This June 29, 2017, Mark C. Russell, Core Faculty in our PsyD in Clinical Psychology program, and Establishing Director of our Institute of War Stress Injury, Recovery, and Social Justice, was once again published in the HuffPost.

This latest publication is his 14th in the HuffPost and is summarized in its title: After 214 Investigations isn’t it Time for a Department of Defense (DoD) Mental Health Accountability Act?

A retired US Navy Commander and Military Clinical Psychologist, Russell is a tireless advocate for servicemembers and their communities, both during active service and after discharge. In this piece, he describes the power that the US military has in helping its servicemembers, and urges the military to take a leadership role in destigmatizing mental health care in the United States. In his words, “the military is so adept at changing attitudes that it’s not uncommon to hear of heroic self-sacrifices by individuals willing to eat an enemy’s hand grenade to protect their band of brothers and sisters”.

He also describes the complicated impact of discharging servicemembers with unidentified and/or untreated war stress injury back into civilian life, not only on the servicemembers themselves, but also the potential impact on veterans’ families, spouses, children, “and sometimes innocent by-standers”. Russell argues that identifying and treating war stress injury during military service, rather than waiting for servicemembers to transition into veteran life first, allows them to receive mental health treatment while connected to a military social support system, an “identity as a warrior”, and other benefits of military life.

Individuals interested in learning more about military mental health from Mark C. Russell and the Antioch University Seattle Institute of War Stress Injury, Recovery, and Social Justice are encouraged to attend our upcoming continuing education workshop, The Politics of War Trauma: Ending the Generational Cycle of Mental Health Crisis, which provides an opportunity to earn 5 MA/Psychologist CE credits.

The full article, After 214 Investigations isn’t it Time for a Department of Defense (DoD) Mental Health Accountability Act? is available at the HuffPost.

This post is republished here with permission from Dr. Jennifer Sampson, President of the Board of Directors at The Hoarding Project. It was originally published April 24, 2017.

One of the major reasons that hoarding disorder is one of the most complicated mental health issues to treat is that is a co-occurring disorder, which means that it is almost always (92% of the time, in fact) shows up alongside another mental health diagnosis- like major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. The idea of co-occurring disorders helps guide the way we think about the behavior of people who are affected by them. We understand that the symptoms of one psychiatric disorder are highly intertwined with symptoms of the other.

The term co-occurring disorder (or dual or comorbid disorder) is typically used in the field of substance abuse treatment, referring to the idea that people who abuse substances like alcohol or drugs are likely to be struggling with another diagnosable mental health condition as well. For instance, if someone is struggling with alcoholism that is co-occurring with generalized anxiety disorder, we may explain that some of the behavior of abusing alcohol may be exacerbated, or made worse, when life gets particularly stressful and anxiety increases. From there, the outcomes of excessive alcohol use can create additional stress in a person’s life, which can further increase anxiety, thus increasing alcohol use. It’s a slippery slope.

Things are similar with hoarding disorder. By applying an understanding of co-occurring disorders, we can start to make sense about why efforts to address the symptoms of hoarding (like difficulty parting with items or excessively acquiring things) seem so difficult for the person struggling with them. For instance, if a person has co-morbid diagnoses of hoarding disorder and major depressive disorder, that person may really struggle with motivation to work on discarding items or struggle with paying attention and decision-making about their possessions. While symptoms of hoarding disorder do include having a difficult time parting with items, they do not include a lack of motivation, inattentiveness, or indecision. However, all three of those are symptoms of depression. In this case, the person’s depressive symptoms are making the symptoms of hoarding disorder even more challenging to manage.

There are a lot of diagnoses that can co-occur with hoarding disorder- in fact, almost any of them can. The most common ones are mood disorders (like depressive or bi-polar disorders) or anxiety disorders. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common co-morbid condition, as is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We also see a fair amount of other types of diagnoses alongside hoarding disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other types of organic brain illnesses, like dementia or schizophrenia. When symptoms of any of these other types of mental health diagnoses show up, it can make managing symptoms associated with hoarding to be a very difficult task.

As mental health professionals, we can use strategies developed for other co-occurring disorders in our effort to support our clients. By prioritizing treatment interventions that help reduce the most significant symptoms first, we can then work more easily on addressing the direct symptoms related to hoarding. For instance, if a client has a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder and is actively experiencing panic attacks, it would benefit the clinician to first work with the client on improving emotional regulation skills and distress tolerance prior to focusing attention on decision-making and discarding items.

By recognizing hoarding disorder as a co-occurring condition, we can help better understand the challenges people who hoard face and work with them to develop more effective approaches to treatment.

