Holding considerable expertise in counseling for adults, couples, families and adolescents, Kathy T. Rider, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA, became involved in her profession during her time at the University of Texas at Austin. Serving as a counselor in her dorm during her undergraduate years, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1967 before going on to attain a Master of Science in social work in 1969. She is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Texas and is certified as a group psychotherapist and a diplomat of clinical social work.
Ms. Rider began her career as a social worker on the adult mental health staff at an Austin and Travis County mental health center now known as Integral Care from 1969 to 1977, and later held a position on the board from 1989 to 1999. During this time, she was also active with the city of Austin’s Model Cities Project, serving as a consultant from 1971 to 1972 and a community organization specialist for alcohol-related services from 1974 to 1976; and with the Child and Family Service of Austin, as a member of the homemaker services board, from 1970 to 1975. In 1977, she entered private practice as a clinical social worker, a position she remains in to this day.
Alongside her primary career responsibilities, Ms. Rider proffered her expertise as clinical field faculty at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin from 1977 to 1981, later returning as adjunct faculty from 1999 to 2001. She also spent time as an adjunct professor at St. Edward’s University between 1983 and 1991, which was partially concurrent with her time as clinical staff in the mental health department at the Austin Regional Clinic from 1982 to 1984. A board member of the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health and the American Group Psychotherapy Foundation since 2006 and the Clinical Social Work Association since 2015, she has also held the role of president for the Texas Society for Clinical Social Work, the Southwestern Group Society and the New Milestones Foundation at various times between 2003 and 2015.
Other involvements of Ms. Rider’s include membership in the National Association of Social Workers, where she served as the director of the Texas chapter from 1980 to 1984; the Austin Mediators Association, as a board member from 1985 to 1987; the Austin Women’s Forum, as president from 2006 to 2007; and the Settlement Club. Notably, she was also very active with local schools. First involving herself on the board of the First Baptist Day School from 1980 to 1982, she became president of the L.L. Campbell Elementary School PTA in 1984 and subsequently held the same role with the Bryker Woods Elementary School PTA from 1987 to 1988 and the Austin City Council PTA from 1991 to 1992, where she had previously served as administrative vice president.
The president of Austin High School from 1988 to 1989, in 1992 Ms. Rider became a vice president of the board of trustees for the Austin Independent School District. Two years later, she was elected to the position of president of the board of trustees, which she cites as a major highlight of her career. Feeling strongly about providing support to independent schools, she felt being elected to this position was the culmination of a labor of love for her community. She was also proud to be named Social Worker of the Year in Texas in 1990 and a fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association in 2000. Ms. Rider was also honored as a Charles Wright Distinguished Alumni by the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin in 2001 and presented with the Austin Child Guidance Center Award for her work with children adolescents and families.