By Mary McPhail Gray
NVW Board Chair
They come with differing experiences and skills, but all have an overriding commitment — to give back to the community. And they bring fresh energy and ideas and questions to enhance our services at Nonviolence Works.
I want to introduce our three interns — Carolyn Wilson, Bryan Salazar and Andrew Chiaraluce. As they complete their required clinical hours for social work or mental health counseling licenses under supervision by NVW staff, they bring us special new perspectives.
Bryan Salazar was born and raised in Taos. After receiving a degree in psychology from Colorado State University with emphasis on children, education and Chicano studies, he began a career here in Taos with the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) State Agency. He was a case manager and investigator for child protective services cases for 15 years. Increasingly, Bryan felt he “wanted to help people at a deeper level.” In an interview, he related that we have created systems for control and record keeping that do not necessarily reflect the stresses and realities of family life. Bryan was an early partner with NVW in helping develop the Men’s Nonviolence Awareness Class (NAC) — which continues today as an effective intervention/support for men in this community. Maestas is a great advocate for partnerships, saying “Let’s emphasize a continuity of care with the respect and the engagement of a fuller community.” He is completing his master’s in social work at Southwestern College.
Carolyn Wilson was born and raised in Massachusetts with extensive time spent in Rhode Island. Contrasting her East Coast roots with life in Taos — she describes our community as offering more connections which leads to an ease of making friends. On a trip to Utah, she discovered the profession of wilderness therapy, and a program at Prescott College in Arizona caught her interest. “I recognized that — for me — learning needed to be active. Experiences that teach through natural consequences of our actions made real sense.” She began her master’s program at Prescott College in adventure psychotherapy, which emphasizes active learning in a variety of settings. Wilson has been a manager in a residential treatment center and was attracted to Taos and NVW because of our commitment to create a residential treatment center for adolescent boys, with a strong emphasis on wilderness therapy. Wilson has participated in rafting trips with male and female veterans as part of her clinical internship at NVW.
Andrew Chiaraluce is also a master’s student at Prescott College –studying ecopsychology and wilderness therapy. After coming to Taos in January, Chiaraluce has been the case manager at the Taos Men’s Homeless Shelter, assisting men in their transition to a life with more stability and safety. He has been a co-leader of the NVW NAC program for men. He has also provided clinical services to the youth in our Familia y Mundo summer camp program and has worked with other NVW adult clients.
A special contribution of Wilson and Chiaraluce has been their collaboration on the development of a curriculum for the NVW Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for adolescent boys. Their experience with active learning and wilderness therapy was critical in creating a program that is unique and appropriate to New Mexico. While NVW is still waiting the final approval from the state to initiate this program, the work of our interns has provided a foundation for its success.
These interns all commented that they have been given a variety of responsibilities to enhance their learning and that “the team works well together.” NVW is a great place to work — enhanced by the contributions of our interns!
Nonviolence Works has the largest staff of credentialed and licensed behavioral therapists in northern New Mexico. Reach us at 575-758-4297 or www.nonviolenceworks.us
Mary McPhail is the board chair of NVW and can be reached at 575-779-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org