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School of Counseling

Richmont Graduate Writes Second Book on Christmas

CLEVELAND, TN – (December 5, 2014)

On November 28, Richmont alumna, Jennifer Hand, published her second e-book, 25 Days to Coming Alive. Featuring 25 story driven devotionals, this book provides an invitation for readers to “come alive” by connecting with the King during advent.

“It was in the early morning hours when I felt the Lord whisper the calling to write this book,” said Hand. “I was in my grandfather’s hospice room, listening to his labored breathing, wondering if it would be his last. Life had stilled and I began to think about the upcoming Christmas season.”

Knowing how busy the holidays can become for many people, Hand hopes her book will serve as an invitation for people to pause and remember the joy and miracles of the story of Christ coming to earth. Currently, the book is available for purchase on Amazon.

In March of this year, Hand released her first book, 31 Days to Coming Alive. It quickly landed on Amazon’s list of bestselling devotionals. The popular devotional helps people easily connect their hearts with Christ in order to come alive in their daily lives. Each daily devotional is written to connect scripture to reader’s hearts using life stories and topics include: coming alive in confidence, coming alive in prayer, coming alive in courage, coming alive in your common, and coming alive in community. These devotions speak to the reader’s soul and the heart at the end of each day and include a few questions or directives to practically apply the concepts.

After graduating from Richmont in 2012, Hand started Coming Alive Ministries to help people come alive in Christ through counseling, conferences and written resources. Today, Coming Alive Ministries provides opportunities for women to come alive in Christ through conferences and retreats, counseling, and written and multimedia resources. In particular, the conferences are designed to encourage attendees to live alive in Christ through worship, the Word, laughter, fellowship and fun. While teaching approximately 40 retreats and conferences a year across the globe, Hand also engages missionary families in counseling as a professional counselor.

Richmont Professor Travels to Moldova to Train Counselors

ATLANTA, GA – (October 28, 2014)

This October, Vanessa Snyder, Assistant Professor of Counseling at Richmont, traveled to Moldova to conduct research and provide training on a trauma treatment model for staff working with victims of sex trafficking. Partnering with Hope for Justice, Snyder has traveled and trained with the organization in the past. This trip, however, focused on teaching the organization’s residential workers in aftercare shelters best practices within the three phase “heart trauma model.” Ideally, aftercare therapists will be better equipped to offer a more holistic approach to their clients who have experienced immense adverse life experiences.

Moldova-1“There is such a strong focus on the rescue of children and women who are being trafficked. While this is a necessity, it can, at times eclipse an equally desperate need for quality aftercare services,” said Snyder. “Having evidence based treatment for survivors of such complex trauma and organizations that are trauma-informed is a passion of mine.”

A 2008 graduate of Richmont, Snyder will be completing her degree in December from Regent University with her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. Her areas of research interests include: sexual abuse and trauma; trauma effects on the God perception; and complex trauma model protocol used for human trafficking. With her teaching experience and specialized research, her relationship with Hope for Justice has grown over the last three years. Later this month, Snyder plans to speak at the organization’s national conference in Nashville, Tennessee to present her research and trip experiences.

A licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist, Snyder’s work in Moldova is not only preparing aftercare workers to offer whole-person focused treatment, but the data she collects and studies from the shelters informs future service provision and therapeutic practice across the counseling field. Best practices in aftercare shelters is a passion of Snyder’s and her studies influence individual treatment models, self care for clinicians, and future organizational development.

Richmont Professor Travels to Uganda to Teach Counselors

ATLANTA, GA – (September 30, 2014)

This fall, Sonja Sutherland, one of Richmont’s newest faculty members in the School of Counseling, traveled to Mukono, Uganda in collaboration with Regent University to teach master’s level counselors and therapists. This was Professor Sutherland’s third trip to Africa, and her second to Uganda. Her team conducted classes for about 100 people through Uganda Christian University on assessment, counseling as a science, and counselor supervision.

“Having been to Uganda before on evangelist mission, this trip was different because it was a perfect melding of my personal mission and professional passion for teaching,” said Sutherland. “Being able to serve in this way in a country where there are so few counseling and counselor-training resources was very exciting.”

