Archive for the 'Counseling and Human Services' Category

The Cost of Telling the Truth

truth-257160_960_720By Sabrina Bartels

Throughout my (several) years of education, I’ve been blessed with a wide variety of amazing teachers. And when I really think about what makes some of these teachers stand out in my memory is the fact that they built a relationship with me. The things they may have done and said may have been small to them, but they meant the world to me. They showed me how much influence and power simple words, actions, and caring can have on a student.

Here’s one example: during my junior year of college, I fell ill with the dreaded “swine flu.” It was right before midterms, and it was awful. I had emailed the professors whose midterms I hadn’t taken yet, explaining my situation and how I was leaving campus early. My wonderful philosophy professor (Dr. Theresa Tobin) emailed me back, telling me to take care and that we would figure out the midterm situation when I returned. It was such a relief to know that I wasn’t going to fail my midterm, or that me being sick would count against me. I am not sure she knew exactly how much peace of mind she gave me that day I went home.

All relationships are built on trust, and I unfortunately had to break the trust of one of my students recently. In terms of confidentiality and mandatory reporting, I had to report the situation. The student begged me not to, even though we had talked about how I had to. Despite all that, it didn’t make anything easier. And with how the situation is unfolding now, I wish things could’ve been different.

It’s taken a lot of discussions with my coworkers to come to grips with the fact that I had to report the situation the student told me about; even though I know I did the right thing, I still worry about my students and the situations they must face. I am also sad, confused, and frustrated by the fact that my connection with this student may be permanently affected as a result. I am worried that this student will not talk to me at all anymore, or may refuse to meet with me and discuss his concerns. I worry that his trust in me is broken. My relationships with my students are precious, and I do not take the fact that they confide in me for granted. Even though my students know the limits of my confidentiality, it doesn’t make things easier when I need to report something that they say.

I’ve talked a lot about the hard aspects of my job, and this is definitely one of them. And of all the difficulties I mention when it comes to counseling, I believe that this is the part I struggle with the most. It’s not easy to feel like you’ve “betrayed” a student’s trust in you, especially when the majority of your career is spent building trust and relationships with your students. It’s even harder when that student actively resists meeting with you, which makes it much more difficult to follow up.

I’m still figuring out how to proceed from here. This isn’t the first time that I’ve had to report something, and it sadly will not be my last, but it is one of the first times a student has resisted talking to me as a result of my reporting. I keep telling myself every day that I did what was right, even though it definitely wasn’t easy or what I wanted to do. My hope is that the situation will work out for the best for my student, and that he is able to go forward living a happy, safe life.

Welcoming Dr. Lynne Knobloch-Fedders to the COED Family

The Knobloch-Fedders Family

An undergraduate alumna of Marquette University, Dr. Lynne Knobloch-Fedders is returning to her Wisconsin roots this fall and joining the faculty of the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology department. We’d like to take a moment to introduce her so you can get to know her better!

COED: Tell us about yourself!

Lynne Knobloch-Fedders: My husband and I met at Marquette, and we are both proud undergraduate alumni. After receiving my Ph.D. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, I served on the faculty at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, a clinical and academic institute which specializes in couple and family therapy, for 16 years. I am thrilled to be returning to Marquette, to join the academic community I came to cherish as an undergraduate.

My husband and I have three children, Kathryn (9), Carsten (6), and Sophia (4). They are very fun, but keep us very busy! In the free time I do have, I love gardening, playing tennis, swimming, and taking long walks.

Where did you grow up? Are you new to Milwaukee?

LKF: I’m a Wisconsin native (I grew up in Oshkosh, and my husband is from Sheboygan). We are delighted to return home to Wisconsin to be closer to friends and family. I love Milwaukee and can’t wait to explore the changes that have occurred in the city over the past few years. I’m also a huge fan of the Milwaukee Brewers and Green Bay Packers, and we are looking forward to attending Marquette basketball games as a family.

What is your favorite educational experience?

LKF: As an undergraduate at Marquette, I learned how to embrace the social justice mission of the Jesuit educational tradition. I am looking forward to contributing to that mission as a faculty member in the College of Education.