Jennifer Sampson, Ph.D., LMFT, is the President of the Board of Directors at The Hoarding Project

Article Author

Jennifer Sampson, Ph.D., LMFT

Core Faculty, Couples and Family Therapy, School of Applied Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy

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Art therapy is changing lives in China. “Big Miao” Shimming showed us how.

The room was set in an intimate fashion, full of colorful cushions strewn on the floor in preparation for Miao’s presentation.  Miao, affectionately known as “Big Miao” because of his height, visited Antioch University  Seattle (AUS) in May of 2017 to seek professional training and guidance in the art therapy field. On May 17, Miao gave a presentation on his important work. AUS staff and students were so eager to engage with Big Miao, they began asking questions right away in the evening’s Q&A session.

Big Miao began working AUS’s Art Therapy Program after reaching out to Dr. Janice Hoshino, Chair of Art Therapy.

“I observed Janice working and knew I needed her training!” exclaimed Miao. Hoshino, reaffirmed his story.

“WABC [World of Art Brut Culture], Big Miao’s art studio, is collaborating with AUS to gain professional training from registered art therapists.”

Dr. Hoshino has already led two Art Therapy workshops in China in collaboration with Big Miao and is looking forward to future trips this summer.

Big Miao began as an art curator and artist specializing in oil painting.  In 2009, he came across the Special Needs population, moving his heart and changing his life. Since then, he has been transforming the lives of hundreds of people with “special needs” through creative expression. Big Miao opened World of Art Brut Culture, an art studio in which children and young adults with special needs come after school to paint, free of cost.

The majority of the students they work with are on the autism spectrum, have cerebral palsy, or have other varying developmental impairments. In a video Miao showed, the students spoke about their artwork, their own process, and the impact WABC has had in their life. Their teachers (they are not professionally trained art therapists) also speak about the students’ progress and involvement with WABC.

Parents of the students are pleased with the visible progress their children are making, noting the tangible transformation creative expression has brought into their lives. One audience member commended Big Miao’s hard work: “It’s apparent you have a huge heart, honorable intent, and are doing a wonderful service to your community.”

WABC has now opened public art centers in eight different cities in China (including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzghou, and Chengdu). They are collaborating with 32 different communities and schools and have served over one thousand children and families.

Big Miao plans various events and fundraisers, such as Cultural Creative Center, Dream of China, and Charity Night. These events have attracted large audiences and engaged the Chinese population.

The car company Infinity is a sponsor and has collaborated with the WABC students to create an art piece in their Beijing headquarters. WABC has also collaborated with various Chinese celebrities, pop stars, entrepreneurs, and CEOs. These events have brought healing and are changing how Chinese see and treat children with autism.

Through their work, WABC aims to foster a genuine connection between the Special Needs population and their Chinese community. They have empowered students to use their talents and have brought them closer to their dream of “being treated like everyone else.” There are 10 million people in China on the Autism Spectrum. There is a great need for psycho-education and awareness in China where people with special needs are not treated equally. Big Miao is among the first to do this kind of work in China, where most have no concept of art therapy.

“He is making inroads, paving the way, and doing fundamental work,” said AUS Drama Therapy faculty member Bobbi Kidder. “His progress is amazing!”

Despite this great progress, WABC and Big Miao recognize the road ahead still needs to be paved. There are still families who do not accept art therapy as a real treatment.

“Art therapy is a seed,” said Miao. “We are waiting for it to blossom.”

In order to gain more training and more empirical evidence to bring home to gain support, WABC partnered with Antioch University.

“We know art is powerful, transformative, and necessary,” said Miao, when asked how professional training can improve WABC. “However, we still have questions on technique, behavior, how to interact with families, fundamentals, how to gain all the therapeutic benefits of artistic expression, and how to properly raise awareness.”

Hoshino added, “The teachers in WABC are hungry to learn.  I’ve done two trainings with them in China and over fifty people attended. My heart is really with this organization.” Both Antioch University Seattle and WABC are eager to share the benefits of Art Therapy with as many people as possible.

Big Miao concluded his presentation by showing his students’ stunning artwork. Big Miao smiled and happily invited AUS students to join him in China.

“We all have advantages and disadvantages,” said Miao. “Together we can make each other better!”

