We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Gerson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
The troubled teen industry is a six billion dollar industry and an epidemic to say the least. These institutions are branded as helpful and therapeutic, and exist all over the United States. Parents send their children to these institutions, and believe they are receiving quality care, when actually, they are often being abused and mistreated. Conversion therapy exists in these institutions, as well as physical, spiritual, emotional and sexual abuse. This epidemic has gone on far too long, and the media is only starting to recognize the rampant trauma it has caused.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love my career and being able to be a practicing social worker and clinician. I have made this field my own, work several part time jobs in different arenas, in order to reach the most diverse and extensive populations I can. Today I work for myself at UnBroken, as a private practitioner, as a group therapist for an online community, and see several clients and run several groups at outside companies. It was NOT easy to get here, or even remain here. The hustle is an everyday part of my life. I’ve learned it is okay to ask for help and resources from others, and to never stop working hard. I want people to know that it’s okay to ask for help and seek out the right help for you.
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?
If my best friend was coming to visit me in LA, I would take her to all my local breweries and hiking spots. I can’t share too many details; don’t want to give away all the good spots, but hikes in Topanga and the East Valley are where it’s at. I would take her to St. Felix, Mama’s Shelter, and Angel City Brewery, as well as Idle Hour, Factor’s Deli and my favorite taco truck on the corner of Westwood and Santa Monica. We would need to spend plenty of time at the beach, in the hills, and driving PCH. Definitely would want to hit the Abbey to dance, and Cabo Cantina for a themed classic night out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out Emily Little. Without her reaching out to me, sharing her personal story, and investing hundreds of hours of her own time, I would never have started UnBroken. Emily was my inspiration, is my right hand (wo)man and a leader for this community. Emily is a hero and an amazing human who deserves awe and appreciation every day.