Erica Ashby

Case Manager for SHWS

Hi there! I'm Erica, I use she/her and they/them pronouns, and I'm originally from the Bay Area. I moved to Humboldt in 2015 to pursue my Master's degree in Social Work at Cal Poly Humboldt. Before this, I studied Sociology at UC Berkeley, where I obtained my undergraduate degree.
I have a background in reproductive and sexual health and social and environmental justice are very important to me. I have been working in this community as a social worker since 2017 and am familiar with many of the challenges faced by our community, especially when it comes to accessing health care. It is my hope that in my current role I can help students successfully navigate the process of getting connected with providers who can meet their medical and mental health needs.
I take a collaborative, trauma-informed and strengths-based approach in my work, incorporating intersectionality and the belief that clients are the experts in their own lives. I am passionate about destigmatizing mental health care in general as well as around specific diagnoses and behaviors associated with certain conditions. I particularly enjoy providing psychoeducation on the impact of trauma and incorporating parts work into my approach with clients. Most recently I was working in an equine-assisted therapy program, practicing out of a barn where the majority of my colleagues were horses. I am excited to be back at Cal Poly Humboldt as the Case Manager for Student Health and Wellbeing Services.
Past research topics have included the exploration of support group participation in the development of an illness identity for individuals living with a chronic and contested illness. More recently, I've looked at the role of specialized training programs in preventing burnout and secondary trauma for social workers employed by public agencies. 
My hobbies include making art, traveling to new places, exploring the forest, and spending time with my animals (cat, dog and horse).
Areas of Interest: 

Trauma-Informed Care, decolonizing social work, secondary trauma, food and body image, chronic illness, destigmatizing mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, mindfulness, animal-assisted therapies, health education, somatic work, IFS/parts work, disordered eating, structural dissociation, ADHD, Autism, neurodivergence, and 2SLGBTQ+ issues.

Master of Social Work, Humboldt State University
Favorite professional and self-help books: 
"Trauma Recovery Handbook for Survivors" by Rachel Walker, LMFT
"The Neurodivergent Friendly Workbook of DBT Skills" by Sonny Jane Wise
"Radical Acceptance" by Tara Brach
"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
Favorite Quote: "The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."   ~ Carl Rogers
Erica Ashby
SHC, 2nd Floor