 

Written by Art Therapy student Kim Bjanes

 

Learn more about our Art Therapy Programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Couple and Family Therapy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a number of reasons people become angry. Challenges at home, work, or on the road are common triggers that can lead someone to lash out or boil inside. And yet, sometimes we become angry with everything, including people or things we would normally be able to brush off.  Anger, by its very nature, has us look outward to solve our problems. Yet, when we are angry with many things, it would be improbable – if not impossible – that we might be able to solve every problem. Most of us can identify with the moments when we are ready to explode at anything that comes near us. Think of parents of newborns who haven’t been sleeping, or that time you were really stressed. Or think of that time you were really hungry and especially crabby. Yes, I’m talking about being hangry.

My interests are in anger, aggression, and irritability. A lot of times people talk about reducing anger by figuring out how to solve the problem or by punching a pillow (which will actually make your anger and aggression worse in the long-term). However, when you are feeling irritable, these things won’t help. People often use the terms anger and irritability interchangeably. However, I’m going to ask that you think of them as two separate concepts. While anger is that tense emotion when your blood is boiling, irritability is the moment of grouchiness before you feel angry. When you are irritable you are more likely to become angry (which is why it is often associated with anger), but you might not be angry yet. For example, when you are hungry you might be irritable and will easily be angered, but you might not be angry yet. Similarly, when you are sleep deprived, hungry, or haven’t yet had your coffee you are likely to be irritable.

The reason for the distinction is important because when you are feeling angry, you might be able to reduce your anger by solving a problem. However, when you anger is a result of irritability, it would be more helpful to look for treatments that will first help you feel better. So next time you notice you are feeling angry at the world for no good reason (or are just looking for reasons to become angry), ask yourself what your body needs, and eat a sandwich, drink some water, exercise, get some fresh air, or get some sleep. You will feel better before you know it.

 

 

 

 

 

Article Author

Michael J. Toohey, Ph.D.

Teaching Faculty, School of Applied Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy.
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Antioch University Seattle envisions that its graduates this spring will emerge with a heightened sense of their power and purpose and be prepared to put theory into practice. With the Run Like A Girl summer program, AUS Practicum & Internship students in Drama Therapy (DT) will run into the woods and pass this same vision into the very capable hands of middle school girls.

The phrase “like a girl” calls into question a girl’s capability. And the fact that this micro-aggression is so often tied to sports performance is doubly damaging. Run Like A Girl celebrates the power that sports can provide, developing in girls the intentional active strategies we all need to build self-confidence and seize the day.

Run Like A Girl (2004) filmmaker Charlotte Lettis Richardson (also a decorated runner) credits losing races with teaching her the most about herself. And in her 2011 memoir, Run Like A Girl, champion athlete Mina Samuels outed her fiercest opponent—the one within. This August, AUS’s own local theatre-sports star, AUS Drama Therapy Co-coordinator Bobbi Kidder, MA, RDT/BCT, shines a light on Like A Girl fierceness and the power of story with a reframed “On the Road” student field experience at Table Rock Foundation summer camps.

Since 2014, Kidder has noted the high percentage of young girls referred to Camp Phoenix, the camp at Table Rock Foundation that serves middle school kids from Oregon’s Jackson and Josephine Counties who have experienced severe trauma. Given the emotional and physical changes naturally at work in the bodies of ten- to thirteen-year-old girls, Bobbi thought a powerful camp to run like girls, with girls, and for girls might be in order.

Run Like A Girl offers AUS intern urbanites a rare regional view of rural life. And by confronting derogatory definitions of girlness and the effect societal shaming can have on self-image, they will champion the campaign that is changing the narrative.

Kidder is no stranger to programs that focus on social justice and empowerment. Run Like A Girl takes a page out of the playbook Kidder used for Inside/Out, a community ensemble with young women prisoners at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility. “We set the stage for recognizing assets—we create and share stories about them.” Kidder’s practice, strongly based on Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, reframes concepts such as meaning, truth, and like a girl, and puts a voice to the oppressor within—sometimes multiple voices. Kidder calls it “performative.” “With Boal’s rainbow of desire aspect, we answer our own voices and silence the ones that hold us back.”

Alongside the camp’s Rainbow Grandmothers, and amidst the webs and native wisdom of a truly enchanted forest, it is intention and not service that Kidder and her interns provide. They will work together for moments of choice and potential, inspired by a quote from the Aboriginal elder and educator Lilla Watson: “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

 

Big Miao” Shimming is trying to revolutionize the way China engages with special needs children – and he’s reaching out to Antioch Seattle’s Art Therapy program to help.  Shimming will be visiting AUS on May 16 – 17.  The public is invited to attend Miao’s presentation on his important work on May 17 from 3-5pm.

