My name is Michelle D’Haene Tobin. For the past ten years I have been working as a clinical social worker for a small university. My interest in working with college students sprung from the seeds of my own struggles with depression and grief during my college years. Most of my professional life has involved working with young adults helping them navigate the trials and tribulations of the formative years between ages seventeen through thirty. The past ten years have also been the span of my own three children’s college years making me acutely aware of the importance of treating other people’s children with tender loving care as I hoped the adults at the institutions my children attended would treat them.
Throughout my life, I have dabbled in many things. Before settling on a profession as a therapist for college students, I worked in retail, restaurants, ministry, trained in social work at a hospital and on a navy base. I stayed home to raise my three children, wrote a couple of books, tried my hand at children’s books and poetry. I paint, pastel, craft. I’ve always considered myself a jack of all trades. Nowadays we call it ADHD. It may seem that I have a short attention span and in some ways I do, but there a few things I’ve remained steadfast about–my husband of 30+ years, my three children, swimming, and cooking. At this point in my life with my three children grown and launched, I’m ready to fine tune my cooking skills and explore the connection between cooking and the therapeutic healing of mind, body and spirit. Due to a number of factors, including my husband having the opportunity to teach in Ireland, I’ve decided that now is the time to make a change, so I’m quitting my job as a clinical social worker and heading to Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. It was either that or become a lifeguard!
I hope you’ll join me on my adventure as I explore cooking’s connection to memories and mental health.