Student Profiles – Heather Ohms
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) with Art Therapy graduate student Heather Ohms is invested in the mind-body-spirit connection. Her experiences as an AUS student have given her the tools and scholastic environment to take these passions to the next level.
Ohms participated in the March 2016 India Initiative experiential learning and service trip through AUS as a Creative Arts Therapy practicum student. As she worked with Tibetan refugees and impoverished Indian communities in India alongside fellow AUS students, Eastern philosophies on psychology and medicine piqued her curiosity. This curiosity has grown into, in her words, “a keen interest in Buddhist psychology and Existential theory, and the way in which these may be combined with a trauma-informed, arts-based therapeutic practice.”
These interests are highly compatible with AUS coursework. In addition to including Existential theory and Eastern psychology content in core counseling theory classes, our CMHC program also offers advanced classes in Buddhist Psychology as well as Existentialist Counseling. In addition to her training at AUS, Ohms is considering becoming a licensed yoga teacher in order to further expand her repertoire of skills as a clinician who works with the mind-body-spirit connection.
Ohms first considered Antioch University Seattle when searching for accredited mental health counseling and Art Therapy programs, following the completion of her fine arts degree, and the discovery during her time as a Peace Corps summer intern that she wanted to help people and make positive change. She narrowed down her search to schools that offered Art Therapy programs incorporated into full counseling degrees. She selected Antioch University Seattle both because of a dream to live on the West Coast and because she says, “The application process was so rigorous, it seemed like the program was more credible. I thought I would get a better education.” Not only is she receiving a quality education here in Seattle, but she’s embraced the West Coast lifestyle, and is preparing to move full-time onto a yacht in Seattle.
Ohms is now finishing her third year in graduate school at AUS, and is preparing to start her clinical internship this summer. As a clinician-in-training, she describes herself as passionate about the mind-body-spirit connection, as well as “the intricacies involved in either helping or hindering human beings in reaching their fullest potential”. Ohms says she plans to continue “honing her skills in this way” at Antioch University Seattle. In her words, “My time at Antioch University Seattle has been an empowering, transformative adventure. AUS helped me find my voice and develop the courage and passion needed to advocate for social justice and create positive change in the lives of all human beings.”