Shimming’s visit is part of a developing relationship between Antioch Seattle’s Art Therapy program and Worldwide Art Brut Culture (WABC), a Shanghai-based NGO Shimming founded in 2009.  With a mission to help special needs children express themselves through art, WABC has so far opened 20 learning centers across China and has more than 50 teachers.

Janice Hoshino PhD, chair of Creative Arts Therapy at AUS, has traveled to China several times over the past year in order to help WABC train its volunteer teachers in art therapy.  She says the fact that WABC is rapidly increasing the number of areas and individuals it serves is an impressive accomplishment given China has a long history of stigmatizing and punishing people with mental disorders:  “Despite recent reforms, it’s still not unusual for persons with psychiatric issues to be involuntarily institutionalized,” says Dr. Hoshino.

Hoshino says the reason art therapy is gaining acceptance in China, and the reason WABC specifically has been able to attract donors like the Gates Foundation, comes down to the transformative process of art-making.  She described one 20-something individual who took part in a WABC art therapy training she was involved in: “This young man has been mute for much of his life, and by the end of the training he was talking.”

Beyond the power of art therapy, Hoshino also gives credit for WABC’s success to the outsized personality of its founder: “With his infectious enthusiasm, kind heart and ready laugh, Big Miao is the perfect ambassador for the program.”

RSVP NOW!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most people are unaware of how their internal stories or the automatic ways personal meaning is ascribed to daily events influence what they believe about themselves.  These self-narratives are often oppressive and can take the form of self-criticism, worry, fear, and hopelessness. It can be a persuasive argument where fatigue becomes about the climber, rather than the difficulty of the climb.  Remember, we are not the problem; the problem is the problem.

When people are unbound by restrictive, and often oppressive truths about their lives, new options emerge for addressing life difficulties. As Michael White (2007) once wrote, personal change is about the “…re-authoring of the compelling plights of [our] lives that arouse curiosity about [personal] possibility and in ways that invoke the play of imagination”.

Imagination opens space for contradictory and divergent personal inner experiences: moments of exception from the usual automatic messages we give ourselves. These messages “team up” with feelings of powerlessness, worry, and doubt that serve to support internal notions of diminished worth and competence.

Although exceptional moments in which we remember how our positive emotions endured during adversity occur all the time, they are often dismissed as flukes, accidents, or trivial events. Imaginative remembering, then, is a noticing of resilient efforts and available strengths that often go unrecognized. It is a deliberate opening of perceptual space where remembering small increments of personal agency highlight degrees of freedom and choice.

By painting a vivid picture of how these exceptional moments withstood familiar oppressive narratives, a bridge from the known and familiar toward the unknown and the unfamiliar is established.  This is where hope resides, and if traveled with intention, integrity and acceptance can also be found.

To assist with engaging your imagination to the experience of remembering, consider a moment when you were at your best (or closer to it).  Make note of your reactions to the following questions and share with a learning partner:

It is a short step from remembering our best self to noticing these strengths, values, and actions during the routines of our day.  It can give rise to the intentional use of inherent and often unrecognized efforts of personal resilience, and make present our best self even in face of our most difficult moments.  Practice noticing:

The remembering and noticing of exceptional moments can provide a point of entry for a broadening of how we think of ourselves.

Where there are deficits, there are strengths;
where problems arise, there are preferences;
where there is resistance, there is also anticipation;
where there is illness, there are opportunities for wellness; and
where despair resides, hope lives also.

This is often novel for people who have often been subject to the meanings internalized by others of their lives.  Conversations that highlight exceptional moments provide people the opportunity to give voice to the values they wish to live more in accordance with.

So, remember the exceptional, make note of our best self…and imagine holding that wisdom close to you as you begin each day. –Colin Ward, Ph.D., LMHC.

Article Author

Colin Ward, Ph.D., LMHC

Core Faculty & Co-Chair of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Antioch University Seattle.

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Antioch University Seattle Dean of Students Shana Hormann recently traveled to our sister school, Panjab University in Chandigarh, India, to give a lecture and later lead a workshop on organizational trauma, as part of an event organized by Panjab University’s Centre for Human Rights and Duties. From her workshop description:

“Organizational trauma is a collective experience that overwhelms the organization’s defensive and protective structures and leaves the entity temporarily vulnerable and helpless or permanently damaged. Traumatic events can be sudden, shocking, and throw the organization into turmoil. Organizational traumatization may also result from repeated damaging actions or the deleterious effects of the nature of an organization’s work. Unaddressed organizational trauma–whether sudden or cumulative–causes serious harm and can be catastrophic for organizations. It negatively impacts service delivery, compromises work with clients, and weakens the organization’s ability to respond to internal and external challenges. Over time the unhealed effects of trauma and traumatization compromise the organization’s fundamental health.”

