- LGBTQIA+ Issues
- Transgender issues
- Poly Relationships
- Crisis Intervention
Merek Poto is a warm and empathetic person who joins us as a clinical counseling intern from Aurora University. He has experience with advocating for transgender individuals; as well as survivors of sexual assault in a hospital setting. He has also expressed that he will work with members of the poly and kink communities. He is a sex positive and understanding future therapist who strives to uphold a judgement free environment.
When working with his clients, he aims to provide compassionate counseling. He does so by listening to his clients and understanding their needs as individuals. His goal is to ensure clients feel comfortable, safe, and are able to express themselves. He approaches clients empathetically, meeting them on their level and addressing their personal needs. He utilizes emotionally focused therapy to help his clients get in touch with themselves. He strives to grow relationships with his clients by creating a trusting environment where they can achieve a judgment free and healing experience. He emphasizes that clients can address personal topics when they’re ready to, he’s here to listen.
Merek has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and he is currently working towards his master’s degree in social work from Aurora University. During his master’s education, he gained valuable experience from interning at the YWCA. In the past, he returned to his former high school, Neuqua Valley, to advocate for the transgender community. There, he educated students on gender, sex, sexuality, and his personal experience as a Ftm (female to male) transgender individual.
In the past, he has worked with members of the LGBTQIA+ community by:
Educating high schoolers on the various gender identities, sexes, and sexualities
Understanding the experiences of LGBTQIA+ members by being in the community himself
Taking an active role in talking with members of the LGBTQIA+ community
Helping young people feel more comfortable with themselves
Spreading awareness and creating allies for the LGBTQIA+ community
He also has experience working with survivors of sexual assault:
Arriving in hospital settings to support survivors
Advocating for survivors to ensure their rights are met
Providing a judgement free, safe space for survivors
He found immense success at his former high school in educating the students. He received letters of thanks for the education, stories of comfortability with coming out, and stories pertaining to allies speaking out against transphobia. Merek came out as Ftm when he was a sophomore in high school. Before then, he was unsure of who he was and often found himself questioning if he was truly a woman. With the support of his peers, teachers, and parents, he was able to come out comfortably and begin transitioning.
He found acceptance from his high school, where him, his father, his teachers, and a member of administration had a meeting to discuss how to make his experience as a trans person as comfortable as possible. He was given a private locker room to change in, which is what he wanted for himself, as well as access to teachers’ restrooms. The school affirmed that if he wanted to, he’d be able to use both men’s locker rooms and bathrooms, but he opted for privacy. He had a very positive coming out experience, but he recognizes that not all transgender individuals share this. As a trans person who can relate to other members of the LGBTQIA+ community, he wants to provide therapy so they can talk about their personal experiences.