Points of Pride

Latest Books from Faculty, Students, and Alumni, Fall 2015

Posted on Wed, Sep 23, 2015

The following books were recently released for publication. 

Comm-Military

A Communication Perspective on the Military 
by Michelle Still Mehta, PhD (Human and Organizational Systems alumna) 

This book reflects upon the ways the meaning of war is communicated in private lives, social relations, and public affairs. It focuses on three broad areas of concern: communication in the military family; the military in the media; and rhetoric surrounding the military. Michelle co-authored Chapter 7, "Work/Family Predicaments of Air Force Wives: A Sensemaking Perspective."

 

The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Psychology, Technology and Society, co-edited by Nancy Cheever, PhD (Media Psychology alumna)

Edited by three of the world's leading authorities on the psychology of technology, including media psychology alumna Nancy Cheever, this new handbook provides a thoughtful and evidence-driven examination of contemporary technology's impact on society and human behavior.

CheeverThe book reaches beyond the more established study of psychology and the Internet, to include varied analysis of a range of technologies, including video games, smart phones, tablet computing, etc. It provides analysis of the latest research on generational differences, Internet literacy, cyberbullying, sexting, Internet and cell phone dependency, and online risky behavior.

 

Successful Onboarding: A New Lens for Mid-Career Leaders by Louise Korver (Evidence Based Coaching alumna)

Newcomers often experience a sense of uncertainty and vulnerability as they establish themselves as valued members of the team. Onboarding for mid-career senior leaders is a make-it-or-break-it proposition, and to do it well takes longer than 90 days. Success requires a new approach so that executives can find the support they need for socializing into a new culture.Onboarding

This book, written by Evidence Based Coaching alumna Louise Korver, offers practical tools, lessons from experience, a troubleshooting guide, and best practice management routines to accelerate successful integration based on lessons learned by executives at large, global companies.

 

Tomorrow's Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD (Human Development alumna)

Each and every day, families, schools, and communities play important roles in raising and educating compassionate young citizens. But how does this happen? How do we support young people to become their best selves in a global society?

ChangeMakersTomorrow's Change Makers by alumna Dr. Marilyn Price Mitchell reveals new and surprising research, and delivers hopeful answers. Through powerful stories of American youth who believe in democracy, equal rights, social/environmental justice, and freedom, this book shows how their civic lives were shaped by relationships and service experiences during childhood and adolescence. The book will be released on September 30, 2015.

Looking for the One and To Love Again by Colleen White, EdD (Educational Leadership for Change alumna)

Colleen White is a recent graduate and an educator who resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This summer, she signed with Urban Chapters Publications, which published two African American romance novels this summer.  She also has had two poetry anthologies published.

Looking4theOneToLoveAgainIn Looking for the One, a small town, Mississippi Delta girl will begin to see the world differently, see herself differently, and see love unfold in a way she never thought it could once she realizes that she has finally found the one.  To Love Again is a romance novel with a slight twist.

All of these books are avilable at Amazon.com as well as other through other book sellers.

Do you have a book that’s publishing soon? Send us your information and we’ll include your book our next blog.

 

Tags: change agent, technology, social justice, multicultural, psychology, Organizational development, evidence based coaching, military psychology

Alumni and Faculty Author Books on Creativity, Art Therapy, Sustainability, and more!

Posted on Mon, Jul 20, 2015

The following books, authored by members of the Fielding community were published in the first half of 2015.

BrandtBookThe Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut by Betsy Siwula-Brandt  (MA, Organizational Leadership alumna)

This book offers a new way of looking at creativity, and takes a long view of approaching your creative life. The Three Sources of Creativity is not a typical self-help book. It contains a self-assessment, exemplars (modern and ancient), many illustrations, cartoons, exercises and applications tailored to the readers.  Learn how the three sources of creativity work in your life.

This book is packed with inspiring mini-stories and fresh new insights for both your personal and business life.  As a former geoscientist and current consultant, Betsy has served in many industries required to "create something from nothing"—from discovering major oil and gas fields offshore to fostering creativity in international teams—and she wants to share my expertise with you.

For more information visit http://www.threecentersofcreativity.com/author/admin/.

 

FOCUS

FOCUS! Get What You Want Out of Life by Carol-Anne Minski, PhD (Human and Organizational Systems alumna)

This book is for any woman who is standing at the threshold of change or making a decision about the future. Women that were interviewed for the book share their successes and their struggles. You will be inspired by the stories of brave women, determined to achieve their goals.