Hormann’s lecture was organized under the Memorandum of Understanding between Antioch University Seattle and Panjab University, and was one of many talks given that day. The event also included powerful words from Professor Swarnjit Kaur, Coordinator of the Centre for Human Rights and Duties on the proactive role the Centre has taken in strengthening its academic collaboration with universities an ocean away, such as Antioch University Seattle. Professor O. P. Katare, Director of the Research Promotion Cell presided over the lectures, and gave presidential remarks on the role of spirituality and the power of the mind to deal with trauma.

More information about Shana’s work in organizational trauma and healing can be found at organizationaltraumaandhealing.com.

Mark C. Russell, Core Faculty in our PsyD program and Establishing Director of our Institute of War Stress Injuries, Recovery, and Social Justice was recently published in The Huffington Post! His article, The Darker Side of American Military Mental Health Care is part of his “sincere effort to end a tragic generational cycle of largely self-inflicted wartime mental health crises since the First World War (WWI).”

Russell served in the American military for 26 years, as a Marine Sergeant, a Navy Commander, and as a military psychologist deployed in support of the Iraq invasion in 2003, and he says this time “opened my eyes to the painful reality that our country was grossly negligent in its preparation to meet even basic [veterans’ mental health] needs.”

Upon retiring from the military, Russell founded Antioch University Seattle’s Institute of War Stress Injury, Recovery, and Social Justice, participated in documentaries such as Thank You For Your Service! and the upcoming Stranger At Home, and published a great deal of research on the subject of military mental health. Most recently, Russell and co-author Charles R. Figley, published a three-part series of scholarly articles in the March 2017 (available online in February 2-17) issue of Psychological Injury and Law, asking if the military’s frontline psychiatry/combat and operational stress control doctrine and programs help or harm veterans and their families.

In this Huffington Post piece, Russell also provides readers with an overview of the US government’s approaches to military mental health over the years, including critiques of the ways that policy has harmed, rather than helped, people who serve in the US military.

Read The Darker Side of American Military Mental Health Care at The Huffington Post.

It’s the giving season and for many folks it’s a joyous time. But what if there’s more to it than simply picking out a gift someone will enjoy? How do we navigate the waters of mental health disorders in our loved ones in a time of giving while being mindful of our own needs? Jennifer Sampson, co-founder of The Hoarding Project, takes a closer look at how she helped one client deal with her mother’s hoarding disorder during the holidays.

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“Can I ask you an unrelated question?” It was clear that my client didn’t feel like talking anymore about her latest run-in with her ex-husband and wanted to change the subject.

“Sure,” I smiled and nodded.

“Ok.” She took a deep breath, looking uncharacteristically anxious. “So…I’ve been worrying about what to get my mom for the holidays. She has already everything.” She hesitated. “Like… everything.” She looked up at me quickly, trying to read my expression. “What do you think?”

She was one of my favorite clients, and we had a positive and good-humored relationship with one another. She wasn’t generally a nervous person. Usually, she was upbeat and funny during our sessions in spite of the difficult work we’d been doing over the last few months to help her process a particularly devastating divorce, so her shift in mood was a little confusing to me. I brushed it off, assuming she was just being rhetorical with her question and wanted to lighten the mood a bit.

“You know,” I began to answer, “I really don’t know too much about your mom, come to think of it.” I shrugged and joked, “Socks? Fruitcake? I don’t know. What does she like? Or is she just tough to shop for?”

My client’s face was deadpan. “No, I mean it. Her home is literally full. She can’t even move around in it because she has everything. You work with this kind of thing, don’t you??”

Whoa. I had really missed that one.

Though hoarding disorder is my area of specialization, sometimes even I drop the ball in recognizing that this mental health concern can show up where I least expect it.

And of course it does. Hoarding disorder affects 1 in 20 people in our country, making it one of the most common mental health disorders around. Even though my client had not come to therapy to work on this issue directly, it was still one that touched her life, and as we continued our conversation, I came to learn that her mother’s hoarding had been affecting her since childhood, leaving her relationship with her mom to be fragile, at best.

Since hoarding disorder is a relatively new diagnosis and one around which there is still a tremendous amount of shame and stigma, it is very common for people not to be inclined to discuss it- even with their therapists. My client told me that she had thought about mentioning it to me at a few different points, but didn’t want me to think badly about her or about her mom.

