Obtaining considerable expertise in mental health services for adults, couples, families, and adolescents, Kathy T. Rider, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA, became involved in her profession at the University of Texas. Serving as a dorm counselor during her undergraduate years, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1967 before going on to receive a Master of Science in social work in 1969. She is a licensed clinical social worker in Texas and is board certified in clinical social work nationally, a certified group psychotherapist, and a fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.
Ms. Rider began her career as a psychiatric social worker on the adult mental health staff at Integral Care from 1969 to 1977, and later held a position on the board from 1989 to 1999. She was also active with the city of Austin’s Model Cities Project, serving as a consultant from 1970 to 1972, a community organization specialist for alcohol-related services from 1974 to 1976, and a board member for the homemaker services with Child and Family Services from 1970 to 1975. In 1977, she opened her private practice of clinical social work and continues to practice today.
Alongside her private practice, Ms. Rider was an assistant professor on the clinical faculty at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin from 1977 to 1981, later returning as an adjunct faculty member from 1999 to 2001. She was also an adjunct faculty member at St. Edward’s University from 1983 to 1982, concurrent with being on the clinical staff of the mental health department of the Austin Regional Clinic from 1982 to 1984. A board director of the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health since 2006 and the Clinical Social Work Association since 2017, Ms. Rider has also held the role of president for the Texas Society for Clinical Social Work, the Southwestern Group Psychotherapy Society and the New Milestones Foundation at various times between 2003 and 2015.
Other professional affiliations of Ms. Rider’s include membership in the National Association of Social Workers, where she served as a director on the board 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 of Austin, as a member from 2002 to the present. Notably, she was very active with local schools. First involving herself on the board of the First Baptist Day School from 1980 to 1982, she then 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, the Austin High School PTA from 1988 to 1989, and the Austin City Council of PTAs from 1991 to 1992, where she had previously served as administrative vice president.
In 1992, Ms. Rider was elected vice president of the board of trustees for the Austin Independent School District. Two years later, she was elected president of the board of trustees, serving until 2002, which she cites as a major highlight of her community involvement. Feeling strongly about providing support to public schools, she felt serving in this position was a labor of love on behalf of the citizens of Austin. She was proud to be named Social Worker of the Year in Texas in 1990, and was honored as a Charles I. Wright Distinguished Alumni by the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work in 1998.
Ms. Rider was presented with the Austin Child Guidance Center Christin W. Anderson Children’s Award for her work with children, adolescents and their families in 2007. She was named a fellow of the Austin Group Psychotherapy Association in 2010. In 2014, Ms. Rider was awarded the Social Responsibility and Community Service Award by the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health.