Carmen Beaumont juggles three very important roles at Vida Psychology: Founder, Director, and Principal Psychologist. Half of her week is spent supporting her employees, organising meetings, and offering supervision. On the other days, she’s there to support our clients. While she brings a wealth of experience to her practice, some cases are particularly close to her heart.
“One of my favourite clinical areas of interest is postnatal depression. You work with the mother, but you have a huge impact on the whole family. One story that really stands out to me is from a Mum who I helped after the birth of her child. She sent me a letter after the first birthday of her daughter. It was beautiful. She shared how much of a difference the work we had done had made in her life for her family. That was such a tear-jerker for me. I still have the letter.”
Carmen was born in El Salvador, a small country in Central America fraught with political instability and war. Hers was the first political refugee family to migrate to South Australia from their home country. A teenager at the time, Carmen recalls being excited about the prospect of living in a “real-life Crocodile Dundee.”
“It was a cocktail of emotions: reservation, excitement, nervousness, and optimism. The first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. I’d grown so accustomed to hearing bombs that the absence of explosions came as a shock. We could safely leave our home, go for a walk, or catch public transport. It was a complete contrast to what I was used to.”
Although settling into life as an Australian was exciting, there were also moments of isolation. No other El Salvadorians lived in the community, and Carmen and her family had to start again – including learning a new language.
“When I was in high school, I focused on science and maths-based subjects. Since I was only just learning English, it made sense to avoid anything with strong language skills. When I studied Psychology at university, I went through the science stream rather than arts, so I wouldn’t have to write so many essays. But all in all, I’ve found Australia to be a very welcoming place, and I’m glad to call this country home.”
Carmen has loved growing her career as a Psychologist. But throughout her journey, she’s struggled to find a workplace that offered her the support and care she believes everyone deserves. So, in 2007, she set out to establish a clinic where employees would be supported just as much as the clients.
More than a decade later, Carmen says she’s incredibly proud of the team she’s created. She loves spending time with clients and equally loves managing a group of brilliant psychologists.
“We talk to our people about career progression, their interests, and what clinical presentations they would like to work with. We start that conversation in the first interview. If you’re not challenged from a clinical perspective, it becomes very monotonous. I’ve seen psychologists lose motivation and burn out. Here, you can have whatever variety you want. And we ensure our people have the clinical support and supervision necessary to support all clients.”