Equarm Vanager joined FFT Partners as a Senior Consultant in June 2021. She brings with her almost 10 years of experience in Functional Family Therapy, becoming a certified FFT therapist in 2012 at the New York Foundling and an FFT supervisor in 2016. Equarm attended The City College of New York, CUNY earning a BA in psychology and Nyack College earning a graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling with a focus on mental health themes including human development, counseling techniques, assessment, and multicultural issues.
A vast amount of Equarm’s experience is working with families through the FFT model, however early employment focused on adolescents involved in school and employment programs, adolescents in foster care transitioning to independence, working with adults in a homeless shelter and in a substance abuse clinic. These experiences provided valuable insights to Equarm about the importance of structured support. She found that, “Working with adolescents in foster care and schools, adults in a homeless shelter and substance abuse clinic showed me how vital support and structure is for an individual. The lack of support that I observed greatly impacted each individual. The lack of support didn’t come from lack of efforts from families; it came from families not knowing how to support and consequently people start seeking out support from negative influences as long as they felt seen, heard, and loved.”
It was through these experiences that Equarm realized she wanted a more comprehensive model for working with people. When she started employment at the New York Foundling as an FFT therapist, she realized that the FFT model provided the missing support and structure she felt was lacking in treatment. She says, “One of the most important decisions I made in my career, unbeknownst to me at the moment, was focusing my work on families through the FFT model. Equarm feels, “The most vital influences in a person's life are their family of origin and the family that they choose to create. Individuals to families are like what the heart is to the body; its function is an essential part to the productivity of life. It has been an honor to be a part of such important work like FFT and to continue my journey in FFT as a Consultant."
In addition to her work as an FFT Consultant, Equarm is part of a team implementing an FFT training and internship program for students through Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. FFT Partners is excited to have Equarm as part of our team and with her valuable input and experience, helping FFT Partners grow.