Preparing to finish her Ph.D. dissertation this fall through Regent, Sutherland taught a lecture series on supervision including models of supervision, developing the supervisory alliance, self supervising skills, evaluation, and more. While the lecture series went exceptionally well, Sutherland was reminded of the patriarchal society that still heavily rules families and dictates behavior in Uganda. Because societal traditions remain that are considered clinically detrimental on the individual level, the team was challenged to work collaboratively with Ugandan counselors and counselors-in-training to create unique interventions that would be effective within their cultural norms.

“At present, there are no systems in place to confront some of the more harmful traditions,” said Sutherland. “While my team and I didn’t anticipate encountering such controversial and challenging clinical dilemmas linked to traditional Ugandan culture, I believe we were still able to provide many effective resources to help Christian counselors, counselors-in-training, and the newly established Uganda Counseling Association. Many indicated they felt better equipped to impact their culture in ways they deemed most important and most critical for the public benefit.”

As a result of this trip, Uganda Christian University has expressed an interest in developing a partnership with Richmont in order to welcome more teaching teams and hopefully even counseling interns.

Richmont Hires Four New Counseling Faculty Members

CHATTANOOGA, TN & ATLANTA, GA – (August 4, 2014)

It is with great pleasure that Richmont welcomes four new faculty members to the School of Counseling.

*Lorrie Slater will be serving at Richmont as an Assistant Professor of Counseling as well as the Assistant Dean of Students on the Chattanooga Campus. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and has served as an adjunct professor at Tennessee Temple University and Lee University. Recently, she also served as a teaching assistant and practicum supervisor at Regent University. Prior to joining the Richmont Henegar Counseling Center in Chattanooga last March, she provided individual, couple, and family counseling services at the Relationship Therapy Center. A Richmont alumna, she is completing her doctoral dissertation in the Counselor Education and Supervision program this year at Regent University.

*Vanessa Snyder will be serving at Richmont as an Assistant Professor of Counseling. She is both a licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist. A 2008 graduate of Richmont, she will be graduating in December from Regent University with her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. Her areas of research interests include: sexual abuse and trauma; trauma effects on the God perception; assessment and play/art therapy in treatment of adults who experience trauma/complex trauma; and, complex trauma model protocol used for human trafficking. Her teaching experience includes serving as a Richmont adjunct, guest lecturer at the University of Tennessee and guest lecturer with the Institute for Sexual Wholeness.

*Sonja Sutherland will be serving at Richmont as an Assistant Professor of Counseling. She, too, is completing her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision at Regent University this fall. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and a Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor. She has served as an adjunct professor at Kennesaw State University and as a teaching assistant and practicum supervisor at Regent University. Prior to Regent, she completed her graduate degree in counseling at Georgia State University. Her areas of research interests include: the integration of spirituality in the psychiatric residential treatment setting for adolescents; increasing academic achievement for underserved minority children and teens through family centered therapeutic intervention within and outside of the school setting; and best practice models of supervision in the online supervision environment.

*Long-time adjunct faculty member, Jason Hayes, will now serve Richmont’s Atlanta campus as a part-time Assistant Clinical Professor of Counseling. He has been a part of Richmont’s adjunct faculty since 2005 and previously served as a course instructor at Georgia State University and James Madison University. He has an M.A. in Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary and Psy.D. from James Madison University. He completed his post doctoral education at Georgia State University. He is also an Associate Pastor at Marietta Alliance Church in Marietta, GA, where he has been serving since 2000.

*Stanley Hoover, a graduate of Richmont and a doctoral candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision Ph.D. Program at Mercer University, will be serving as adjunct faculty at the Atlanta campus. Stan is currently serving as a therapist at Tapestry Associates Counseling Center in Marietta, GA. He has also served as an adjunct instructor at Mercer. His areas of clinical and research interests include: trauma and stress related disorders; religion, spirituality and mental health; psychodynamic psychotherapy and counseling; counselor education and supervision; and, higher education pedagogy.

“We’re delighted to bring on board our new faculty members,” said Dean of the Schools of Counseling & Psychology, Dr. Keny Felix. “Each individual not only believes in our mission but is well qualified to have a tremendous impact on our students through the integration of counselor education and the Christian faith. Together with our longstanding faculty members, we will continue in our tradition of academic and clinical excellence. Moreover, the addition of faculty from Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral programs will allow us to meet current demands related to growing trends in the field of counselor education.”

