Promotional Spotlight: Fanta Ritchie

October 3, 2022

Fanta Ritchie, Therapeutic Behavioral Services Clinical Supervisor

Allow me to introduce to you this month’s promotional spotlight employee, Fanta Ritchie. Fanta started her journey at Penny Lane eight years ago in December of 2013 as an Outpatient Therapist in our Antelope Valley location. Since that time, she has worked hard and was transferred to CalWORKs Therapist in 2015 and in August 2022, was promoted to Therapeutic Behavioral Services Clinical Supervisor in our Antelope Valley location and is responsible for supervising a team of seven TBS employees. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California and holds a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Let’s congratulate her on her success!

What have you learned being a new supervisor?

I have learned that it takes time to learn any new position and that it is so important to give yourself that much needed grace to ask questions when things are confusing. I have also learned a lot about my style as a supervisor. I have discovered that I really enjoy case conceptualization and helping to guide others to understand the impact of trauma and become caring helpers. I have embraced that I am good at being vulnerable and using my own experiences to help others feel comfortable and build trust. The last thing that I have noticed is that I really do not enjoy the administrative side of being a supervisor such as making sure that everyone has paperwork in on time…I can’t imagine that anyone enjoys this part of the job but would love to pick the brain of the person who does! Additionally on the fly decision making may not be my strong suit but I am a work in progress.

What has been the most difficult part?

The most difficult part about becoming a supervisor is just getting used to change. I think all change is good as it helps us grow as individuals, however I do recognize that it is a difficult process to get used to change. I went from feeling totally comfortable in my position, used to my schedule, and the one who knew most of the answers to questions to now being the one asking the questions and spending a significant amount of time just trying to figure out things that will become basic knowledge in a few months. I also understand that although well intended, many times we learn here at Penny Lane through making mistakes and hopping on the “hamster wheel” quickly versus easing into things like we’d hoped. It can be tough but also the only way I can see surviving here at times.

What has surprised you?  

How quickly the human psyche can adjust to drastic change. I went from working from home to being in the office at least 4 days/week. I don’t think I could have made that change without becoming a supervisor. Knowing that others depend on me has given me a new purpose and motivation to show up as my authentic self. It’s a new way to hold hope for others and encourage the belief that we can do difficult things together.

What do you think helped you get the job?

I think I really took my time with deciding to move up to a supervisory level . I feel like my supervisor’s taught me a lot along the way and they have coached me into the therapist and leader that I am today. Ultimately, I know that God has placed me in every position, every room, and in the presence of brilliant minds to learn from so that I could land here to guide this TBS team during this season.

What are important qualities to have in your current role?

The TBS supervisor needs to be able to engage a team and keep the team engaged with one another. In TBS we need to be able to lean on one another to share ideas and support each other through our difficult moments shared with families who are going through a hard time. The TBS supervisor needs to be organized. They need to be empathic and flexible, yet firm and unwavering with the non-negotiables.

What advice would you give others?

I’d tell others to be patient with themselves in any career journey. I’d tell them to go after every opportunity that feels right. I’d tell others to listen to their intuition and do things at their own pace. I’d tell others to let go of any fear that is holding them back from growth because you will never see the beauty on the other side of fear without taking a leap of faith.

Anything else you wanted to add?

I thank Penny Lane for being a part of my life story. ❤

-Fanta Ritchie, Penny Lane Centers