Hounds With Purpose – An Interview with Rachael Lamoureux ’16 by Abigail Block ’25, Ashley Cuneo ’25, and Josie Maldonis ’25.

How to Cultivate Success in Our Lives.  

An interview by Abigail Block ’25, Ashley Cuneo ’25, and Josie Maldonis ’25.

Hounds with Purpose is a space for alumni to share their stories of purpose and vocational engagement beyond their years at Assumption. This blog is created by the Center for Purpose and Vocation and the Career Development and Internship Center (CDIC) to better connect students and alumni through experiential storytelling. 

In Fall 2022, students in the SOPHIA Program enrolled in the comparative literature course CLT 255 The Figure of the Seeker, taught by Prof. Esteban Loustaunau. A class assignment asked students to conduct interviews with alumni who had similar academic interests when they were in college. In these interviews, SOPHIA students, committed to discerning their own callings and to seeking a life of purpose, were interested in listening to the life stories of alumni in order to learn from their experiences since their time at Assumption, make new connections, and to find inspiration in their wisdom. We are happy to share these experiences with the blog readers.

Rachael Lamoureux (Hickey) ’16 is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in eating disorders. At Assumption, she majored in Psychology with a minor in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies. She also earned her Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling Psychology at Assumption in 2018.Rachael has worked at Walden Behavioral Care since her internship in 2017 and is currently Lead I Clinician overseeing Walden’s Binge Eating Disorder specialty program. Rachael has also had the privilege of returning to Assumption as an adjunct lecturer in both the undergraduate and graduate psychology departments.

Abigail Block is a Junior at Assumption University with a major in Psychology and a double minor in Criminology and Applied Behavior Analysis. She is an Admissions Ambassador and participates in the Peer Mentorship program, Orientation, and as President of the Campus Activities Board.

Ashley Cuneo is a student majoring in Human Services & Rehabilitation with a minor in Psychology. She is one of four Assumption students awarded a Lynch Foundation Scholarship.  She is a member of Assumption’s Cheerleading team.

Josie Maldonis has a major in Psychology with a concentration in Mental Health. She is a member of the Commuters Club on campus and works at the Plourde Recreation Center. Josie is a member of Assumption’s Dance Team.

In this interview, Rachael Lamoureux talks with Abby, Ashley, and Josie about the lessons we can learn from failure, the importance of role models in our lives, ways in which we can measure success, and about career opportunities that can emerge from productive internships.  

Abby: For us students, the idea of failure, both personally and professionally, can bring a feeling of anxiety but can also help to build courage. What is your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?

Prof. Lamoureux: The biggest failure I feel like I have came more from a hyper-focused perfectionist mindset that I had experienced in early periods of my life. For example, in my undergraduate days, I kept telling myself that I needed to have a 4.0, needed to have the highest GPA in the class. Even though I did, it came at the expense of so much stress and anxiety and missing out on things I could have otherwise enjoyed. Reflecting on it, I feel like I’ve learned to find a better balance and now I’ve become a more well-rounded individual.

Rachel Lamoureux (Hickey) ’16 at her induction ceremony for Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology.


Abby: And do you think that helped you to learn more about who you are; to set healthier expectations for yourself?

Prof. Lamoureux: Absolutely, because I work with many folks struggling with perfectionism and anxiety in a myriad of other things, but I think that figuring out ways to overcome that has made me a more effective clinician.

Abby: If you could go back and give your younger self advice what would it be?

Prof.  Lamoureux: I would tell my younger self “Don’t worry so much, nobody cares as much about all of those little things as you do.”  I would give myself this advice because that amount of worry and anxiety over the little things really takes away from enjoyment of the present. I’ve adopted what I call the “rule of five”: if it’s not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes stressing about it.” 

Josie: Do you have a hero or a role model? Who would that be?

Prof. Lamoureux: My mom, for sure. I grew up in a single-parent household and the number of sacrifices she made for us was beyond the call. She never made us feel like we couldn’t do anything we wanted to do, and the way she preserved her resilience through all the obstacles she faced is truly inspiring to this day.  I keep telling her that I want to be her when I grow up.

Josie: What class at Assumption stuck with you the most and still applies to you in your career?

Prof. Lamoureux: There are two classes that immediately pop into my head, my Addictions Course I took for my minor, and Clinical Psychology. I had a minor in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies, and I just fell in love with that course. Professor Mark Stewart, who is now retired, was phenomenal and a fantastic mentor for me throughout my undergraduate years at Assumption. Since my career now focuses on Eating Disorders, I feel like I continue to be on the same pathway of Addiction Studies, so that course I took with Prof. Stewart was foundational and helped me with what I do now. The second class was Clinical Psychology with Professor Amy Cirillo who is just amazing in every way.  What I learned in this class keeps helping me to focus on what are some useful clinical tools that I use and will continue to use moving forward. All these courses were super important and foundational but it’s more exciting when you can do hands-on activities that you’ll use in your real job.

Josie: What made you choose to return to Assumption to continue your career here?

Prof. Lamoureux: I just love Assumption. I’m a creature of habit and Assumption was just my second home. It has always felt like a safe place for me. It’s a place where I feel good going back to and it was such an honor to have been invited back because I loved my years at Assumption. I did my undergraduate studies here, I did my graduate program here, and it was a really surreal moment to come full circle.

Rachael Lamoureux (Hickey) at the 2016 Commencement Ceremony.