My faith is also very important to me. Marquette is where my Catholic identity was fully formed, and I am very pleased to be able to rejoin the campus faith community.

What do you see as an exciting opportunity for this upcoming academic year?

LKF: I am looking forward to the opportunity to reconnect with the Marquette community, and meet students, faculty, and staff from around the university. I’d also like to build research collaborations across the university and within the greater Milwaukee community.

What drew you to Marquette and the COED?

LKF: I love Marquette. I am so proud to able to rejoin the Marquette community, and to be able to work alongside the many talented students, faculty, and staff of the College of Education.

Dr. Knobloch-Fedders will teach “Family Counseling,” “Research Methods,” “Intermediate Statistics,” along with “Evaluation and Measurement.” Want to know more about the College of Education? You can learn more about our new faculty and degree programs by visiting us today!

Introducing Dr. Karisse A. Callender

Photo Jan 20, 11 20 16 AM copy


The College of Education is pleased to introduce you to one of our three new faculty members for the 2017–2018 school year. Dr. Karisse A. Callender is an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education Counseling Psychology department. She holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Texas A&M University — Corpus Christi. We caught up with Dr. Callender to ask her some questions about her views on education, Milwaukee, and her favorite books!

 

 


I want to prepare my students with the foundation to go into their respective communities with knowledge to help them develop behaviors and skills that are holistic, and career-sustaining, as they work with their clients and colleagues.

Tell us a little more about yourself! Where did you grow up? What’s your favorite book?

Dr. Karisse Callender: I am from the beautiful island of Tobago, the smaller of the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. As a child, I loved reading and that hasn’t changed in my adult life. Two of my favorites for this year are The Compassionate Achiever by Christopher L. Kukk and The Prophet by Kahil Gibran. I don’t drink coffee but I love hot teas and usually drink several cups each day! My education began with an undergraduate degree in behavioral sciences (psychology with a sociology minor), a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling (concentration in alcohol and other drug abuse) and a doctoral degree in counselor education. I am a licensed professional counselor and substance abuse counselor, and I worked with adolescents, adults, couples, and families in both outpatient and residential settings with presenting issues related to mental health, substance use, and trauma.

How long have you lived in Milwaukee?

KC: I am new to the Milwaukee area and so far, I love the many activities I can enjoy outdoors and being in a vibrant city. Although it will take some time to adjust to a bigger city, I am excited to call Milwaukee my new home and look forward to creating many happy memories here. I would like to learn more about the culture and explore outdoor activities, community organizations, and anything that is local to Milwaukee and the surrounding areas.

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

What is your favorite educational experience?

KC: When I teach and I observe students struggling to understand the concepts in their textbook or from materials in class, my favorite thing to do is to draw from my clinical experience to provide them with a real-life example and interpretation of what they read. It’s amazing to see how their eyes light up when they finally experience the “aha!” moment. As a doctoral student, one of my favorite educational experiences was learning how to design, implement, and manage a fully functional online class and teach a module online.

What do you see as an exciting opportunity for this upcoming academic year?

KC: I am excited to get into my research agenda and collaborate with students, colleagues and community organizations. I look forwarding to playing a role in bridging the researcher-practitioner gap as I learn about the needs within the community. I want to prepare my students with the foundation to go into their respective communities with knowledge to help them develop behaviors and skills that are holistic, and career-sustaining, as they work with their clients and colleagues.

What are your research interests?

KC: My research interests are grounded in three primary areas: trauma, addiction, and clinical supervision. I am interested in studying the effects and implications of trauma and addiction across the lifespan and interventions that are most appropriate for this population. As counselors and counselor educators we often supervise individuals at different stages of their professional development. I want to find out about specific supervision needs and interventions for students and counselors who may be in recovery, and those who work primarily with clients with trauma or addiction diagnoses.

Across my research agenda, my intention is to find out what works for whom, how it works, and under what circumstances. I’m also interested in discovering ways to bridge the researcher-practitioner gap through my teaching, research, leadership, and service.

What drew you to Marquette and the COED?