Carol’s book condenses years of documented research and proven strategies for gaining confidence and overcoming fear. The powerful FOCUS model provides a step-by-step pathway that anyone can use to achieve personal and professional goals.

Watch the video about Carol’s book:  https://youtu.be/KQ3NyY25eSU.

 

Becoming An Art Therapist by Maxine Borowsky Junge, PhD (Human and Organizational Systems alumna)

ArtTherapyIn her eight book since graduating from Fielding, Maxine covers issues in supervision and mentorship, contains stories by art therapy students about what they are thinking and feeling, and letters to young art therapists by highly regarded professionals in the field. The reader has the advantage of ideas and responses from both a student art therapist and an art therapist with many years' experience and is clearly intended for students aiming for a career in therapy.

More information about the book can be found on the publisher’s website, http://www.ccthomas.com/details.cfm?P_ISBN13=9780398090739.

 

A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership by Steve Schein, PhD (Human and Organizational Systems alumnus)

ScheinIn this book, Schein explores the deeper psychological motivations of sustainability leaders. He shows how these motivations relate to overall effectiveness and capacity to lead transformational change and he explores the ways in which the complexity of sustainability is driving new approaches to leadership. Based on current reviews, the book appears to be opening a new type of discussion about sustainability leadership that could lead to deeper change.

Drawing on interviews with 75 leaders in more than 40 multinational organizations, NGOs, and academia, Schein explores how ecological worldviews and conscious mindsets are developed and expressed in the context of global sustainability practice. By empirically grounding key theories from developmental psychology in sustainability leadership practice, the Schein encourages us to think about leadership in a different way.

For more information visit http://www.greenleaf-publishing.com/productdetail.kmod?productid=4068.

 

GillespeBookThe Anatomy of Death: Notes from a Healer's Casebook by Elena Gillespie, PhD (Human Development alumna)

Elena Gillespie had no idea that her father's death would lead to a door that contravenes everything we think we know about death and dying. Promising her father that that she would learn everything she could about this process, she approached her visionary experiences with the open mind of the researcher.  

While serving as an alternative counselor and Reiki practitioner, Elena worked with the dying. She wrote her dissertation on her transpersonal experiences with the dying, discovereing along the way that death is not to be feared, but may be the beginning of the next great adventure.

Read more at http://www.amazon.com/The-Anatomy-Death-Healers-Casebook/dp/0692403841>

 

Rural_GeniusRural Genius 3: Secrets to Long-Term Marriages by Hilda V. Carpenter, PhD (Human Development alumna)

In the third book of a trilogy, Hilda humorously chronicles 44 years of marriage to three men. The book is a self-parody of Hilda's experiences in 3 marriages, ending with a chapter that identifies 12 lessons she learned and how she has stayed married to her current husband for 30 years.
Learn more this book and others in the trilogy at  http://hildac.wix.com/rural-genius.

Massaging the Mindset: An Intelligent Approach to Systemic Change in Education by Dr. Felecia (Wright) Nace (Educational Leadership for Change alumna)

Felecia Nace—a former teacher, a change facilitator for schools and businesses, and an education specialist for the New Jersey Department of Education—has written a book exploring the subject of systemic change in education.

Massaging_the_MindsetThis book examines the psychology behind systemic change. School leaders will be equipped to view change from a perspective that has rarely been acknowledged. The reader will begin to see change as a process, and will understand the steps needed to attain targeted goals. School leaders will also understand that before any specific changes can take shape in a school system, leaders must first develop change skill sets in staff. Then, and only then will change become a part of school culture. Once this takes place, moving initiatives forward becomes a systemic effort, and administrators will find they have less time management issues as they can then spend more time focused on being a true instructional leader.

Even though it’s written with school leaders in mind, it’s presented in layman’s terms so that families, community members and educators in various positions to easily grasp the concepts about current trends and changes in schools in the US and how each of us plays a unique role, and most importantly, a shared responsibility in the education process.”

For more information about Nace and her book, visit https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781475812145#.

Do you have a book that’s publishing soon? Send us your information and we’ll include your book in next month’s blog.

 

 

 

 

Tags: change agent, creativity, educational leadership, psychology, organizational change, Organizational development, women's issues, sustainability, leadership, fielding graduate university, human development, research

New Books by Fielding Students, Faculty, and Alumni (December 2014)

Posted on Thu, Jan 22, 2015

The following books, authored by members of the Fielding community, were published in December 2014.

