I completed an undergraduate degree in psychology at USM, and I then graduated from USM with a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology in 2017.I joined the BAR Lab as an undergraduate looking to get my feet wet with research experience pre-graduate school.I now work as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Columbus, Ohio.
What did you do after graduating from USM and what are you doing now?
Following graduation, I relocated to Columbus, Ohio, and pursued a career in community mental health.I took a clinical position with a non-profit counseling organization providing affordable, accessible, culturally-sensitive mental health, substance abuse, and support services to individuals, families, and community organizations in the central Ohio area.My treatment modalities include cognitive behavioral, person centered, mindfulness, and expressive arts approaches.
How has your education in your doctoral, masters, undergraduate program at USM and work in the lab help prepare you for what you are doing now/career?
By receiving in-depth training in Motivational Interviewing through projects with the BAR Lab, I am able to better connect with clients seeking substance use and court-mandated treatment.As a clinician utilizing motivational interviewing, I may work with the client to address ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find their identified internal motivation necessary to change their behaviors.Additionally, for clients seeking harm reduction in their substance use, I am able to explore strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with substance use, all concepts prevalent in the work of the BAR Lab research.
What did you enjoy most about your time at USM and in the research lab?
I loved the sense of teamwork that was so evident in the BAR Lab and the USM Counseling Psychology Program.Peers, mentors, and professors alike; the program is rich with support and dedication to ensure each student meets their professional goals.From regular meetings to discuss research to evenings out as a program listening to local musicians, I always felt welcome and at home with the program.
What words of wisdom would you provide to those thinking about studying counseling psychology/psychology at USM?
The first thing that comes to mind… get involved! Interested in joining a research team?Reach out to inquire about how you may get involved.Looking to up your stats game? Visit the statistics tutoring center.Another wonderful thing about USM, and the School of Psychology in general, is the amount of resources that are available to you as a student, aspiring researcher, or future mental health clinician.Ask questions.Start to think of the bigger picture: what would you like to do with a degree in psychology? What steps may you be able to take now to get closer to that goal?Getting involved and having discussions with professors, advisors, and students may just lead you in the right direction to answer some of those questions.