Andrew Weckman may be the newest member of our team, but he’s already an integral part of our family.
For the latest installment of our employee spotlight blog series, we sat down with Andrew Weckman, MA, LPC-MH, CAC, NCC, QMHP. A graduate of the University of South Dakota with experience in a variety of therapy roles, Andrew brings his contagious passion for mental health to our practice.
How long have you been with Kimberly Keiser and Associates, and what is your role?
It’s been almost three months. My role at Kimberly Keiser and Associates is psychotherapist.
How did you come to work for Kimberly Keiser and Associates?
It was just by luck; I happened to be looking online to see what was out there. As soon as I saw [the position at] Kimberly Keiser, I clicked to find out more, and I found myself more and more excited for the possibility.
The rest is history. After talking to Kim, stepping into the office, and seeing what Kimberly Keiser and Associates provides, I was hooked. And it’s definitely all worked out!
What did you do before coming here?
After graduate school, I did my clinicals at Southeastern Behavioral Health and then was hired there full time as a therapist. I initially worked more with children and eventually shifted toward adults — specifically those with co-occurring disorders, such as both mental health and substance use disorders.
I worked a lot within the court systems. I was very involved in the Minnehaha County Veterans Court, Drug Court, and DUI Court; I saw clients within all of those programs. I was also the mental health rep for the team for both Veterans Court and the DUI Court, eventually stepping into the role of coordinator for CD services for the agency for Southeastern Behavioral — again, working with those co-occurring disorders of mental health and chemical dependency.
Do you find yourself drawn to working with co-occurring disorders?
Co-occurring disorders are pretty common. [My interest in them] started when I was an undergraduate. I first declared psychology as my major, but the more addiction studies classes I took, I found that they kind of work together; there are a lot of similarities (and obviously differences too). I was drawn to that field, so I decided to double major in psychology and addiction studies before getting my master’s degree [in counseling and psychology].
So it was a good, natural fit to work with that [co-occurring disorders] clientele, since I had a history in that world.
Tell us a little about your education and upbringing.
I went to the University of South Dakota for both undergraduate and graduate school.
I’m actually from all over the United States. My father was in the Navy my entire childhood, so every two to three years of my life, I got up and moved clear across the country — East Coast, West Coast, the South, and everywhere in between.
I did land in South Dakota, and I’m very much here and staying. I fell in love with Sioux Falls. It has everything you need to offer and still has that small-town kind of feel, without being too large. It’s the perfect-sized city for me.
What is your favorite thing about working for Kimberly Keiser and Associates so far?
The support that everyone here provides each other. As much as we’re a team, we’re really a family — that has become the feel. We all have different skills that help each other.
If I have a question, at no point do I ever feel like I just have to figure it out; I have a bunch of other individuals who support me. We’ve all got each other’s backs.
How would you describe your team and culture?
The two words that come to my mind are supportive and genuine. Everyone’s here for the right reasons!
Describe an average day (or week) at work.
A typical day involves seeing clients. Scattered throughout the week, we have trainings we do together as a team. That allows us to continuously learn more about our craft and gives me another tool in my tool belt to provide the best therapy for our clients.
So a typical day and week is sprinkled with seeing clients and having time for us to continue learning about IFS [Internal Family Systems], Gottman, and various other types of therapies and techniques we can use.
With that, Kim provides individual support and supervision, so if I have any questions, I can bounce them off her to help me.
Which therapy service do you find yourself most passionate about, and why?
I feel doing couples therapy makes me a better individual therapist and vice versa; providing individual therapy helps me with couples therapy.
Are there any specific therapy models or techniques you’re drawn to?
I can only speak for myself, but I think we are all genuinely interested in everything we are learning. I think that’s part of our profession — we tend to be naturally curious about what other lenses we can use to see something we weren’t seeing before.
So I gravitate toward all of them, but I do think IFS is very interesting; it’s a different perspective that is very useful. But I’m interested by a plethora of techniques and skills that could help our clients. Anything I can see be transferred to directly helping our clients makes me excited.
What drew you to learning more about sex therapy?
I’ve always had an interest in sex therapy; however, I really never had the chance to learn more about it until starting at Kimberly Keiser and Associates. I guess I lucked out when I found the position!
To me, sex therapy is interesting, as each of us is individually unique with our sexual health needs, yet we all have the need for sexual health.
How do you think providing sex therapy is beneficial to patients?
The more we learn about sexual health, the more we understand its benefits. I guess I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t incorporate sexual health into their lives. We all go to the dentist, see our doctors, and get haircuts; to me, this just as important.
Sex therapy empowers our clients by providing support with their sexual health goals.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
It’s a really hard question because so many things come to mind. The easy answer would be graduate school, which really took a lot of time, preparation, and work. I’m extremely proud of my graduate school, licensure, and credentials.
But with all that, what I’m really proud of is where I am today. My major achievement is me, now — my journey.
I had kind of a nontraditional route to where I’m at today. In between undergrad and graduate school, I went into the military. As much I had an extreme passion for what I was doing, with my history with my family, I always had in the back of my mind, Do I want to do that? My population is very important to me.
So I went into the military for two years, and while it was all right, I came back to my original passion of mental health. That path has shaped who I am and reassured me in my passion for what I do now today. That whole journey is probably what I’m most proud of.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing success. It’s a really cool feeling that’s hard to explain. Helping clients find that strength within themselves, make huge improvements with their goals — that’s the most rewarding part.
I was drawn to mental health because — well, we all have mental health. We’re continuing to learn more and more about mental health, and it’s interesting to be in a field that’s continuously evolving.
What would you say to someone considering a counselor in Sioux Falls?
Go for it! There’s so much to gain.
I acknowledge that if you’ve never done something before, it’s uncomfortable. You have lots of questions, and it can be difficult to start.
But the opportunity is whatever you want. There’s no limit to what you can get out of [therapy]; it’s completely up to you. If you want to be the best you, I say go for it. It can only help!
What makes Kimberly Keiser and Associates unique?
Our team — the way we work together, our continuous growth.
We continue to grow. We continue to educate ourselves. We never stay happy where we are. We’re always looking at new possible ways to help a client, new trainings, new educations, new techniques to make sure we are up to date with the most evidenced-based, beneficial interventions that have the greatest effectiveness. We’re always trying to be better.
We’re thrilled Andrew has such positive feelings about our practice after just a few months.
The feeling is mutual. The whole Kimberly Keiser and Associates team truly does feel like a family. You can learn more about each of our Sioux Falls therapists by reading the other interviews in this series:
. . . And by visiting our individual bio pages, which feature each therapist’s education, credentials and affiliations, from our team page.
If you would like to meet with Andrew Weckman or one of our other counselors in Sioux Falls, please give us a call at 605-274-0095, or fill out our contact form.