KC: The mission of Marquette resonates with me on a personal and professional level. I share the belief that through excellence in my work, faith in myself and others, and compassionate leadership and service, I can inspire and encourage others. The COED has a nurturing and caring environment which indicates that this is a place where I can flourish as part of the faculty and as an individual. I believe I am very fortunate to be part of Marquette University, the COED, and especially the CECP department.

Dr. Callender will teach “Group Counseling” along with “Human Growth and Development” this fall. Want to know more about the College of Education? You can learn more about our new faculty and degree programs by visiting us today!

Adventures in Graduate School

This summer, the College of Education is hosting four students in the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP). The Counselor Education Counseling Psychology Department’s (CECP)Dr. Jennifer Cook has been working with these students along with a number of graduate students.

Students enrolled in the HCOP program are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and high schools; they are first-generation college students. Part of a federal grant through the Department of Health and Human Services, Marquette University’s HCOP program began in the School of Dentistry and the Department of Physical Therapy. Since 1996, the School of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences and Department of Physical Therapy have been working together. More than 900 students have graduated from the University’s HCOP programs since its inception. While across campus there is an emphasis on both high school and college-aged students, CECP is working closely with students interested in obtaining a Master’s Degree.

The four students who are participating in CECP’s Clinical Mental Health strand of the HCOP program are recent college graduates and rising seniors considering graduate school. There is no fee during the summer session; students receive a stipend to cover room and board while also offsetting the cost of any lost wages from seasonal employment. As they explore their interests in the mental health field, students will gain hands-on counseling skills training, establish relationships with faculty and graduate students, and gain exposure to the expectations of a graduate program in clinical mental health counseling.

Dr. Cook is focused on trying to prepare them for the graduate school environment, helping them to deal with basic skills so they can deal with the emotional stress that may come. She has created an “Intro to Grad School” course where the students focus on APA style writing, etiquette and how to present themselves, and exposure to Raynor Library along with how to use its resources.

In addition, CECP graduate students are learning along with the HCOP students in the College. Elizabeth Tinsley, a doctoral student, is one of the teachers in the program. When asked how she has changed and been affected by this summer’s experiences, she said: “This has been such a fun experience! They [the HCOP students] are inquisitive and invested, which has been so fun to watch in action as they explore Marquette and challenge themselves to push through uncomfortable situations. I have really enjoyed being a part of their journey and hope to seem them thriving as future Marquette alumni and colleagues!” This combination of current and prospective students’ growth has morphed the summer’s program into a deeper learning experience for all involved.


Want to learn more about the College of Education? Visit us online for more information about our graduate programs in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology!

Building a Foundation in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

As the academic year closes, students in the College of Education’s Masters Degree programs are wrapping up extensive research and consultant projects — read on to learn more about their work!

First-year students in Masters Degree programs have a steep learning curve. They are adjusting to an increased workload and higher expectations than their undergraduate experiences while sometimes learning a new city and environment. It’s essential to build a strong foundation for their academic and professional careers. As part of this process, students in the College of Education’s “Foundations of Clinical Mental Health” course are working on skills that will translate to the next level both before and after graduation. Dr. Jennifer Cook’s students research a designated population of society, its perceptions by society and popular culture, and at the end of the semester, present their findings to an audience of peers and community members.

This particular project occurs in four phases. In Phase One, students write a proposal. As background, students may work with a partner or on their own, the choice is up to them. Students who work together typically do so based on subject interest. They identify the population they will investigate for the entire project, conduct a preliminary literature review (to ensure the topic is viable from a counseling literature perspective), and state their personal and professional motivations for their chosen population.

In Phase Two, students examine both popular culture and scholarly literature perspectives of their chosen population. For the popular culture piece, they evaluate multiple media forms (e.g., movies, TV, Facebook, Twitter, memes, informal surveys, blogs). For the scholarly literature, they are required to examine six domains (e.g., evidenced based practices, common diagnoses, utilization of wellness and prevention services), while they integrate the impact of multiple cultural identities and social justice needs/implications. To conclude Phase Two, they compare and contrast popular culture and the scholarly literature, and draw reasonable conclusions how both impact clients, counselors, counseling treatment, and counseling outcomes.