These new faculty members will join our dedicated team of full-time, clinical and adjunct instructors in Richmont’s School of Counseling. At present, the school serves approximately 236 students who are pursuing master’s degrees in Professional Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Ministry, and Psychological Studies. Many students also elect to pursue a degree specialization in addictions, child and adolescent therapy, sex therapy, spirituality and counseling, trauma counseling and spiritual direction.

“We are thrilled to have so many capable and accomplished professors join Richmont’s School of Counseling this summer,” said Richmont President, Bob Rodgers. “Richmont’s curriculum promotes scholarly research and evidence-based methodologies that prepare students to serve clients from all backgrounds. We look forward to our faculty expanding in order to better serve our current and future students.”

Richmont to Co-Host Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Continuing Education Event

On Friday, August 22, from 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. the Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association (TLPCA) will be hosting An Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on Richmont’s Chattanooga campus. This continuing education event will feature Richmont Professor, Dr. Tim Sisemore, and will help participants to: articulate the theory of psychological suffering behind ACT; list the six elements of the hexaflex model of ACT; implement one intervention for each of the six elements of the hexaflex. A NBCC approved continuing education provider, TLPCA will award 2 contact hours for participation in this event. The cost at the door for attending is $10 for professionals and $5 for students with lunch included.

To learn more, contact Chattanooga TLPCA representatives Lauren Stevens and Yohunnah Woods-Moton at: lauren.stevens@cadas.org and ywoods-moton@crchealth.com. Additionally, Richmont’s Chattanooga campus is located at: 1815 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404.

Richmont Students Garner 98% Passing Rate on National Counselor Examination for Second Year

ATLANTA, GA and CHATTANOOGA, TN – (June 11, 2014)

This spring, 50 of Richmont’s graduating students took the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) and achieved an exceptionally high passing rate of 98 percent for the second year in a row. Richmont’s mean scores on the NCE for the Atlanta and Chattanooga campuses surpassed the mean scores of CACREP accredited and Non-CACREP accredited institutions in every CACREP and Counselor Work Behavior subject area.

“The Board of Trustees and I are extremely proud of the quality of Richmont’s faculty and the performance of each of our students once again this year,” said President Bob Rodgers. “This year’s passing rate and individual scores are nationally impressive and they continue a well-established legacy of students scoring in the 90th percentile on the NCE.”

According to the National Board of Certified Counselors, the NCE is used to “…assess knowledge, skills, and abilities viewed as important for providing effective counseling services…It is intended to assess cognitive knowledge which should be known by all counselors regardless of their individual professional specialties.” After completing the four hour, 200 multiple choice question exam, students who satisfactorily perform on the NCE are eligible to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). A passing score on the NCE is required for licensure as a professional counselor in most states, including Georgia and Tennessee.

“We are tremendously proud of our students once again,” said Dr. Keny Felix, Dean of the School of Counseling. “Their outstanding performance on the NCE reflects the exceptional quality of the counseling program at Richmont.”

As an academic institution, Richmont currently hosts campuses in Atlanta, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Richmont offers master’s-level training in counseling to help individuals, families and groups successfully confront life’s challenges. Presently, students have the opportunity to pursue master’s degrees in: Professional Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Ministry, and Psychological Studies as well as specializations in addictions, child and adolescent therapy, sex therapy, spirituality and counseling, and trauma counseling.

Additionally, in order to serve Richmont’s campus communities, the university hosts a network of Community Counseling Centers that offer reduced-fee counseling/mental health services to children, adults, families and groups of all walks of life, regardless of their insurance status. Through this network, Richmont offers subsidized services such as: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), child and adolescent therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), depression/anxiety counseling, grief/loss counseling, marital counseling, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) counseling, and self-esteem/body image counseling. The university is thankful for an avenue to offer access to counseling services that help client’s better understand their personal histories and how their thoughts, beliefs, feelings and physical responses have been affected as a result.

Currently, several of Richmont’s counselors are accepting new clients. Open five days a week, scheduling information can be obtained by calling 423-756-2894 or by visiting: the CBI web site.

Summer 2014 CE Opportunities

We hope to see you at one of the many continuing education opportunities we have planned!

Atlanta Opportunities:

 Psychopharmacology

 When: Saturday, July 12, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 Where: Room 303 in the McCarty Building – Richmont Graduate University, 2055 Mt. Paran Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30327

 Presenter: Shaw Wendi Fortuchang, MD

 Topic: This workshop is designed as an introduction to psychopharmacology. Major emphasis will be on understanding neurologic substrates that are targeted with medications, recognizing the major classes of medication, understanding how medications are chosen, major side effects and how to assess and refer for medication.