MagicofMentoring lg

Magic of Mentoring, by Barbara Perkins (Evidence Based Coaching alumna)

The Magic of Mentoring: Pearls of Wisdom is a collection of short stories written by 47 contributors, or “Pearls,” who believe that mentoring is the key to success for young people today. Each contributor’s story shares a personal journey on how their lives were changed for the better because of mentoring. According to Perkins, there is an overwhelming need to find perfect matches for children in cities across this nation in need of all the benefits that positive mentoring will bring to their lives.

The Psychotherapy Relationship: Cultural Influences (Fielding Monograph Series: Volume Two), edited by Sherry Hatcher (Clinical Psychology faculty)

This second volume in Fielding’s Monograph Series features six articles on the cultural ramifications of the psychotherapy relationship, based on recent dissertations by Fielding graduates. Edited by Sherry L. Hatcher, the studies explore unique socio-cultural aspects of the therapy relationship.Monograph Vol2

• Jessie Whitehorse Lopez’s article, co-authored by Robert L. Hatcher, tells us about Native American psychotherapy clients: how they evaluate standard measures of alliance, and which criteria they propose to add in order to foster trust in the therapy relationship.

• Christine Mok-Lammé reminds us to avoid stereotyping. Her article illustrates common expectations about what Chinese American psychotherapy clients want from their therapy, in terms of either cognitive or emotion-based interventions.

• Arielle Schwartz takes us into “new age” culture by asking what psychologists think about embedding mind-body methods in their work, such as the use of relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, and more. She discovered interesting discrepancies between the mind-body techniques that psychologists value personally, and those that they are disinclined to incorporate into their professional work.

• The article by Shanna Jackson looks at parallel cultures of abuse and what happens when therapists, who have themselves suffered abuse and trauma, treat clients with a similar history. The potential for “vicarious traumatization” suggests that methods that typically promote therapist empathy may instead have the potential to unwittingly retraumatize some therapists.

• Chaya Rubin and Comfort Shields explore the culture of therapists’ judgments, based on archival data from a study published by the editor of this issue. They investigate the question of whether the perceived culpability or vulnerability of a psychotherapy client may affect a therapist’s ability to empathize with that client.

• Michelle Horowitz introduces the reader to an exponentially expanding culture of social media and, in particular, how the delivery of electronically-mediated psychotherapy may positively and/or negatively impact the therapeutic relationship.

The monograph series is available for purchase on Amazon.com

New Directions in Media Psychology (Fielding Monograph Series, Volume Three), edited Karen Dill-Shackleford (Media Psychology faculty)

Monograph Vol3In this third volume of Fielding's Monograph six articles broaden the boundaries of Media Psychology, a field that Fielding introduced as a doctoral discipline in 2003. This volume illustrates the range of topics that the media psychology discipline can encompass, as illustrated by the recent dissertation research of six media psychology alumni.

• Gordon Goodman’s study examines one medium of entertainment long ignored by psychologists, namely the stage. An accomplished actor and director in his own right, Dr. Goodman asked whether stage fright, popularly associated with young and inexperienced actors, continues to vex accomplished, veteran actors.

• The article by Jennifer Johnston summarizes her groundbreaking study on childhood exposure to pornography, a dominant genre in virtually all media, and the effects of such exposure on sexual satisfaction in adulthood. Dr. Johnson’s findings show that early exposure to pornography can increase sexual satisfaction when mediated by sexual experience.

• Jonny White addresses the realm of storytelling. Based on five in-depth interviews with accomplished authors of fiction, augmented by additional case study material, Dr. White concluded that authors benefit from stepping outside of their societal narrative conventions in order to develop new perspectives for storytelling.

• In her article, Bernadette Chitunya-Wilson underscores the enduring power of one of our culture’s most important legacy media: television. Her inquiry probes the question of whether frequent viewing of reality TV shows involving cosmetic surgery actually fosters a desire among viewers to undergo cosmetic surgery themselves.

• Alicia Vitagliano turns our attention to another legacy platform, namely, print journalism covering the field of professional sports. Given that the number of female sports journalists has grown in recent decades since the adoption of Title IX in 1972, she wonders whether a reader’s gender and internalized sexism would affect his or her views towards a sports article written by a female journalist.

• Ivone Umar examines the role of the Internet in an area largely overlooked by American scholars: the ability of students born in Latin America to integrate within an American college community in the United States. Dr. Umar’s data show that the use of the Internet in the host language—English—was a positive factor in the acculturation process, whereas the use of the Internet in the student’s native language was correlated with a slower acculturation on an American English-speaking campus.

