University of Minnesota graduate shifts therapy focus to less discussed mental health issue of job loss
For a 25-year-old recent college graduate, Alejandra Aschittino-Rodriguez is quite comfortable discussing grief and death.
That's because at 17, she had her own brush with mortality and lived to tell about it. Just weeks after moving from Guatemala to Iowa to attend Grinnell College, she was clipped by a semitrailer truck while running near campus. Her knees badly bruised and head bleeding, she was rushed to a local emergency room for treatment. The injuries healed with time but her perspective on life forever changed.
"I wanted answers on why do we live? Why do we die?" Aschittino-Rodriguez said. "It really set my priorities in perspective."
The near-death experience steered her toward the mental health field as she became determined to help others cope with grief and find meaning in their lives. She earned bachelor's degrees in philosophy and psychology at Grinnell and enrolled at the University of Minnesota, where she graduated in May with a master's degree in integrated behavioral health.
Now a therapist at Sonder Behavioral Health and Wellness in Minnetonka, Aschittino-Rodriguez is helping people deal with life-changing circumstances …
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