As a result of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the neurologic theory behind the use of medications.

  • Utilize a working knowledge of the major classes of medication and individual medications in each class.

  • Describe medical conditions, which may mimic or complicate mental disorders.

CE Credit: 3 NBCC-Approved Clock Hours Awarded. 3 CE Approved Clock Hours for Psychologists.

Cost: $50

*Register HERE

*Info Link: http://richmont.edu/events

 *Note: Richmont is opening a portion of this course to Richmont alumni and the surrounding community for Continuing Education Credit. This event is not sponsored by the alumni association and does not fall under the benefits of founding membership status. Also, meals will not be provided for this event. Refunds available upon request through July 10, 2014.

 

Prepare-Enrich Certification Workshop

When: Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: McCarty Building – Richmont Graduate University, 2055 Mt. Paran Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30327

Presenter: Todd Sandel, LMFT

CE Credit: 7 CE credits

Cost: $150 (RGU Discount), $175 (Guests). Price includes all training materials and DVD kit.

*Register HERE

* For more information or to register by August 9, 2014, email info@lifegatecenter.org or call 404-842-3150

*Note: Richmont only serves as host for this event. A continental breakfast will be provided with lunch on your own.

 

Chattanooga Opportunities:

Foundations of Supervision

When: Friday, June 13, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Finley Hall – Richmont Graduate University, 1815 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404

Presenter: Cara Cochran, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT

Topic: Supervisory relationships are among the most important foundational aspects of a counselor’s career. An encouraging, challenging supervisor can help a student intern or a graduate seeking licensure find his or her strengths, and develop as a professional. Supervision that encourages growth requires intentional investment into the lives of these individuals on the path to independent practice.  During this workshop, participants will discuss the basic requirements for supervision, the legal and ethical aspects of supervision, and the practical aspects of supervision.

 Within the context of this 5 hour workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the motivation and basic requirements of the supervisory relationship.

  • Describe the legal and ethical aspects of supervision.

  • Discuss the practical aspects of supervision, including the supervisor contract.

CE Credit: Five NBCC-approved clock hours awarded. Five CE Clock Hours Awarded to Psychologists.

Cost: Richmont Legacy & Founding Alumni members, Clinical Supervisors, Faculty, Staff, and Students are Free. Basic Alumni Association members are $30. Non-members and friends of alumni are $75.

*Register HERE

*Info Link:  www.richmont.edu/events

*Note: Lunch will be on your own. Also, refunds are available if requested by June 11, 2014.

 

Questions about these CE events? Contact Autumn Stephenson at astephenson@richmont.edu or 423-648-2679.

 Richmont Graduate University is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. Richmont Graduate University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Richmont Graduate University maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

 

 

Richmont Hosts May Graduation with 75 Students

ATLANTA, GA – (May 16, 2014)

On Saturday, May 10, 75 students participated in the university’s spring graduation ceremony. The university awarded degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, Christian Psychological Studies and Professional Counseling. Of special note, this year also marked the first class to graduate from Richmont’s School of Ministry.

“Graduation is always such a special time to celebrate each of Richmont’s graduates and their years of diligent work,” said Bob Rodgers, Richmont’s President. “It was also a wonderful time of acknowledging the Lord’s faithfulness and hand of provision at work in Richmont and in the lives of each student.”

In addition to honoring this year’s graduates, Richmont named Kenyon Knapp as 2014’s Distinguished Alumnus. A 2005 Richmont graduate, Knapp serves as the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and is a tenured Associate Professor of Counseling at Mercer University in Atlanta, where he teaches master’s and doctoral level courses.  Kenyon founded and is the chairman of the Mercer Atlanta Research Conference; represents Counselor Education research with selective membership on the Institutional Review Board; and is a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Evaluator and CACREP Site Team Chair. Apart from the academic world, Knapp loves to serve the Lord through international missions work and crisis counseling.

Similarly, Ronald Bunger, Richmont’s Chattanooga campus librarian, received this year’s Peterson Award for the commitment and service he has shown to the university that has consistently exceeded his job demands and institutional expectations. Bunger has faithfully served the university for 10 years and is well regarded by students, faculty and staff.