The monograph series is available for purchase on Amazon.com

Do you have a book that’s publishing soon? Send us your information and we’ll include your book in next month’s blog.

Tags: Media psychology, psychology, fielding faculty, clinical psychology, fielding graduate university, coaching

Student and Alumni Projects Improve the Lives of Veterans

Posted on Fri, Nov 07, 2014

by Marianne McCarthy

Veterans Day honors America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. While our nation pauses to reflect on those who have served our country, we would like to recognize a few of those in the Fielding community who dedicate their practice and study to improving the lives of veterans.

Preparing to Serve Vets and Their Families

“A lot of our veterans are coming back with brain injuries, and they are finding that they have increased sensitivity to light, memory problems, difficulty thinking and reasoning, and responding with the same kind of personality their spouses remember,” says Jeremy Jinkerson, a doctoral student in clinical psychology with neuropsychology concentration.

Jinkerson's interest in military psychology stems from his earlier work with children and adolescents, where he developed specialties and interest in the traumatic process and how PTSD develops.  He is currently doing his practicum at Little Rock Air Force Base and applying to become an officer in the Air Force.

Jinkerson is also the Commanding Officer of Fielding’s APA Division 19 Society for Military Psychology student chapter. Other officers include Tiffany Duffing (Executive Officer) and Athena Hubbard (Secretary/Treasurer). The group has put together a training series to help prepare students to serve active military families and veterans now and in their future careers.  They’ve brought in speakers and even had presentations from some Fielding students.Fielding Div19 officers

“We can learn a lot from [Fielding] veterans as well,” says Jinkerson.  “We’ve had presentations on military culture and on topics that are of interest and pertinent to us from a clinical perspective. We’ve had presentations from interns at active duty sites as well as national training directors who are teaching us what we need to know now to apply to their site this year or next year.

Later this year, Jinkerson will transition into a more national role for Division 19. As Director of Programming, he’ll be organizing programming and virtual dissemination strategies for all of Division 19 members.

Developing Entrepreneurship for Veterans’ Families

Growing up in Harlem with parents who were actively involved in community affairs had a huge impact on Stephen Redmon. The Human & Organizational Systems (HOS) alumnus (2013) has been devoted to community service since he graduated college and joined the Peace Corps. Today, Redmon serves as Special Assistant to the General Counsel of the Departments of Veterans Affairs. But in 2008, he was selected for the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities at Syracuse University where he developed an award-winning business plan for improving the quality of life for service-disabled veterans.

describe the imageHis dissertation explores the experiences of family members of veterans who participated in the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Family Program (EBV-F), an entrepreneurial learning and coaching program designed to assist family members of service-disabled veterans in an effort to support the discontinuous life transition of these veterans and their families. 

“Family members of service-disabled veterans oftentimes have to bring more income to the family to make up for the decrease in income because possibly of the service disabled veteran,” says Redmon. “The entrepreneur opportunity offers both the potential for income and resources for the family, but also a more flexible way to bring in those resources to the family.”

Redmon has been practicing law for 25 years. His doctorate in HOS has allowed him to take a “more holistic, medical-legal approach” to his practice. Rather than looking at a case from as a purely criminal justice matter, Redmon seeks out the root cause of a patient’s condition to see if there’s a legal component to it. Does the veteran need counseling? Assessment, diagnosis, or treatment? Is a drug or alcohol intervention needed?

Comforting Heroes in their Greatest Hour of Need

RebeccaA couple of years ago, clinical psychology doctoral student Rebecca Hodges started the Military Heroes Comfort Project. The nonprofit organization provides knitted hats, blankets and other sources of comfort to military heroes and their families going through chemotherapy, infusions, or radiation.

The project began following her own family’s struggle with cancer. When her foster son retired from active duty, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and needed infusions. According to Hodges, military budget cuts meant few of any items of comfort were available during these treatments. She saw a huge need for lap blankets, chemo hats, ball caps, slippers and quilts to help comfort patients as they bravely battled with cancer. Yet regulations prohibited anyone from giving or sharing these items to non-relatives. That’s when Hodges decided to create her own organization, one that is sanctioned by the US Judge Advocate General (JAG). In the short span of two years, her group, comprised completely of volunteer sewers, knitters, and donors from across the nation, has provided over $350,000 in donated or handmade gifts to patients of all ages (infants through geriatrics).ComfortProject

Hodges always needs donors and crafters, but she is especially looking for someone to help the organization with social media and a website. If you’re interested in helping out, email her at [email protected] All donations are tax-deductible.