During Phase Three, students interview at least one counseling clinician who works with their chosen population. They have to devise their own interview questions, many of which come from what they learned during Phase Two and the questions that arose for them. In all phases, students reflect on their own process and how it is shaping them as a counselor. Phase Four is the poster presentation. Students create a poster that captures their largest learnings throughout the project; they are responsible for designing the poster and deciding what to include. At the end of the semester, all students present their research in front of an audience of faculty, staff, and community members.

For Dr. Cook, there are a couple of advantages to students’ work and outcomes: “first and foremost, it gives student the opportunity to educate others and advocate for the population they researched.” If each year students and the audience can take away new information about topics that they hadn’t previously considered, she considers it a win. In addition, Dr. Cook notes that students “get to practice professional skills, like public speaking, having professional conversations, and displaying the most important information people need to know (posters are common at our professional conferences).” As students’ confidence increases and anxiety related to presenting decreases, she sees another benefit as “counselors are called on to present to lay people and professionals pretty regularly, so it’s excellent to expose them to doing it early so they know they can.”

Overall, this project is beneficial because it challenges students to view populations from multiple angles, to understand more about the reasons why people can’t or won’t seek mental health treatment, and to understand the realities of working with their chosen population.

This semester, students chose to focus on the following populations:

  • Adolescents with Substance Use Disorder
  • Latinos with Anxiety Disorder
  • Children who Witness Intimate Partner Violence
  • Personality and Eating Disorders
  • Adolescents who Experience Trauma
  • Women and Sex Issues
  • Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Adolescents with addiction
  • African American Adolescent Males
  • Refugees with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Young women with Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Interested in learning more about the College of Education’s graduate programs in Counselor Education and Counseling Education? Visit us online!

Ramp Up With a COED Alumna

Osborne High School counselors, administrator, clerk and parent liaison

Congratulations to Courtney (Wesnofske) Courtney (Master of Arts in School Counseling, ’13) and the counseling department in Osborne High School (Marietta, GA) for receiving RAMP classification! Courtney is the first graduate of the program to achieve RAMP status for her department.

RAMP, short for Recognized ASCA Model Program, is a designation from the American School Counselor Association to recognize high performing school counseling departments. The RAMP designation provides departments with the confidence that the program aligns with a nationally accepted and recognized model, evaluations and areas for improvement, and enhances the efforts to contribute to student success. Currently, over 700 schools in 43 states received a RAMP designation.

For Courtney and her department, receiving RAMP status has been a rewarding experience. “This RAMP designation has proven that we as a department work to address the needs of the whole child/student, which is our ultimate goal,” stated Courtney when asked the importance of receiving RAMP status. With limited resources and a high caseload per counselor, the RAMP classification shows the hard work the department does to support all students. Courtney further explained how the department works with data to drive programs to help students, parents, and the community. “Our data has led to implementing interventions through small group, classroom curriculum, and individual counseling, as well as increasing our events offered to our parents and guardians,” explained Courtney.

Along with increasing programs and events, Courtney stated how the school has seen other increasing with college and career preparedness, parent/guardian involvement, and an increase in graduation rates. In the past three years, graduation rate has increased from 48.4% to 68%. Since receiving RAMP classification, Courtney explained how the department is using the feedback provided by the RAMP application to improve their programs for students. Also, Courtney mentioned an increase of passion and excitement for the work the department does. “ I can honestly say that one of the biggest changes is an increased sense of passion and excitement for working to improve the supports provided to all students,” she stated.

Dr. Alan Burkard, Department Chair of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology (CECP) at Marquette University, shared his excitement for Courtney and her department’s success by saying, “As a past RAMP reviewer, I know that not all school counselors can meet the rigorous criteria established to receive this award.” To him, it is the department’s goal to see the graduates of the program become the kind of professionals they hoped to develop. “Knowing that our students are demonstrating this kind of commitment to their schools and profession is simply an honor, and it suggests that the message we hope students will learn is being achieved.”

Want to learn more about Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology in the College of Education at Marquette University? Visit us online!

