When Kevin Berrill decided to become a psychotherapist, he knew he wanted to work in a collaborative setting, one that offered a balance of client-centered work, personal autonomy, and community. “I wanted to be part of an agency that is socially conscious, spiritually sensitive, holistic in its approach, and attuned to the needs of diverse communities. I found just the right mix at the Imago Center of Washington DC.”
“I’ve never been happy working in isolation,” Berrill added.”I need connection, as do we all. Connecting to ourselves and each other helps to summon our strengths, resilience, and healing capacities. Making and sustaining connection is the inspiration for my work, and goes right to the heart of our mission. I am delighted to be joining the ranks of such a gifted and compassionate team of professionals.” Starting this month, Berrill will begin seeing clients through the agency.
“I am especially attracted to The Imago Center’s paradigm of counseling that includes spiritual development, and allows clients to reflect on what’s most important in their lives,” says the clinical social worker who has practiced meditation for the last 16 years. “I find mindfulness practice to be healing and restorative. Our lives are so preoccupied with doing, it’s important to have a practice that allows us to just be.”
Berrill notes that his childhood included a strong connection to the Roman Catholic Church, adding that “some of those traditions still inform my life.” His parents grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and his mother was a part of the Catholic Worker movement. He says her spirit of giving to others and community organizing had a strong influence on his career path. After working in television broadcasting in the late 1970s, Berrill joined the staff of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force where he directed its Anti-Violence Project, a program to document and counter anti-gay violence and crimes based on race, religion, and ethnicity. He has published extensively on hate crimes, testified before Congress, on spoken out on the topic on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, and Nightline.
When he returned to graduate school for a Master’s of Social Work degree, he worked as an intern at the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing and Whitman Walker Clinic. After graduation, Berrill became a hospice social worker. “Working in hospice and as bereavement counselor reminds me preciousness of life,” he says. Berrill’s eclectic career also includes work as a factory worker, dishwasher and elevator operator, while his volunteer work has included service as a court mediator. “My varied work and life experience,” he observed, “has helped me to serve the wide diversity of clients whom I serve.”