Want to get involved?

If you are a veteran or are interested in learning more about veterans' issues, there are two Fielding communities to consider joining. Psychology students can join Division 19 of the American Psychological Association (APA). Any student can join the Fielding Veterans Connection, a group that was initiated by Redmon and fellow HOS alumnus Bart Buechner as a space to share interests and offer support. The group has both a Moodle (login required) and LinkedIn forum and is open to both veterans and non-veterans. 

Tags: psychology, trauma psychology, APA Division 19, fielding graduate university, graduate education, military psychology, veterans

Alumna Recounts Earning PhD at Fielding while Raising Small Children

Posted on Wed, May 07, 2014

ErickJacob13SummerSessionGraduate Education + Motherhood = Possible!

By Kari Newbill Lannon, PhD (PSY ’13)

Special thanks to guest blogger, Kari L. Lannon, PhD, who shared her personal experience of earning her PhD while starting a family. This article celebrates all Fielding students who combine motherhood and scholarship. We applaud and honor you! Happy Mother’s Day!

Fielding Graduate University is an amazing place! I chose Fielding for two primary reasons: the high quality APA-accredited program in clinical psychology and the flexibility offered by the distributed learning model.

My husband’s industry was on a three- to four-year cycle of geographic moves, and I wanted to start a graduate program that I could finish if I was unable to stay in the same city. Little did I know, that my journey of becoming a psychologist and mother were about to begin! Three weeks after starting at Fielding, I discovered I was pregnant and the adventure intensified. Because of the incredible support of Fielding faculty and students, family, and friends, I successfully completed my first year while in the midst of severe morning sickness, months of working on my laptop in bed while on bed rest, and a breastfeeding baby who attended clusters and sessions. I cannot imagine being able to accomplish this at any other school.

EC4The flexibility and support of the Fielding community continued as subsequent years brought a second baby. My children have always been welcomed and included into Fielding events. I arranged my practicum schedules to spend the first year of each baby’s life primarily with them, keeping my family a priority even as I continued to successfully progress in school. I joined the Fielding LONGSCAN research team while seven months pregnant and on bed rest. Throughout my dissertation process, the team and my committee provided helpful feedback and understanding about the difficulties inherent in parenting two active boys while generating doctoral level research.

Going through the APA match process was complicated because I was trying to balance family and educational goals. My mother and children traveled to interviews with me as I was still nursing my second baby. I was incredibly blessed to match at an APA-accredited site, Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago, part of the Chicago Area Christian Training Consortium that provided outstanding and diverse clinical experiences and training opportunities. My family and I relocated from Dallas to Chicago, where I worked in an environment that was congruent with my values of social justice, faith, and family.


Summer2011BoysSchoolSessionI cannot adequately describe my sense of thankfulness, accomplishment, and excitement when my Final Oral Review was scheduled for Summer Session 2013, and I registered to walk in graduation. I made plans for my husband, parents, in-laws, and children to attend as they have all been integral parts of my education along with Fielding faculty and students, practicum and internship supervisors, and colleagues. My education at Fielding will always be measured by the age of my oldest son, Erick, and my dissertation research by my younger boy, Jacob.

As I stated in my dissertation acknowledgements: It takes a village to earn a PhD as a mother!

Tags: APA, gender empowerment, psychology, women's issues, adult learning, clinical psychology, graduate education

'Being A Psychologist Means Being A Healer'

Posted on Mon, Apr 06, 2009

By James G. Schiller, PhD (Clinical Psychology ’08)

I began serving the New York City HIV community at St. Clare’s Hospital in 1990, I was one of the early hospital-based case managers, counseling people suffering from the stigma of Karposi Sarcoma, an HIV-related cancer that left visible marks. In 1993, I co-founded an intensive HIV case management program at Argus Community, Inc., a not-for-profit in the Bronx serving people who are HIV-positive and their loved ones. I now oversee all outpatient HIV and substance abuse mental health services for 1,000 people each year. I am a recipient of the New York Statedescribe the image Department of Health’s Dr. Nicholas Rango Award for Development of Quality Case Management Services and former co-chair of the New York State AIDS Institute Department of Health Technical Assistant Group. I have lectured at Hunter College and continue to provide local and state patient care training.

I have a bachelor’s degree from St. Anselm College and a master’s degree from Hunter College. I served as Fielding’s student body president from 1998-1999.