During the holiday season, it’s especially important that we, as mental health professionals, are paying attention to potential hoarding-related concerns as our clients are going home to spend time with their families of origin. It is quite likely that at least one of them has a loved one who is struggling with hoarding disorder. Spending increased time with them around this season of the year may provoke strong emotional reactions which may be difficult for us to understand and work with if we don’t fully grasp the context behind the feelings.

Listening for comments and questions like the one my client asked, or about frustration around a relative’s housekeeping or shopping habits maybe markers that additional screening for hoarding disorder is indicated.

And as for my client’s question about what to get for a person who has everything- or at least for a person who hoards? I tend to recommend gifting experiences rather than items. Game night with the family, rather than a new scarf. Dinner at their favorite restaurant, instead of a new book. These types of gifts reinforce the importance of relationship-building rather than possessions, which, if we’re being honest, is important advice for everyone to follow.

Learn more on hoarding and how you can help

Jennifer Sampson, PhD, LMFT is Associate Chair in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at Antioch University Seattle. She has been practicing individual, couple, and family therapy since 2007. Jennifer has served as the Executive Director and co-founder of The Hoarding Project since 2011, and she currently chairs the King/Pierce County Hoarding Task Force. She has published multiple articles in academic journals on hoarding, and completed her dissertation work on understanding the influences of unresolved trauma and loss and family dynamics on hoarding behavior

Montreal, QC – Not only did the American Counseling Association’s division the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) give Antioch University Seattle School of Applied Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy Core Faculty member and PhD in Counseling Supervision and Education program co-founder Dr. Ned Farley a Service Award on April 2, 2016, but ALGBTIC also renamed the award the Ned Farley Service Award after him this year! Below his name, the inscription on the statuette reads “Who Has Served ALGBTIC and the Larger LGBTQQIA Community Through Forwarding the Mission and Values of ALGBTIC”.

Dr. Farley received the Ned Farley Service Award at the 2016 annual American Counseling Association Conference and Expo, which was held in Montreal, QC, Canada, from March 21, 2016 to April 3, 2016.

While the award is a welcome surprise, Dr. Farley’s involvement as a leader within the ALGBTIC has been prominent for decades. In the words of Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling Editor-in-Chief Mike Chaney, “Ned’s service is so phenomenal that he was a leader in the association before there was an association! Now that it commitment!”

In 1993-1994, Dr. Farley was co-chair of the ALGBTIC with Michael Spretnjak. Dr. Farley was also one of the ALGBTIC members who worked tirelessly to get the ALGBTIC recognized by the American Counseling Association (ACA), first as an “organizational affiliate” by the ACA in 1996, and later as a full ACA division in 1997. In 1999-2002, Dr. Farley was a Board Trustee within the ALGBTIC, who chaired the Program Review Committee. In addition, Dr. Farley was the president of the ALGBTIC in 2002-2003 and again in 2004-2005. While president of the ALGBTIC, he helmed the push for creating a professional journal for the division. Upon its creation, Dr. Farley was the first Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, through his “retirement” in December 2015. He remains involved in this journal, however, by mentoring its current editor Mike Chaney.

Truly, Dr. Ned Farley has dedicated decades of his life to supporting the ALGBTIC. In the words of Mike Chaney, “Much of what ALGBTIC is today is, in part, due to Ned and his service. Though he probably would not refer to himself this way, but Ned is a forefather of the ALGBTIC. As such, he should be revered and applauded for all of his past and present service to ALGBTIC.”

We are extremely proud of Dr. Farley and his enduring legacy here at Antioch University Seattle, including the co-creation of the new PhD in Counseling Supervision and Education program starting this fall.

March 30, 2016

Seattle, WA – Starting this fall, Antioch University Seattle (AUS) will offer classes in a new graduate program, designed for master’s level counselors who want to take their careers to the next level by gaining a PhD. This degree program offers cognate areas in either Counselor Education and Supervision or Creative Arts Therapy Counselor Education and Supervision.

In the words of the founders of this program, this degree is “designed for counselors who wish to enhance their professional competencies in research and evaluation, supervision, teaching, and counseling. It is appropriate for professional counselors who want to teach in counselor education and training programs and/or obtain leadership positions in mental health related agencies.”

The rigorous academic PhD curriculum is designed based on the national standards as recommended by the Council of Accreditation for Counseling Related Education Programs (CACREP) as well as those standards consistent in the clinical practice and supervision of creative arts counseling (e.g. art therapy, drama therapy, play therapy). The intention is to seek CACREP accreditation however we cannot assure that accreditation will be granted.

