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Meet Miriam!

Miriam Swanson

Published: February 21, 2024

With more than 20 years of experience as a registered clinical psychologist, Miriam has a keen interest in emotion dysregulation in adolescents, gender-affirming health care and principles of mindful leadership.

We asked her some very important and hard-hitting questions to help us get to know her…

What is your favourite feel-good song?
Generally, anything that can be sung loudly in the car with my children. Currently my daughter and I do a mean car-duet of ‘Shallow’ – but she always gets to be Lady Gaga which I’m a little bit irked about.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?
I’m most definitely an introvert. I love people but need to recharge my batteries with a walk in the bush with the dog, or getting stuck into the garden.

As someone who married an extrovert, I have to explicitly ban more than two social occasions on any given weekend day!

Do you have any favourite words that inspire you?
In the spirit of balance, I do my best to hold both ends of the spectrum:

“If we hope to live not just from moment to moment, but in true consciousness of our existence, then our greatest need and most difficult achievement is to find meaning in our lives.”

– Bruno Bettelheim (Austrian psychologist)

“The best thing that you’ve ever done for me, is to help me take my life less seriously. It’s only life after all.”

– from the song ‘Closer to Fine’ by Indigo Girls

What is your proudest accomplishment?
Creating and growing my two children who’re currently 12 and 9 years old. I’m not sure I’m always on my parenting ‘A-game’, but they make me proud every day.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I decided when I was at Intermediate that I wanted to be a psychologist and that is what I did! My jobs along the way included pamphlet delivery, cleaner, car groomer, hair washer and leek grower.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Sleep! I never seem to get quite enough and a whole day snoozing with no responsibilities is pretty appealing.

What are you most excited about in your role?
I moved to Pathways and Real for the opportunity to contribute to growing great, responsive, and relevant services for young people. Meeting the awesome people who work in this organisation has excited me most about joining the team.

What a privilege to be surrounded by people who care so passionately about supporting people well.

What is your favourite type of food?
I often enjoy the actual event of connecting with my family and friends as much as the food itself. My favourite food type overall though, would have to be anything spicy.

What is one thing you’ve learned that you wish you could tell your younger self?
An important guiding statement we use in our work here is ‘it’s not the journey or the destination, it’s the company you keep….’  This totally resonates with me and has proven true in all aspects of my life.  It’s always important to think about who you are on the journey with and take care of those relationships.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m a great whistler… there’s not much more to say about that…

What is one thing you can’t live without?
My morning coffee.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Definitely an early bird. Walking the dogs before the rest of the world has got going is the best way to start a day. I’m always happy to get my head on the pillow at the end of the day.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Funny – my son asked me that question just the other day – I told him ‘contentment’ – a very under-rated power if ever there was one !  He seemed unconvinced and told me he would choose telekinesis –that seems pretty awesome too.

What makes you laugh the most?
I’m open to laughing at most things. I have a pretty dry sense of humour but find myself laughing out loud at physical comedy as well.

I enjoy a good podcast and No Such Thing As A Fish has me laughing on a regular basis.

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