5 Things to Remember About Middle School Students

7841950486_428fcebe11_bBy Sabrina Bartels

I want to tell you a secret: I initially did not want to be in a middle school.

During my interview, one of my interviewers asked which age level I would most like to work with. At the time, I replied that I wanted to be in a high school. Talking about college, advising students on their application essays, and discussing scholarships sounded like what I most wanted in life. The interviewers then asked what age group I did not want to work with. I laughed and responded “Middle school!”

Here’s why I initially said no: middle school is a really tough age. In fact, that’s probably an under-exaggeration. Middle school is probably the toughest age. You’re not an adult, but you’re not a kid either. You want to be independent, yet you want rules. You want your parents’ love, but then you hate it because it’s so overbearing (I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard “Oh my God, Mom! I can’t hug you in public!”). You’re hormonal and cranky, and no one seems to understand you. Trust me, I remember.

With all that on my mind, I was full of trepidation when I went into the middle school.

But now, I love it. I thrive on it. Because as crazy as these days may be, I love my students. I love my job. I also love quoting my parents, which I do on a frequent basis (I can’t tell you the number of times I say “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”).

I recently stumbled across an article by Jennifer Gonzalez that was entitled “8 Things I know for Sure About Middle School Kids.” It was a hilarious, but very truthful list of things to know about middle school students. While her thoughts and tips are spot on, I thought I would add a few lessons that I have learned as well.

  1. Middle school students are (surprisingly) very forgiving. Whether it’s you or their best “frenemy,” middle schoolers are willing to bury the hatchet with others. Enemy talks about them behind their back? Two days later, they are best friends. Student gets into a verbal disagreement with a teacher? The teacher is back in his good graces before the end of the day. And when I need to have a serious discussion with a kiddo and give her a consequence, the pouting lasts for a day or less.
  2. They really do appreciate the boundaries you set. How is this possible when they argue with you at EVERY turn? But I have found that my middle school students feel much safer and more secure when there are firm boundaries set. For example, my students know that when they come into my office, they can say almost anything they want. My only rule is that they not swear. When I have students who need to vent, they often come in furious, spewing out all their hatred for school, their teacher, or their homework. But the minute they swear, many of them turn bright red, apologize, then proceed in a more neutral tone. It teaches them that they can have feelings and they can be angry, but they have to moderate their anger and be appropriate with it.
  3. Respect is expressed in so many different ways. This was one of the biggest eye-openers for me coming into a middle school. I’ve been raised that respect looks like polite words and gestures, calm tone of voice, and eye contact. Some of my students do not have the same ideas of what respect is, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t show it; they just express it in different ways. I remember one student mentioned to me that the reason he never shouted at me the same way he yelled at other teachers because he didn’t want to make me cry. I don’t know why he thought I would cry over this, but he was very careful and mindful never to shout at me. I think it was respect, and it really flattered me. Even if students don’t meet my definition of “respect,” they still find ways to demonstrate it.
  4. They are still learning how to ask for help … and that’s hard. I can’t tell you the number of students I meet with who are struggling in class, yet when I ask them if they have spoken to their teachers about this, they say no. Some are too embarrassed, some are just plain shy, and some have honestly no idea how to ask for help, since they never had to in school before. I was one of those kids when I was in middle school, so these kiddos have a very special place in my heart. As a counselor, the best thing I can do is model with them how to ask for help, and assure them that there is nothing wrong with it.
  5. They really are watching everything you do. Every year, you would think that I would get used to the fact that being a middle school counselor is the equivalent to being a goldfish in an aquarium. And yet, every year it still surprises me. While I don’t run into students too often, they do randomly appear at different places: State Fair, Summerfest, various restaurants, and the mall. Some say hi to me in the moment; some pretend I don’t exist, but mention it the next time they see me at school. I know some of my students try to find me on social media. What does this mean for me? It means that wherever I go, I’m mindful of how I act, speak, and dress. Before I post anything on social media, I consider what would happen if my students ever saw it. I want to be a role model for my students, both in and out of school. It’s important to me. Even when they act like they could care less about me, I know they’re watching.

Those are my five thoughts! If you want to read the original article, you can find it here.


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