Students with a master’s degree in counseling, preferably from a CACREP accredited program such as the Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s degree offered through AUS, will be able to transfer up to 74 quarter credits towards this 144-credit PhD program. In the words of Dr. Ned Farley: “If they can get all 74 credits transferred in, then it becomes a 70-credit-remaining doctoral program…It’s built around a 3-year degree process, going half time.”

In addition to following CACREP recommendations, this doctoral program will go above and beyond what other Counseling Supervision and Education programs offer in ways that make it uniquely Antioch. For example, in addition to providing a Creative Arts Therapy cognate which supports participation from AUS Creative Arts Therapy master’s graduates, this program will also support the AUS social justice mission by encouraging students to develop a multicultural counselor identity and an appreciation for diversity, while also requiring core coursework in social justice and advocacy.

 

Learn more about the PhD in Counseling Education and Supervision program.

Seattle, WA and Chandigarh, India –  In October, 2015, Antioch University Seattle’s (AUS) Clinical Mental Health Counseling Core Faculty and Chair Colin Ward, PhD, LMHC, was a keynote speaker at the 3rd World Congress on Excellence, hosted by Panjab University, Chandigarh, in India. This visit helped pave the way for ongoing conversation between Panjab University and AUS. This conversation, in turn, has recently blossomed into a more formal relationship between the two schools, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

This thoughtfully written MOU was signed into existence this March, by Professor Arun Kumar Grover, the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh, and by Dan Hocoy, PhD, President of Antioch University Seattle. The representatives of the school who will be directly involved in the ongoing participation in the MOU are Professor Meena Sehgal, of the Department of Psychology at Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Jane Harmon Jacobs, PhD, the Academic Dean of Antioch University Seattle.

​Although these schools are over 6,000 miles apart and located on opposite hemispheres, Panjab University, Chandigarh and Antioch University Seattle have much in common. Panjab University was founded in 1882. Its Department of Psychology, which was founded in 1959, is one of the largest Psychology programs in India. Antioch University was founded in 1852. Antioch University Seattle is renowned for its groundbreaking School of Applied Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy.

In their shared MOU, AUS and Panjab University, Chandigarh outline the scope of their collaboration, the duration of the MOU, and other matters. For example, the MOU describes itself as “designed to foster a friendly relationship between Antioch University Seattle and Panjab University through mutual cooperation in the areas of training, education, and research.” It further says “Each institution may offer the other opportunities for activities and programs such as teaching, research, exchange of faculty and students, and staff development that will foster a collaborative relationship.” The MOU elaborates, saying “The institutions contemplate implementation of programs or activities such as: a) joint educational, cultural, and research activities; b) exchange of teaching staff and advanced graduate students for research, lectures, and discussions; c) participation in seminars and academic meetings; d) exchange of academic materials, publications, and other information; and e) special short-term academic programs.”

On the subject of exchange students, the MOU says that a separate agreement will be needed, “stipulating the details of credit transfer, fees, participant qualifications, and quality assurance process before initiating the exchange of students or the acceptance of applicants as international students at either institution.” Moreover, MOU clarifies that “No financial obligations are assumed under this agreement.” And “The financing of any of the activities mentioned in this agreement shall be dependent on the availability of funds and shall be subject to specific agreements by which these activities may be accomplished.”

In essence, the MOU is the start of a formal relationship, which is expected to grow into multiple new agreements over the duration of its five years. It lays the groundwork for the creation of future collaborative projects. Antioch University Seattle’s social justice mission embraces diversity. Coming together in collaboration with an esteemed university on the other side of the globe is an especially rich opportunity to help our academic community members grow as world citizens.

Learn more about the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

AUS is one of only two programs in Washington to earn the designation

Seattle – Antioch University Seattle’s couples and family therapy program has been ranked as one of the most affordable in the country by Best Counseling Degrees, an online resource for exploring the nation’s best counseling degree programs. On the list of the top 50 programs, AUS’ came in at 33, and is one of only two programs from Washington to make the list. Read the article here.

“This designation highlights the competitiveness and affordability of our program, which along with ensuring extremely high levels of competence and professionalism, teaches students to systemically incorporate Antioch University’s commitment to diversity and social responsibility,” said Kirk Honda, core faculty and chairman of AUS’ counseling and family therapy specialization. “We work hard to make pursuing this important area of psychology as attainable as possible.”

The Best Counseling Degrees ranking was calculated using the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) database to identify the more than 100+ marriage and family therapy programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). It then used the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator database to identify the most affordable based on graduate tuition and fees. AUS is ranked at 33.