WHY FIELDING

When I applied to doctoral programs, I was accepted to both Fielding and another school. I chose the more traditional route but, a year later, was unhappy with the large anonymous classes, extreme competition, and minimal student or faculty interaction. I reapplied to Fielding and was accepted. My initial instinct that Fielding faculty members are scholarly, supportive, available, and genuine was correct and kept me focused until I obtained my doctorate. 

FIELDING’S IMPACT ON MY LIFE

To me, being a psychologist means being a healer. Fielding helped me to expand and clarify how I can use my day-to-day assessment and treatment skills for healing. My dissertation attachment research continues to impact my perspective on the bilateral interpersonal dynamics that exist between patients and providers in our field, informing my current research and professional mental health staff training. Fielding provided the venue to both enhance my clinical skills and acquire professional credentials, inspiring me to make more significant contributions in the fields of both mental and HIV health. 

Tags: HIV, psychology, AIDs, adult learning, clinical psychology, healthcare, graduate education

Psychology Program Director Specializes in Addiction Issues

Posted on Mon, Apr 06, 2009

By Marilyn Freimuth, PhD, Program Director, School of Psychology

After many years in private practice, I discovered that I had been overlooking addiction issues in my psychotherapy patients. Subsequent research revealed I was not alone. I have since published two books. Hidden Addictions: Assessment Practices for PsychotherapisMarilyn Freimuthts, Counselors, and Health Care Providers helps health care providers become more adept at recognizing substance and behavioral addictions. Addicted? Recognizing Destructive Behavior Before It’s Too Late is written for professional and lay audiences and explores addiction as a continuum rather than a disease you either have or you do not. I also provide trainings to psychologists and other health care professionals and maintain a private practice.

At Fielding, I chair the School of Psychology and run the Addiction Study Group for students doing research on this topic. Six members of this group co-authored an article on co-addictions, while other members are studying the effect of client characteristics on psychotherapists’ ability to recognize substance use disorders.

WHY FIELDING?

After receiving my doctorate, I taught undergraduates at a school that valued individual mentoring, self development, and their relationship. The work was rewarding but difficult because undergraduates had so little background or life experience. Fielding follows a similar educational model, but students have experience and knowledge, so interactions are more collegial and rewarding. I also like Fielding’s openness to the full range of perspectives, compared to other programs that adhere to a specific theoretical orientation.

ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Prospective students are excited to be in an adult learner environment, but nearly all underestimate the self-discipline needed to balance the demands of life and school in a program that does not require them to show up weekly in a classroom. Yet when students endure, Fielding supports them in becoming scholars and practitioners who think from different approaches. Our students learn that there are no right answers, only great questions and explorations.

Tags: mental health services APA, psychology, clinical psychology

It's Never Too Late to Change Careers

Posted on Tue, Oct 07, 2008

By Joyce Clifford Burland, PhD (PSY ’88)

I am lucky to have led a double life: one as a practicing psychotherapist and then another as author and trainer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) peer education programs. In the past eight years at NAMI, I have written several educational programs for family caregivers and behavioral health providers. The Joyce Burlandprograms utilize trained family members and people with mental illness as peer teachers and are offered free in their home communities. The center I direct now oversees nine training programs, numerous community support groups, and 10,000 volunteer teachers across the country.

I began my career in politics, but after a devastating election loss, my career was over at age 44. With a forced career change looming, I decided to pursue my other interest: psychology. Thanks to a Fielding Graduate University faculty member who encouraged me to apply, I was able to complete the coursework to obtain my doctorate.

WHY FIELDING

My daughter has had schizophrenia for 25 years. I am grateful to my husband of 35 years, and my two sons and their wives, who long ago formed a family support group to help her recover. Fielding helped me leave politics to serve families with mental illness, including my own, and offered me the chance to find my way without the restriction of traditional programs as I cared for my daughter. The intellectual freedom and superb training at Fielding supported my life change and it never occurred to me not to finish, though I was sorely tried by my daughter’s need for care.

FIELDING’S IMPACT ON MY LIFE

Fielding taught me that learning is a lifelong process. I remember the moment that I realized there was nothing I couldn’t take on or learn on my own if I truly wanted to. One night, in my previous life as a politician, I dreamed I was hosting an election victory dinner. In the midst of glad-handing, I suddenly noticed there was no food on the tables—no real sustenance. That dream was leading me to my current life in service, and Fielding opened the door.

Tags: psychology, adult learning, clinical psychology, mental illness