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President's Corner

Reflecting on the graduation ceremony of November 11, 2018, I was struck by the speeches of student speakers Patricia Welch and Danny Shaheen - embodying the Adlerian Principles of dignity, respect, equality, purpose, belonging, encouragement, contribution, and social interest.

The significance of what their speeches embodied was accentuated by the date of their delivery, Veteran’s Day, drawing parallels to Alfred Adler and Rudolph Dreikurs’ escape from tyranny. In 2007 the daughter of Rudolph Dreikurs, Eva Dreikurs Fergusen, spoke to the St. Louis Dispatch about the importance of their contributions.

“The principles of democracy and equality held by my father and Dr. Adler became an intellectual movement, feared by dictators and despots throughout the world. In 1945, the world was dealing with the aftermath of World War II’s autocratic and tyrannical regimes.” Fergusen added, “Yet today’s dictators around the world continue to limit people’s freedom, equality, and their opportunity to learn.”

Reflecting on present-day life, the external threats of the past are rivaled with the internal threats of today. The threat of violence looms in our streets, places of worship, nightclubs, and schools because of structural racism and discrimination. The events in Pittsburg and California echo this sadness, restricting our personal freedom and democracy.

“My father envisioned a world where Adlerian psychology would do more than foster the well-being of children and families; he sought to bring Adler’s principles and methods to schools, organizations, and international relations where we are to train people around the globe and to focus on the prevention of psychological and human relations problems rather than on treating problems after they exist.”

During these times I would like to send thoughts of healing and tolerance to those suffering from trauma and loss, and remind us that in addition to thoughts and prayers, there is action.  As participants in Adler Graduate School, with our vision to transform society through social interest in action, we support the life task to get involved and make the world a better place for generations to come. It is an honor to be part of that vision, but it is also a responsibility for each of us.

Introducing Adlerian Students In Action

Good news!

A new student organization is forming on campus! Adlerian Students in Action (ASA) will serve as a resource for students to gather, share, and engage in professional development opportunities within the community. ASA has an action-oriented group social interest, and a central goal is to create and foster inclusivity at AGS and in the greater community.

Membership in a student group is excellent for networking, professional development, building community, and importantly, it looks great on a resume! Becoming a member is simple—just signing up and then when your schedule allows; engaging in our social network, email, and campus communities will do!

There is no cost in joining Adlerian Students in Action. The only requirement is your social interest & interest in connecting with other Adler Grads. We are currently looking for student leaders. Serving as a student leader will give you an opportunity to engage in community organizing, leadership, networking, and to provide a student voice in select faculty committees! If you’re interested in serving as a student leader, please contact Bre at

To stay connected with Adlerian Students in Action:

Here’s a quick peek at what’s coming up for the Adlerian Students in Action group!


Career Corner with Bre: Resume & Cover Letter Workshop (Cost: Free)

Join us for a crash course on what makes an effective resume and cover letter package. This is the first quarter of a four-part career development series that will be offered once per term. Other topics that will be covered this year are; Interviewing Basics, a Community Employer Panel & Networking opportunity, and a LinkedIn workshop

Monday, January 14th | 5:00PM-6:00PM


Adlerian Students in Action Group (1st Meeting) (Cost: Free)

Join us for pizza and a social hour from 5:00-6:00PM on Tuesday, January 15th. This hour is simply meant for an opportunity to connect, share ideas for the student group, and mingle with other Adler Grads.

Tuesday, January 15th | 5:00PM-6:15PM

Art Therapy Corner

We're certainly busy in the new art therapy studio! It's bustling with classes, student learning, and art therapy studio experiences with the community. We're continuing to emphasize new community partnership art therapy experiences, constantly putting the studio to good use.

Partnership Updates

We're partnering with Reach for Resources and their Art Ability program to provide free art therapy mental health services for adults on Friday nights. Community Art Therapist Emily Wright, MA AT leads this group, providing a wonderful opportunity to connect, create, and find a sense of belonging through the art therapy process. We’re happy to contribute to this ongoing partnership, serving the community and providing fieldwork opportunities for training onsite at AGS. This experience will end with an art show in 2019; look for more details to follow.

Open Circle, an Augustana Care Adult Day Program,  is another community partner and local Hopkins organization in which participants receive art therapy services on a monthly basis. Participants arrive by bus from the day program, getting a chance to utilize unique materials in an art studio environment while connecting with the community and one another via the art therapy process. Led by Erin Rafferty-Bugher ATR-BC, LPCC, this program offers opportunities for students to receive art therapy fieldwork training, and an experience to work directly with seniors, individuals with dementia, and individuals with early onset Alzheimer’s.  Stay tuned for an art show with this group in May 2019; we may even be lucky enough to host the Open Circle Choir once again as part of the show experience - you do not want to miss this!

