Matthew Rodriguez

Matthew Rodriguez

SASS Therapist

What is your job role at Family Service Association (FSA)?

Screening, Assessment and Support Service (SASS) Therapist: I provide hospital monitoring for clients that have been psychiatrically hospitalized. This includes participating in hospital staffing’s and coordinating with nurses, doctors, and inpatient therapists to assist in aftercare planning. From that point on, as a SASS therapist, I would be providing referrals to other outpatient behavioral health agencies for clients to follow up with, provide therapeutic/case management services, or provide check-ins with clients and their families.

Why did you choose Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area?

FSA has given me the opportunity to continue to grow as a behavioral health therapist in a very nurturing environment. From my first interview to this day, EVERYONE has been so friendly and helpful. Our office has a family-like atmosphere and it is reassuring to know that supervisors and all other coworkers are going to be there for me if need be.

If you had to give a 2-minute elevator speech on what you do every day, what would you say?

I am a therapist. No, not like the ones you see on TV or in a movie. Real therapists do so much more than sit on a couch with their legs folded asking, “How do you feel about that?” I am an advocate for my clients as they are in crisis and in need of more support than others. I am willing to do what needs to be done to see that clients are not at risk to themselves or others. I am there to see that my client will receive on-going support once they are back home and for the future.

What is the best part of working in the mental health field?

The best part of working in the mental health field is simple: I have the ability to provide stability to a child and/or a family that is missing it. A lot of times children and families just need to know that someone is there and on their side. Developing and maintaining clinical relationships can be difficult; however, seeing a client and/or family that can make strive towards goals is indescribably satisfying.

What is the favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is being able to meet with clients in their settings, making them feel more at ease and comfortable during our time spent together. This also usually results in more genuine interaction as our clients feel safe in their natural setting.

Who has had the most influence on your work career?

This one is easy! Both my mother and father have had the most influence on my work career. While my parents do not come from a mental health background, it was imperative for me to have strong role models in my life. Fortunately for me, it began at a very young age as I got to watch my parents work hard and fight for a better life for my siblings and I. I am forever grateful for having role models who have shown me what a good work ethic looks like and I bring that same ethic to my tasks and goals on a daily basis.

What is your favorite quote?

I grew up playing baseball and still even coach to this day. A similarity between baseball and my job is assessing the situation, developing a plan, and acting on that plan. A quote I like to live my life by, which can be related to baseball, work, and life in general:

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” – Babe Ruth

If you could meet someone, dead or alive, who would it be?

I would love to meet my grandfather. My dad always infers how great of a man he was. Unfortunately I was born into this world after my grandfather had left it. I would do anything to meet him.

People would be surprised if they knew I ...

People would be surprised if they knew I was scared of swimming in lakes/oceans. I am mortified of the idea of swimming with fish being around me.

If you could pick a superpower what would it be?

I would love to read peoples minds! How could I not choose that?! My job would be a little easier with this ability.

Favorite Food?


Weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

I am an extremely picky eater. I hate trying new foods so this is a tough one for me. I tend not to push the taste bud envelope. I’ll go with sushi. The idea of eating raw fish is totally gross to me. It was okay after all. Would still rather have pizza though…

What is the most interesting place that you've visited?

Recently, I have travelled to Colorado. I found the mountains to be so interesting! Being born and raised here in the Midwest, it was astounding to me and I found myself quickly becoming jealous of those who get to wake up and live with mountains in the background day in and day out.

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