Hometown: Doylestown, PA
Educational Background: Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Delaware
Career Background: I have been working at The Warwick House, an intensive residential treatment facility, for the past 6 years. Prior to that, I worked for 2 years at Foundations Behavioral Health.
Specializations/Concentrations: Child and Family, Trauma
Why Arcadia? I was interested in Arcadia because of the specialized tracks in trauma and child and family. My career experience up to that point had included working with traumatized families and children, and Arcadia offered the education I needed to work with that clientele.
What have been some of your key experiences during your time at Arcadia? My experience in the Graduate Program in Counseling was better than I had ever expected. We are a tight knit community where we know one another on an individual basis. This program was completely different from my undergraduate experience. Coming from a large school, Arcadia offered the attention and dedication I needed to become successful. I know my professors well, and they have helped me to grow both professionally and personally. They have been available to talk about anything I was struggling with. In class, it has been helpful to talk through different client situations and gaining the perspective of my professors as well as my classmates. With all of the support I have received, I feel prepared to go into the field and become an effective therapist. Arcadia emphasizes a collaborative counseling relationship and an emphasis on multicultural competence. I take the skills I have learned into every counseling session, along with evidence-based interventions. Given that I’m placed at such an excellent internship site, Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA), I feel I like I have gained a niche for working with a traumatized population. I have grown tremendously by being a part of NOVA's team of counselors. I’m not timid going into a session, because I feel prepared to take on the challenge of counseling my clients. I have a great respect for my clients and hold their personal growth at the top of my priorities. They have potentially never told anyone about their trauma, and I am humbled to be the person who helps them through a distressing time in their lives.
Research: Dr. Michael Morrow and I are still in the process of doing our research on bullying. I came into the project when I had a class with Dr. Morrow where he talked about his work regarding bullying. Bullying is an important topic to me, and though I never set out to do research, I was compelled to ask Dr. Morrow if I could participate.
The goal of our study was to examine the effects of bullying with a clinical population of children and teens, who are in treatment for issues including trauma, attachment, self-injury, and aggressiveness. We examined their level of peer victimization (bullying) and how they viewed themselves in terms of self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. We then studied the relationship the children and teens had with their families and their perceived level of family communication and expressiveness, specifically surrounding the disclosure of bullying experiences.
We are now consulting with the center to describe our results and discuss how it can strengthen programming in terms of bullying prevention. Our results will be in the form of descriptive statistics. Our goal is to provide information of how the children and teens feel about themselves and how open or closed they are in describing their experiences with bullying to their families. We will provide the center with psychoeducation, results of the study, and clinical interventions of dealing with peer victimization. Our emphasis is on family involvement, communication, and advocacy when these serious situations arise.
Career Goal: As I am about to graduate, I am eager to be a therapist. I feel prepared to go forward. I have learned such valuable information and am eager to put my knowledge to the test. As I told this to Dr. Eleonora Bartoli and Dr. Morrow, I could see their faces light up. They were proud to learn their teaching had such a powerful impact on me. I feel ready to counsel those who have experienced trauma. I hope to be the voice who empowers them to work through their trauma and find contentment at the end of the process. I am humbled to be a part of their growing process.