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Stories | 10.05.22

The Class of 2022: Four graduates share what’s next after Adler

This year, approximately 400 students will receive their master’s or doctoral degrees from Adler University. As they prepare to walk across the commencement stage, many of them are reflecting on their time at Adler while looking ahead to what’s next. Meet four members of the Class of 2022 to learn what the future has in store.

Photo of Samantha Jones

Ms. Jones

Samantha Jones, Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy, Chicago

Reaching graduation has been my goal for the last three years. As exciting as it is to be here, it also leaves the foreseeable future unclear as I adjust to life without school. My professional focus at this moment is building my client list and finding trainings that I am personally excited to learn about and incorporate into my practice as a socially responsible clinician. Being a student at Adler gave me the opportunity to challenge the populations I thought I wanted to work with and has given me a clear vision for what I want my practice to look like as I learn to network. Personally, I love being able to spend time with all the people I love and who have been so patient with me over the last three years. I don’t know what I would have done without my support system, and I feel I can give them my full self back.

Photo of Veronica Li

Dr. Li

Veronica Li, Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology, Vancouver

My journey at Adler began when I started my master’s in counselling psychology several years ago. Afterward, I decided to pursue my doctor of psychology degree. as I felt that I wanted to continue my education and learn more about providing evidence-based assessment and treatment. Throughout my journey at Adler and in my clinical training, I had many opportunities to work with diverse populations, skilled professors and supervisors, and strengthen my clinical skills. My next step is registering with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia and supporting clients through private practice. I am also starting a multidisciplinary health clinic focused on serving women, gender-diverse persons, and racialized people — women, racialized people, and individuals in the 2SLGBTQ+ community experience an overall lower quality of health care, less access to services, and worse health outcomes than the general population. “2S” refers to “Two Spirit,” which acknowledges that Two Spirit Indigenous people were the first sexual and gender minority people in North America to demonstrate solidarity with them. My business partner and I hope to fill this gap by offering services tailored to these populations. The University’s values in social justice have absolutely influenced how I practice and the work I will continue to do moving forward.

Photo of Seth Taylor

Mr. Taylor

Seth Taylor, Master of Arts (M.A.) in Couple and Family Therapy, Chicago

I have started working at a private practice in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood called Embrace Sexual Wellness. I am working towards a licensed marriage and family therapist licensure and American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) certification to become a certified sex therapist. Adler has prepared me for these next steps by helping me find a robust practicum internship placement that prepared me well for post-grad professional work. Adler also created a sex therapy certification program to which I had the honor of being a part of the first-ever cohort to complete the program, which jumpstarted the work required to fulfill my goal of becoming a certified sex therapist.

Photo of Samantha VanDeman

Ms. VanDeman

Samantha VanDeman, Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling: Art Therapy, Chicago

While at Adler, I interned at Journey Care, which provides supportive, palliative, and hospice care in Illinois. After graduation, I received a full-time position as a bereavement coordinator there. Part of my job is managing bereavement groups and providing individual counseling to grieving individuals who lost a loved one or friend in hospice. The master’s program prepared me for my current job by teaching me to create my own art directives and learning to run a therapy group. The two classes I learned the most from were assessment and trauma; both provided me with the skills and knowledge to work at my internship and get hired upon completing my 700 hours.

In August, I also started the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Art Therapy program as a part-time student at Adler. I hope to gain more experience working with individuals who have gone through trauma and become certified in dialectical behavior therapy training. A future goal of mine is to be able to work in a children’s hospital and use art therapy with children who are terminally ill and provide bereavement counseling to families experiencing a loss.


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