Congratulations to Denise Dailey, M.A ’16, a Chicago Campus Clinical Psychology (Psy.D) student, who has been selected for the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 19 Society for Military Psychology 2022 Society Leadership Program (SLP)! Dailey is the first Adler student to be selected for the SLP.
Denise grew up in a military family. With both of her parents serving in the armed forces, she saw the firsthand effects of returning from combat and need for additional supports. After receiving her undergraduate degree in psychology from Hampton University, Dailey sought a master’s degree in Military Psychology from Adler University’s Online campus. Today, while in her final year of earning her Psy.D. from Adler, Dailey has the long-term goal of establishing residential facilities and transitional housing units for veterans experiencing chronic homelessness in Chicago. She notes that housing can often interfere with veterans receiving the full benefits of mental health treatment, including treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. She hopes to provide veterans with a stable environment and holistic care services including individual and group psychotherapy, cognitive processing therapy for PTSD, and even integrating practices often not accessible to marginalized communities such as art therapy, equine therapy, massage therapy, reiki, and music therapy.
Dailey has been working on the development of this vision for the past seven years. While interning and working at several nonprofits, she has been able to pilot elements of her program to gauge response and benefits from veterans. While overseeing program and outreach services for R.I.S.E (Resources. Information. Support. Empowerment.), a mental health program for veterans on Chicago’s West Side, Dailey helped build out the behavioral health programming for veterans from various campaign eras and cultural backgrounds. Through programming, veterans volunteered in their community, received job training, took part in fitness classes, received trauma-based therapy, and were connected to holistic care providers in the local Chicagoland community.
Society Leadership Program participants like Dailey will have the opportunity to present a capstone project at the APA Conference this year and receive expert advice from those attending the conference. Dailey plans for her capstone project to focus on reintegration issues for the country’s newest era of veterans. She states, “This will be a great platform for me to raise awareness about the mental health disparities that are impacting U.S. service members and contribute to veteran homelessness. I hope to demonstrate the need for these residential facilities and receive expert advice from people who have already been established in the field of military psychology.” In addition to her capstone, Dailey will undergo a leadership assessment, which will help her identify areas of strength and growth in her leadership skills.
Since starting her post-graduate education at Adler University, Denise has made great impacts in her field and in the Chicago community. As the first Adler student to be selected for the Division 19 Society Leadership program, her advice to future students would be to keep pushing forward and find like-minded peers and mentors who will encourage you when you’re doubting yourself. “This is such a rewarding field, and the work is so satisfying – to be able to witness someone’s life change completely is a blessing. Being a part of these journeys is so special, I can’t really describe it in words, but it has been such a special experience to watch life happen for people,” says Dailey.
Congratulations to Denise Dailey on this achievement! Adler University is proud to have students like Dailey who continue to build on the works of their field and live out Adler’s social justice mission.