Romany ArnoldMarita is a registered social service worker who began her career as a practitioner in the mental health sector. She experienced a period of change in her own life that inspired her to work with people in the area of transition. Marita opened her own private practice, called The Joy of Living, in 2009 and developed a seven-week program to support clients through the process of transition and stress. Marita says her role is “to mirror back to the individuals and help them focus on their intrinsic worth and on their potential.” Her client group includes seniors and newcomers.

Marita states her father, who was a forensic scientist and therefore a lifelong learner, inspired her to think about the need to continuously learn in order to be good at what one does. “I feel it’s very important (continuous learning) since this is how I can act with integrity when it comes to helping others.”

Marita works with people undergoing transition who are experiencing stress in their lives, with a focus on depression. She says the Continuing Competence Program (CCP) helps her set new goals and gain new knowledge “by studying and keeping up to date and bringing integrity to the people I work with.” Marita satisfies many of her learning goals by reading and conducting research in the areas important to her clients, such as depression and life change or how change and associated stress can impact everyday life.

For Marita, learning more about how the brain functions provides her with the knowledge she requires to assist those who are experiencing these stresses. “I enjoy studying and working towards developing my knowledge and skills in this area.” She is looking forward to a workshop, entitled Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness, which she will attend in June.

Marita has also engaged in other learning activities to ensure she remains continually competent including reading books and articles, reviewing research online, participating in webinars, and enrolling in courses or workshops.

“I feel that when we work in a profession (like social service work), we have to develop as individuals just as we might hope for our clients; the CCP has enabled me to do so in a self-directed way.”