Meet Lauren Lobbestael of Dearborn and Southgate, MI!
Today we would like to introduce you to Lauren Lobbestael, Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Clinical Director of our Dearborn clinic and our newly opened Southgate location. We are thrilled to be extending services into southern Wayne County and look forward to serving more communities in the future!
Lauren has been a member of the Gateway team since February 2016. She grew up in the downriver area in Southgate, MI. She attended University of Michigan Dearborn and Wayne State University for her undergraduate degrees in English and Psychology. In 2015, she started working with traumatic brain injury patients as a Rehabilitation Assistant and, shortly after, took on the role of a Behavior Technician at University Pediatricians Autism Center. After a few months of working as a Behavior Technician, Lauren decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis through Wayne State University. She graduated in 2016 and, soon after, obtained her certificate to become a BCBA. In her personal life, Lauren loves to spend time with her dogs and family. She also enjoys golfing, kayaking, and going for hikes.
Q & A
Q: What made you want to go into the field of behavior analysis? Or what was the moment you knew you wanted to go into the field of behavior analysis?
A: Years ago, I had a job working with adults with traumatic brain injuries. I enjoyed the mental health aspect, but I knew that it was missing something. I wanted to work with kids. I went home and found a job posting for a behavioral technician. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology so I knew of ABA, but hadn’t really been exposed to it. I applied, got the job, and on my first day, I was hooked. Being able to make a positive impact in both the life of the child and the families was the privilege of a lifetime. Within a few months, I had applied for my Master’s program through Wayne State University to become a BCBA.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a BCBA?
A: I greatly enjoy being able to help our families and love rejoicing in small daily victories for our kiddos.
Q: What has been your favorite moment or memory in your career so far?
A: I was working with a child with limited verbal skills who also had trouble identifying emotions. During the session, the child started to get noticeably agitated. Usually, this would result in stomping or rocking, but at this moment, the child turned to me and yelled “I’m mad!” I nearly cried out of happiness and he was thrilled because he earned a break. It was such a simple moment that took so much work on his part. It was one of the most rewarding moments of my career.
Q: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your career?
A: Though I have had many great influences on my career, I continue to grow because of the collaboration with our families and Gateway team members. At Gateway, we work as a team and have a collaborative approach which pushes each individual to think creatively. We involve our families in every step of the process for their child and encourage their ideas and goals. I have learned an immense amount just from listening.
Q: If you weren’t a BCBA, what career would you pick?
A: I’d love to work with animals. In another life, or perhaps retirement, I could see myself running a nonprofit for dogs, working at the zoo, or doing animal-related research.
Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
A: I can set any clock. Analog or digital—it doesn’t matter. If there was a clock setting competition, I’m positive I’d win.
Q: Which character from a book/show/movie do you think most represents you?
A: Kathryn Janeway of the starship Voyager (Star Trek). Throughout the series, Janeway is faced with one ethical dilemma after another. She is the moral backbone of the show, offers support to her crew, and displays enthusiasm for their ideas. These are qualities that I strive to bring to my team at Gateway.
Q: Who was your biggest hero growing up?
A: My biggest hero growing up was my mom. She was a teacher and had passion for her job that allowed her to mold lives every day. I admired her character and eagerness to help others even when she ran into difficult situations.
Q: What is a random fact about yourself?
A: My favorite animal is a sea otter simply because they hold hands.
Q: What’s something that made you smile recently?
A: I have been bingeing Grey’s Anatomy again. Anyone who’s watched it knows that smiles are misguided because they’re immediately followed by nonstop crying, but it’s so addictive and worth it.
Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: I could eat mint chocolate chip ice cream for the rest of my life. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner; it’s the perfect meal.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I love spending time with my family. I bribe my relatives with barbeque each weekend to get everyone to spend time together under one roof. It’s wonderful being able to watch my nieces and nephew grow and change. I don’t want to miss one second of it.
Q: If you could have dinner with one person (real or make-believe) who would it be?
A: I would give anything to have dinner with Jane Goodall. Her love for animals and her devotion to the study of behavior make her an inspiration to me. Not only is she a world-renowned scientist, but she fundamentally changed how we look at the conservation of animals by integrating local populations into the effort. Five minutes of her time would be a life-changing experience for me.
We’re so excited to highlight Lauren and all that she’s accomplished, and we hope that you enjoyed getting to know her a little better! Make sure you follow us on social media to see what’s new at Gateway, and stay up to date on our latest blogs for helpful tips and guides. Have a great day!