Chicago | Assistant Professor,
Department of Counseling and Integrated Programs |
Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.)
The goals of counselor education, indeed the demands of the counseling profession, dictate that students be prepared to think critically, act independently, and be attuned to cultural and individual differences. Like famed educator and psychologist Dewey, I believe learning that is personal and integrated into the counseling student’s life experience is more likely to reach professional standards of ethical, competent and compassionate practice. Khalil Gibran, philosopher and mystic states that if the teacher is wise “[s]he does not bid you enter the house of [her] wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” I seek to be an educator that connects students to their own source of inspiration for the counseling profession and resources them for a lifetime of fulfillment and ongoing learning as professional counselors.
One of the ways that I achieve meaningful learning experiences with students is to allow ample time for them to reflect on their learning and apply it to their own lives and experiences. I believe the retention and usefulness of knowledge is strengthened when students make a personal connection to the material. I encourage students to use themselves as examples when appropriate, and I assign reflection papers to achieve this goal. I authored a reflective practice curriculum for first-year counseling students and practicum trainees that is designed to foster cultural competence. Students in my classes may simultaneously feel nurtured and challenged. My assessment strategies emphasize students’ ability to apply, integrate, and evaluate counseling principles. While it is difficult to strike the right balance between more cerebral and personal learning experiences, I believe both are necessary to perpetuate excellence in the counseling profession.
My teaching is informed by over twenty-five years of experience as a therapist and professional counselor. My formative years of clinical practice were spent in community mental health and other community-based settings caring for clients with complex behavioral, social and multi-systemic needs. As a counselor, I use an integrative approach, combining the best of several evidenced based clinical practices and techniques, while drawing perspective from depth oriented psychodynamic and relational theories and culturally relevant forms of healing. My research and scholarship interests are strongly influenced by my clinical practice and teaching experiences. I investigate topics that exist in the intersection of culture and mental health with particular emphasis on the role of professional counselors and other mental health professionals in caring for the mental health needs of a diverse population. To any prospective students who may read this introduction, I look forward to having you in my classes.
Assistant Program Director, Clinical Lecturer, Master of Arts in Counseling Program, The Family Institute at Northwestern University. Served as leader for clinical training functions in the department and developed curriculum for university supervision known as Reflective Practice Supervision.