AUS’ MA in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in couple and family therapy – which meets all state licensing requirements and includes a combination of experiential and in-class learning – is offered through AUS’ School of Applied Psychology, Counseling & Family Therapy. It boasts an 80 percent graduation rate and is taught by award-winning faculty who bring their clinical world experience to their classrooms, internships and the innovative Community Counseling and Psychology Clinic, where students gain supervised experience with the diagnosis and treatment of a range of mental health concerns.

AUS also offers a MA in Counseling with a clinical mental health specialization, and both MA options allow for concentrations in art therapy, drama therapy, or play therapy.

Learn more about our Couples and Family Therapy program.

AUS’ Center is the first in Washington and one of only 27 in the United States to gain approval.

Seattle – The United States Association for Play Therapy recently designated Antioch University Seattle’s (AUS) Play Therapy Center as an Approved Center of Play Therapy Education. The approval recognizes AUS as an institution designated to generate more play therapy research, peer-reviewed publications, instruction, and supervised clinical experiences through its graduate level programs. AUS offers a play therapy certificate embedded within its clinical psychology programs, including Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. AUS also has resources including a community psychology clinic.

“What makes our play therapy certificate program unique is that it is integrated throughout the university – specifically within the Master’s programs – so students may gain a second specialization while completing their degrees,” said Janice Hoshino, director of the Creative Arts Therapy Institute and faculty for the Couple and Family Therapy program at AUS. “Many people achieve their play therapy education through workshops, conferences and experiential learning, which means we provide a comprehensive approach to this exciting and emerging field.”

The study and practice of play therapy offers practitioners dynamic interpersonal relationship skills to provide children (or a person of any age) the ability to fully express and explore self through play, the child’s natural medium of communication, for optimal growth and development. “Play therapy helps children communicate their feelings to parents, teachers and other caregivers through creativity, which is a language we can all fundamentally understand,” said Cary M. Hamilton, adjunct faculty at AUS’ School of Psychology and a registered play therapist, play therapy supervisor and mental health counselor. “Empowering psychologists to find the connection between play and the therapeutic impact it can have on children working through issues of trauma, bullying, depression and other types of mental illness adds an important tool to a clinician’s toolkit.”

AUS is unique nationwide through its commitment to creative therapy programs. It offers three programs in this discipline: Art Therapy, Drama Therapy, and the newly-designated Play Therapy certificate, all which use the concepts of fun and expression to help people work through psychological and psychosocial issues in unique and powerful ways. AUS’s play therapy certificate program is one of only 27 in the country, and the only one in Washington State.

AUS’ program, through which students receive Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credentials, takes about one year to complete and includes twelve weekend-long seminars to enable working adults to fit studies into existing academic or professional schedules.

About Antioch University Seattle

Antioch University Seattle is a fully accredited, not for profit institution that is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. Antioch University provides real world knowledge, skills, and experience to adult students online and from its five campuses in four states, in addition to its University-wide international and doctoral programs. The University lives by its mission every day helping students realize their potential and succeed in their educational goals through an innovative learning environment that is rigorous and responsive to their needs. Antioch University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1927.

Learn more about our Play Therapy certificate.

Amanda_Clinic5Antioch University Seattle Launches New Masters Concentration in
Play Therapy in Counseling and Family Therapy Programs

Certification also available for existing therapists

Based on its expertise in using different types of therapy to connect with individuals, Antioch University Seattle (AUS) announces the launch of a new play therapy concentration in its Counseling and Family Therapy master’s programs. The concentration is one of only a few in the nation, and centers on the unique healing modality that emphasizes expression and exploration through play, a natural medium of communication during growth and development.

Learn more on the Play Therapy website.

“There is a growing need for play therapists in therapeutic and educational settings because of the unique and dynamic ways that people communicate and play therapy’s effectiveness in helping children and families process life events in a safe, structured and healthy environment,” said Cary Hamilton, the program’s chief faculty member. “We are very excited to be offering this opportunity to current and future students.”

The one-year program, which will launch in the upcoming spring semester, has been developed to meet the academic requirements to achieve a Registered Play Therapist designation through the Association for Play Therapy, upon completion of a student’s respective Washington State licensure of LMFT or LMHC. It is also open to existing therapists who wish to add the play therapy certification to their areas of expertise.

About Antioch University Seattle

Antioch University Seattle is a fully accredited, not for profit institution that is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. Antioch University provides real world knowledge, skills, and experience to adult students online and from its five campuses in four states, in addition to its University-wide international and doctoral programs. The University lives by its mission every day helping students realize their potential and succeed in their educational goals through an innovative learning environment that is rigorous and responsive to their needs. Antioch University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1927.

Learn more about our Play Therapy certificate.