen to my kids instead of either jumping in and being a control freak, or becoming so overwhelmed that I completely shut down (both of which I tend to do under stress). Not resorting to either will require a constant coming back to myself. I believe that this generation of new mothers has a great responsibility to deconstruct the system of patriarchal martyrdom many of us were raised within. We need to question and wonder about everything we have been taught. My personal responsibility is to keep showing up to therapy, owning my mistakes and missteps, and tending to all of the parts of myself first in order to best connect with and care for my children. To sum it up, as Dr. Laura Markham (2018) so succinctly puts it in her wonderful book and accompanying workbook Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, the most important thing I have done and must continue to do is to “regulate [my] own emotions so that [I] don’t take them out on [my] child” (p. xiii). This is not to say that I will be a perfect parent to my children, but “a parent who loves them and delights in them. A parent who models how to repair the relationship when things are hard. A parent who really appreciates this individual child, who guides the child with emotional generosity”, empathy, and humility (Markham, 2018, p. xiii).
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is a private psychotherapy practice in which I see clients individually and as a family. I work with teens and adults, helping people navigate through many issues ranging from life adjustments and relationship issues to trauma, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. My clients are extremely important to me and I take care to make sure that it feels like the right fit to them from the beginning, and to build a unique, trusting, and solid relationship with each individual. Oftentimes, I incorporate client “outings” when appropriate, such as meal support sessions for those in eating disorder recovery, or “walk and talk”/nature sessions. Since becoming a mom, I have stepped back from many of my professional commitments in order to spend time with my son and reduce my burnout. I am still thriving in my private practice and recently hired two wonderful pre-licensed associate therapists to join my practice. I am also an Adjunct Professor for Pepperdine’s Online Graduate Psychology Program. I am leaning into this season of my life and and enjoying my favorite and most important title as a mama. I am passionate and committed to this work and am grateful to the amazing human beings I get to work with everyday, for their openness and willingness to challenge me and allow me to walk with them on whatever journey they are on.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since our last interview in August of 2019, I relocated from the LA Beach Cities down to South Orange County. Moving from Hermosa Beach to San Clemente wasn’t a huge adjustment, as both cities are beautiful small-town beach towns. Much of my caseload is still comprised of South Bay LA residents and I still spend time in the area with friends and family, so it still feels a bit like home. I’m going to keep this one fair and shout out to my two favorite beach towns: A day in Hermosa Beach: Breakfast/Coffee at Paradise Bowls/JavaMan; bum around the beach @17th Street; Lunch and Shop at Gum Tree; Dinner and Drinks at Laurel Tavern A day in San Clemente: Breakfast/Coffee at Bear Coast; walk and bum around the beach trail; Lunch at J’adore Cafe; Dinner and Drinks at Rancho Capistrano Winery Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh man, this is a hard one because there are SO many people and resources I have to thank. In my previous interview with you guys (linked below), I called out my husband, Sean as my number one, and that still stands. On the more professional side of things though, I owe so much to my friend, mentor, colleague, and former Supervisor, Dr. Michael Collins. Dr. Collins supported and trained me during the latter half of my years as an intern working towards licensure in private practice. I learned so much from him clinically and he helped me grow into the human, therapist, and business owner that I am today. Dr. Collins was the type of boss who initially can be a bit intimidating and inscrutable, but if you let yourself be uncomfortable, awkward, and scared, and show up anyway, you end up gaining so much depth and wisdom. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work under his supervision up until I became licensed and fled the nest. He gave me the agency, confidence, and what felt like a healthy balance of camaraderie and tough-love to truly step into myself, own my gifts, and embrace my potential. http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-rachel-daggett-rachel-daggett-lmft-hermosa-beach/ http://drmichaelcollins.com/
Family Photos: Kaysha Weiner Other Photos: Casey Figlewicz