Meet Gabby Frook, Fairbanks Child & Family Clinician
Gabby Frook is a Master’s level clinician working toward her LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) licensure, a military spouse, and maybe most of all, a Harry Potter fan.
Moving to Alaska
Gabby moved to Alaska from South Carolina. She has embraced the beauty and the outdoors, 4-wheeling and camping with the family dogs. “When I found out we were coming to Alaska I was excited about this being a completely new environment and experience for me. “
Serving Military Families
Gabby provides services at our Child & Family Clinic in Fairbanks. She spends part of her work week at on Fort Wainwright at Arctic Light Elementary School through our AK RISES partnership. She grew up as a military kid, so it is a good fit: “I know how hard that life can be so I was really excited when I was asked if I would be interested in the AK Rises position. My hope is to be able to provide support for the kiddos living a unique experience that not many people can understand. “
At the clinic, she’s known for doing lots of hands-on activities with her clients – from baking cookies to making slime. Supervisor Mara Hill calls Gabby “incredibly sharp, with tons of creative ideas, and a lot of energy.” She has a high-level of knowledge about trauma and its effects on children and families and she comes up with creative ways to talk about it. One favorite way: crinkling up a piece of paper to represent the disorder trauma causes.
I also mime trying to kick shut a cabinet with a bunch of crinkled balls of paper in it to show how your brain really wouldn’t like ignoring difficult events and how the brain would make these memories pop out when you don’t expect it. From there, I take the paper and explain that by talking about and processing what we have experienced, it helps our brain understand things that have happened to us. Once the paper is flattened, then we can put it back in our mental filing cabinet and it won’t pop out randomly but rather, we can choose to retrieve that memory.
Gabby is always looking for ways to engage her clients and keep them engaged in doing the hard work of therapy. One linked back to her favorite book series. Clients earned points for the Hogwarts Houses of Harry Potter fame by trying something new, meeting treatment plan goals, or practicing the coping skills they learned in clinic out in their everyday lives.
As for her favorite line from Harry Potter? “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Gabby says it speaks to how fulfilling she finds it to walk with people on their journey. “ I think it shines hope on people’s situations that no matter where you start or what your abilities are, you always have the ability to choose what you want to do with those things. I hope that people choose to heal.”