Abby:  While you were at Assumption, did you ever see yourself coming back here to teach or did you have a different path in mind then?

Prof. Lamoureux:  I always really enjoyed the mentorship aspect of teaching. In my undergraduate years, teaching wasn’t really on my radar, so I was going back and forth between pursuing a master’s degree versus a doctoral program. In graduate school, I started thinking to myself that it would be cool to teach a few of these classes someday.  When I had the opportunity to guest lecture during my graduate school years, teaching really piqued my interest even further. I hoped that one day I might have my own class and here we are.

Ashley: What makes you excited to wake up in the morning?

Prof. Lamoureux: Honestly, well you’re in my class Ashley so you know what I’m talking about, I just get so much energy from my students and their enthusiasm and that brings me so much joy. Even on the toughest days at work meeting with clients with eating disorders, seeing their little moment of wins, their little breakthroughs, the progress they’re making, it just makes everything so worth it.

Ashley: How do you define success?

Prof. Lamoureux: Success? I think it’s very subjective for everyone. For me, success can be found by asking two questions: Am I happy with what I’m doing? And am I surrounding myself with people who bring me joy and who I feel supported by?  I’m not in my career for the money.  I knew it was just a pipe dream to want to make a fortune going into psychology and therapy. All I need is to be comfortable and able to support myself. I enjoy the little things.

Ashley: How do you keep yourself motivated and remain passionate in your daily life?

Professor Lamoureux: Having good home-versus-work boundaries is super important, especially in this field. For example, I turn off notifications on my email that pop up on my phone 27 million times a day. This is a necessary feature to have. I make sure to make time for self-care and to remember that my career isn’t my whole life. You must continue to do what you really enjoy, but don’t let it consume you.

Abby: How did you choose your career path?

Prof. Lamoureux: Eating Disorders have their own little niche population. Not many counselors choose to work with this group. In fact, a lot of counselors refuse to work with this population because the medical liability is very high. Throughout my undergraduate studies and in graduate school, I always tried to gear my projects so I could research eating disorders.   Here’s a little story of how I became interested in the field of eating disorders: When I was in middle school, I played basketball which is kind of hilarious now because I have no athletic ability. There was a girl on our team a year older than me and I just idolized her. She was a fantastic player, incredible student, and just a genuinely nice person.  Suddenly, she kind of disappeared for a little bit. We were all very confused when we learned that she was in treatment for anorexia at a residential facility. I had never heard of this disorder before, and I was very confused and puzzled by it but that kind of sparked my interest and I started thinking of all kinds of questions: “What is this? Why does something that seems so counterintuitive happen?” Depriving yourself of the thing that’s supposed to keep you alive seems counterintuitive to me. So, gradually I started to do some more research projects and then for my graduate school internship this was the population I wanted to work with. I did my internship at Walden Behavioral Care and by the end of my internship they hired me, which was very exciting!

Abby: Do you think you would have still found your way towards your job at Walden if you didn’t have an internship there?  Do you feel like you were where you were meant to be?

Prof. Lamoureux: I definitely feel I am where I’m meant to be. Walden was a phenomenal internship experience. It was hard, but I learned a lot and the people were supportive. I had friends who were in internships somewhere else that were not so great. If I hadn’t had such a positive experience with my internship I may not have as much passion for what I do now. It would have felt more like a punch clock get in and get out, I can’t-wait-to-be-anywhere-else sort of thing. I think it is really about the connections you make and the experience you have overall.

Abby: Have you had a relationship with a specific client that has challenged or reassured your career path? 

Prof. Lamoureux: “Yeah, I feel like we all have that one case that sticks with you and so I certainly have that case. She was incredibly difficult at times, she struggled with borderline personality disorder.  This client suffered from a severe eating disorder and engaged in many negative behaviors, but she was also funny and charming, and I managed to break through some of her stoic “I don’t want to be here, I don’t need you to help me.” That was a big moment for me as a young clinician at Walden.  She had been a kind of revolving-door client since the time of my internship. When I received the email that said she was going to work with me, I was like “Who’s going to work with who now?” I had so much anxiety going into that case, but it was very transformative for the two of us.

Josie: What are some of your hobbies and pastimes?

Prof. Lamoureux: I love to play guitar and sing. I often fancy myself as an amateur singer/songwriter. I’m also kind of your local cat lady. I only have one cat, but she is the most spoiled little creature you have ever seen. A new thing my husband and I have been doing is taking ballroom dance classes. Five years ago, if you told me I would be doing this I would have laughed hysterically but we started these dance classes before our wedding to not look stupid for our first dance. We really fell in love with it, so it’s just been a really fun thing to learn and be outside of my comfort zone entirely. Quote me on this, “Do fun things as an adult.” Do with it what you will. Obviously, school is important but have fun. I was first in my undergraduate class because I put a lot of energy and effort into it and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but don’t forget to have fun occasionally.

For more information on Prof. Lamoureux’s research and clinical work, listen to her guest interview in the What the Fox?! Podcast for Mental Health Awareness Month in May 2022.


Learn more about the following programs at Assumption University:

The SOPHIA Program

The Center for Purpose and Vocation

The Psychology Department

The Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies Department

The Wellness Center

To learn more about alumni and student relationships on vocational discernment, visit the new ASPIRE Program page.


By Caitlin Sze
Caitlin Sze Graduate Assistant for Marketing, Communications & Event Management