50th Anniversary Celebration and Dr. Dansby's Retirement
On June 15th, our program celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary as well as the retirement of our beloved faculty member Dr. Virginia Dansby. Middle Tennessee State University's Professional Counseling Program has two established tracks for students wanting to enter into the field of counseling, either as clinical mental health clinicians or school counselors. In 2005, the program opened its Center for Counseling and Psychological Services to provide more services to the community while deepening student's skills and experiences. Recently, the program shifted to being more trauma focused and informed.
It was an emotional day for us all with faculty and students shedding tears as Dr. Dansby gave her speech. Of course, Dr. Dansby managed to weave humor into her speech, leaving us on a high emotional note. She spoke optimistically of her future retirement plans filled with skiing and world travel, joking that none of us are going to wake her up calling her at 5am while she’s on the other side of the world. While we will all miss her dearly, we know that she is out there living her best life and partaking in self-care, as we all should attempt to do in our day to day lives.
MTSU Counseling Students and Faculty Participate in Counseling and Therapy Summit
Faculty and students of our program proudly represented MTSU at the annual Tennessee Licensed Profession Counselors Association (TLPCA) conference. Many students submitted poster proposals to present at the conference; Kamille Hayslett, Viktoreya Edwards, Stephen Hayes, and Angela Mueller’s proposals were accepted, and all presented in the student poster competition. Madison Swayze co-presented on Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and Therapy and Dr. Wilson presented Great Minds Think Alike (on beer collaborating as school counselor and school-based therapists.) All five students were acknowledged for participating during the conference’s award ceremony. In addition, Kamille Hayslett and Viktoreya Edwards received leadership awards, and Viktoreya was presented with an academic excellence award. We are also proud to announce that Dr. Robin Lee received a lifetime achievement award. We look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s conference!
EMDR Training Comes to MTSU
MTSU's Professional Counseling Program hosted S.A.F.E. EMDR training. This two-weekend training trained counselors in somatic and attachment-focused EMDR developed by Deb Kennard. With the move towards a trauma-focused program, we were excited to host this intensive EMDR training. EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, is an evidenced-based therapy designed to help trauma survivors reprocess their traumatic memories. Faculty, students, alumni, and community members joined us over the weekend of February 15-17 for 3 days of extensive training. We look forward to seeing everyone again at the follow-up sessions on April 5-7.
Mental Health First Aid
In the Spring of 2019, we hosted a Mental Health First Aid training on March 27 and March 29. Mental Health First Aid is similar in format to the Red Cross Lifesaver training but with a focus on mental health. It aims to reduce stigma around mental health issues, increase mental health awareness, and provide useful tools for helping someone who might be experiencing a mental health crisis.
EMDR (April) Training
At the beginning of this month we welcomed our faculty, students, alumni, and community members back for a continuation of the EMDR training we started in February. After this 3-day follow-up, those who attended left certified to utilize this life-changing therapy in their practice. We look forward to hosting more trauma-informed trainings in the future. Anyone who is interested in learning more information about EMDR or trauma-informed practices, should contact Dr. Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MTSU Welcomes Dr. Brant-Rajahn
We are excited to announce the arrival of new faculty member Dr. Sarah Brant-Rajahn, who will help teach the school counseling courses as Dr. Tiffany Wilson moves into the role of Director for the School Counseling track. Dr. Brant-Rajahn received her Ph.D. in Counseling Education from the University of Georgia. She will also be a guest judge for the SCALI Ph.d Student Poster Competetion this fall. We look forward to welcoming her in True Blue fashion as she starts with us this fall.
MTSU's Professional Counseling Program Opens New Chapter of Honor Society
In 2017, with the help of Dr. Tiffany Wilson, our program was able to open its own chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, a counseling, academic, and professional honor society. Since then it has flourished with much student support and involvement. On November 2nd, our chapter, Mu Tau Upsilon, kicked of its first collaboration with Trevecca University’s Theta Nu Upsilon chapter beginning with a meet and greet of members. The collaboration springboarded the idea for collecting gifts for the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute’s patients for the holidays. Collectively, our chapters were able to donate 25 gifts to patients in need during this holiday season. This came after an earlier spring donation from our chapter to Stewartsboro Elementary School. Our chapter worked together all through the spring to construct a sand-tray for their school counseling offices.
We look forward to many more collaborations with other neighboring chapters. For more information about CSI membership, please contact Jennifer Miller at email@example.com