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April 2, 2017

A [very] brief history of professional counseling.

Professional counselors exist in a landscape that also includes practicing psychologists (counseling, clinical, school), psychiatrists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Given the wide array of those who have professional missions of helping, I aim to use this brief historical overview to identify what establishes the core values of the field of professional counseling that are present today. While the time between reformation and the election of President Clinton represents an immense time of growth for this field, I am interested in providing a few tidbits about the origins of our work. 

1881 marks the year...

April 2, 2017

I feel passionately about helping others to make career decisions based on information and not fear. Given the wide array of options one can pursue in order to become a mental health provider or academic in a mental health discipline, it can be hard to make an informed choice. Therefore, this post was written to provide education as well as to provide a personal narrative on the decision-making process. It serves an indirect, tertiary purpose of informing those who may seek a therapist about some of the distinctions that may be helpful to know.

Suffice it to say, there are typically distinct reasons why one should obtain therapy from a professional counselor, psychologist, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, psychiatr...

April 2, 2017

Since the announcement of the Trump/Pence ticket for the 2016 presidential election, I have been deeply pondering my role in continuing to advocate for the needs of 'undocumented,' Muslim, ethnic minority, and LGBTQ+ students. This prompted the development of the following list.

To be culturally humble is to espouse a discrete set of values:

  1. I don't need to have experienced someone's reality to believe and respect their lived reality when they communicate it to me.

  2. As I can only experience my cultural identities, I am incapable of knowing, from lived experience, what another's life is truly like. By accepting this state of being, I create perceptual access to an advanced form of empathy called interpathy. 

  3. If I step on the...

November 24, 2016

In this post, three conceptual frameworks* relevant to conceptualizing factors presumed necessary for the retention and persistence of African American College Men will be presented. These frameworks include Tinto's (1975, 1993) Interactionalist Model of Student Departure, Schreiner's (2010) Thriving Quotient, and Harris and Wood's (2013) Five Domain Framework for Student Success Among African American Community College Students.

*Note: Aside from the Harris and Wood (2013) model, these frameworks are applicable to all college students.

Tinto (1975, 1993)

The Interactionalist Model of Student Departure includes the following four components:

  • Precollegiate characteristics

  • Commitment

  • Academic Integration

  • Social...

October 9, 2016

It is a tragic fact that American public elementary and secondary education deprives us an opportunity to explore the rich, nuanced terrain of culture, in all its glory. As such, we are left without the knowledge, vocabulary, or experience needed to have consistently positive, meaningful cross cultural interactions. There is a litany of data, primarily derived from the social science literature, detailing everything from factors that impact social development, to those predicting the outcomes of interactions between out-group members. This blog seeks to pair this extensive body of research with that found in multicultural counseling/psychology and higher education to offer best practices, programmatic concepts, troubleshoot challenges,...

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