As the first graduates from Richmont’s School of Ministry assembled on stage to receive their diplomas, Dr. Leland Eliason, Dean of the School of Ministry said flashes of individual student responses to the Ministry degree program passed through his mind, several of which included:

  • “I gained a vision to reach out to those who have given up on church through a course that at first I thought would be unhelpful!”
  • “For the first time in my life I have an understanding of the Trinity – it has renewed my understanding of God.”
  • “I’ve released and been freed from a load of hurt and resentment. I am ready and anxious to give my life in service to the Lord.”

Reflecting on graduation and on the past two years, Eliason said, “What a privilege it has been to be part of the launch of this program! These are graduates that I am very proud of and I believe they will be effective in transformational ministry for the rest of their lives!”

This year’s graduation also honored Dr. DeAnne Terrell for 15 years of service as the Dean of Students at Richmont. At the end of May, she will be transitioning to extend her talents and leadership capabilities as a professor at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

“DeAnne has expertly and steadfastly served at Richmont,” said Rodgers. “She is a thought leader in the field and is exceptionally beloved by students and staff both past and present. She is irreplaceable member on this team and has been a true gift to us.”

While students, faculty and staff know Richmont will not be the same without Dr. Terrell everyone is excited to rejoice with her in this next season. Thankfully, she will remain an adjunct professor at Richmont and will return to Atlanta in order to occasionally teach counseling courses.

*Photo Credit: Josh Booth Photography

Richmont Receives Continuing Education Provider Status from the American Psychological Association

Atlanta, GA and Chattanooga, TN – (May 7, 2014)

This spring, Richmont was awarded Continuing Education (CE) Provider status by the American Psychological Association (APA). This status denotes Richmont as an approved provider offering continuing education courses to psychologists. The university’s application was not only approved, but received a five year status which is the highest level awarded to an academic institution.

“We are thrilled to have our application for CE Provider status receive such incredible validation from the American Psychological Association,” said Richmont’s President, Bob Rodgers. “Our current CE events have a high level of participation and we look forward to leveraging our networks and providing more resources for local counselors, therapists and psychologist in the future.”

Presently, Richmont hosts continuing education events throughout the year with the next event occurring on the university’s Atlanta campus on May 16, 2014.

“It is an honor for our Continuing Education program to be recognized in this way by the American Psychological Association,” said Autumn Stephens, Director of Career Services. “It demonstrates the standard of excellence we strive to maintain as an institution within our Continuing Education program. It also shows our commitment to advancing the education of our alumni beyond their time as a student.”

Richmont student, Sylvain Panu, Presents Research at the Southeastern Psychological Association’s Annual Conference

ATLANTA, GA – (March 10, 2014)

 

Master’s student, Sylvain Panu, represented Richmont Graduate University at the Southeastern Psychological Association’s (SEPA) annual conference on Friday, March 7. Panu, who submitted a presentation proposal last fall, was selected to present his thesis research via a poster session at the 2014 conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Mentored by Richmont faculty members Dr. Mary Plisco and John Hughes, Panu’s thesis is titled: The Effects of Traditional Martial Arts on Mindfulness and Psychological Well-Being.

“I was excited to present my thesis research because martial arts have had a huge impact on my life,” said Panu. “I love the idea of using activities as a part of therapy. I am looking forward to combining a passion of mine with psychology and adding to a body of research that will hopefully support martial arts as an effective form of intervention in therapy.”

“In his exploration of traditional martial arts and their relationship to a person’s development of mindfulness and general psychological well-being, Sylvain has been able to take a passion of his and lay the groundwork for some potentially impactful research,” said Hughes. “His study combines a timely topic with ancient traditions, and honors the Creator and created by addressing the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. I am glad to have had the opportunity to join Sylvain in this journey and am very proud of what he has been able to accomplish thus far.”

According to SEPA’s web site, they represent the “…largest psychological organization in the southeast and one of largest in the United States.” Seeking to “…advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare…” SEPA’s mission is “…to stimulate the exchange of scientific and professional ideas across the diverse areas of psychological inquiry and application.”

“Richmont has, for many years, had a significant presence at the SEPA conference,” said Bob Rodgers, Richmont’s President. “We are proud of Sylvain’s work, thankful for two incredible faculty mentors and are pleased to contribute to initiate a new discussion on such an important research topic.”