• Melanie Sivley

Honraku Academy: Origin Story - Part 1

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

So much of what mental health practitioners do is confidential. We can’t share the majority of our experiences with friends and family. And as with most professions, we have our own language. Our own gallows humor, our shorthand, our way of communicating about what we do.

Being a therapist is a beautiful, wonderful, humbling experience. But it comes with it’s own challenges. Sitting with someone else’s pain day after day, holding space for them. This is a profound experience. To be able to do this well, we must take care of ourselves. Who do we process these experiences with? Who really understands what our days are like? Who do we have in our lives to remind us and encourage us to practice self-care? That’s where having your tribe becomes essential.

Honraku Academy was born out of this desire to connect with other clinicians.

We have such a large, robust community of mental health professionals. From clinicians in solo private practices like mine to therapists in group practices. We have so many mental health professionals at U of I and surrounding colleges, both serving students directly but also teaching and preparing the next generation of clinicians. And we have our students. I remember being so excited about graduating and taking those next steps but also being really unsure what that would look like.

We have our school social workers, on the front line of our elementary and high schools. I don’t know if you already have a community in place for yourselves. I hope so, but if not, please reach out to me. I would love to help facilitate that.

And last, but not least are all the amazing mental health professionals working in our community agencies. I have the utmost respect for all of you. You are true unsung-and often unappreciated-heroes. You are deep, deep in the trenches working hard and getting so little in return. Thank you so much for all that you do.

My vision for Honraku Academy is to build those connections between clinicians. To build a strong and vibrant community. Honraku Academy is the place for each and everyone one of you to be seen and heard. Whether that is in the form of brunches where we can just hang out. Consultation groups where we can get guidance and understanding. Retreats that focus on self-care. Conferences where we learn great skills that we can take back and use with our clients. Honraku Academy exists to facilitate supporting and lifting each other up.

In addition to creating Honraku Academy, Melanie Sivley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Champaign, IL. She specializes in Anxiety, Depression and Trauma. She is EMDR trained and currently pursuing her EMDR certification.

Melanie Sivley, LCSW

206 N. Randolph, Suite 505B

Champaign, IL 61820



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