Born a Social Worker

Graduate School of Social Work Alumna Mindy Blumenfeld Brings Healing to Her Community

November 09, 2020
MINDY BLUMENFELD: People always ask me, how do you become a social worker? And I have to tell you that I feel like I don't become one, I was born one. And I think for most of us who are in this field, we all feel the same way.

My name is Mindy Blumenfeld, and I'm a graduate of Touro College. I'm a trauma therapist. I see mostly Orthodox clients, men and women. Every new client that walks into my door, there's that excitement of what's now; what am I going to learn; who am I going to meet; what world I going to enter into?

I love working within my community. There's that feeling that whatever I put into my individual clients, they're going to further put into our community. I feel that we don't have to waste a lot of sessions understanding things that we both understand, concepts particular to the Jewish community like dating, or matchmaking, or how the Hasidic community works. I think it accelerates therapy, in a sense.

To me, education is empowerment. I want to empower my clients by educating them and their ability to ask questions, so they get knowledge. They can empower themselves to also make better choices in their life for themselves, and for their families, and whoever else they impact.

I took away that very strong feeling of community and family from Touro. The most valuable lessons for me were the teachers there who are role models, the sincerity and authenticity of our professors who really cared about what they taught. And they really represented what they taught. When somebody can finish their run of therapy, and I'm watching them blossom and flower into something new, and they move on with their life, there's such a feeling of gratitude that I've been able to be a part of it. It's really beautiful.

When people ask Mindy Blumenfeld how she became a social worker, she has a simple response. “I feel like I didn’t become one,” laughed Blumenfeld, a 2009 graduate of Touro’s Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW). “I was born one. It just took me 38 years to realize it. For many of us in social work, we have the feeling that it was something we were born into.”

Blumenfeld, who maintains an office in Brooklyn, is a well-known and popular figure in her Orthodox Jewish community. She is many things to many people: a magazine columnist, a sought-after speaker, an author, and a trauma therapist certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with a strong success record in the community.

“Since I’m a part of the Orthodox community, my patients don’t need to spend a lot of our sessions explaining concepts from the Orthodox world, like shidduchim, or yeshiva, or how the Chasidic world works,” Blumenfeld explained.

“I love working in my community,” she continued. “Whatever I put into my individual clients they’re going to further put into our community.”

Blumenfeld attributes her success to the education she received at GSSW, which honed her natural gifts of empathy and compassion. “I took away a very strong feeling of family and community from Touro,” she said. “The most valuable lessons I took were from the sincerity and authenticity of our professors. They cared about what they taught, and they represented what they taught.”

The greatest moment in the therapeutic relationship with her clients is the final one.

“When someone finishes their run of therapy and I watch them blossom and flower into something new and move on with their life, there’s such a feeling of gratitude that I was able to be a part of that,” Blumenfeld concluded. “It’s beautiful."