Art Therapy Gallery

Ebenezer Art Show Opening happening in early 2019,  to be announced soon! Look for details about this art show via social media and our Adler FB page soon.  This show will highlight the art work of the folks from Ebenezer/ Fairview’s Assisted Living Facility, facilitated by our art therapy student Hadley Rosenberg’s art therapy internship experience.  We have an 8 year partnership with Ebenezer; many folks have been a part of the art therapy group for as longs as it’s inception. Life Long Creativity!

Interested in more information about  Adler Graduate School, the Art Therapy Gallery, or Art Therapy Studio Partnerships? Email

Writing Center Corner

The Adler Writing Center has been sponsoring monthly participation by students and staff to submit creative and reflective writing responses to questions sent out to Adler e-mail accounts. Watch your email for a February writing center event and respond to win a prize!

Featured Entries

In November, participants were asked to write a paragraph about what they saw in the image below. Here's the winning entry, written by Mai Sue Lee.

“In this picture, I see a young village woman.  She is wearing a brightly colored shirt. The brightly colored shirt represents her personality: bright and optimistic. She is reaching towards the water.  To her, the action of reaching for the water is like reaching for her dreams. Her dreams are within reach; She just needs to grab it. At the same time, she is hesitating to go through with this action because she does not want to leave her family behind hence her facial expression and the blurriness of the background.  What is she to do?”

In November, participants were asked to write a paragraph describing a time when they felt profoundly grateful.  Here's the winning entry, written by Caila Kritzeck:

“The person I am most grateful for in my life is undoubtedly my father.  A particular moment when I felt profoundly grateful for him was during a phone call that we had.  It was during my senior year of college and I was approaching graduation. I was explaining to him what had to be purchased to walk across the stage; a gown, cap and the optional stole.  The graduation stoles came in several styles, some celebrating various cultures and ethnicities. I mentioned that there was an Asian/pacific island stole that I liked. My Dad said he would buy it for me and I refused, the stole cost $60 and it would only be worn once.  He insisted. I continued to say that I didn’t need it and did not want him to spend that much money on it. He then told me a story about my first communion in second grade. I had not remembered the event. Apparently, I wanted a brand new pair of white shoes to wear, just like all of the other little girls in my class would have.  At the tame, my Dad was a single parent and did not have the money to buy me a pair. I had to wear the old, beat up white shoes that I already had. He explained that he still felt bad about that and him buying me the stole would be his way of making up for it. I was immediately overcome with emotion. I felt bad that he had carried that with him, when I was not even able to recall wanting new shoes.  My Father has given me more than I could ever ask for in my life. This story is the epitome of who he is as a person. He is the most selfless individual I have ever known and I am eternally grateful to have been blessed enough to have him as my parent.”

Submissions are now being accepted for January! Submit one paragraph to with your favorite Adler quote, and why it is meaningful to you.  Deadline is January 25, 2019. There will be a drawing for a prize.

Supporting Adler

It's your contributions that make an impact on aspiring mental health professionals - fostering encouragement, collaboration, and a sense of belonging to the individuals, families, and the culturally diverse communities they serve. When you make a donation to Adler Graduate School,  your support will serve an area of your choice.

Capital Improvement/Building Fund

This fund supports the ongoing improvement of the physical facility creating an Adlerian Center, open to scholarship, networking, and education.

Adlerian Tuition Scholarship Fund

This Tuition Scholarship based on need supports students in obtaining their Masters of Arts or Certificate Degrees.

Social Interest in Action Scholarship Fund

This scholarship fund is for AGS students based on their financial need and plans for long-term community service.

President's Discretionary Fund

Supports the ongoing needs of Adler Graduate School as determined by the President.

Open Donation Fund

Open donations support the expansion and continuous improvement of Adler Graduate School.


Your donation is tax deductible, as we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. For questions, contact AGS President, Jeffery Allen, at Jeffrey.allen@alfredadler.eduMake a donation today.



Adler Graduate School (AGS) Art Therapy students recently completed an internship abroad in Jamaica with the Institute for Caribbean Children and Family’s International Service Learning Internship Programme (ISLIP). During the 10-day educational excursion, students were educated about Jamaican family, culture, social, and economic issues from the esteemed Dr. Claudette Clifford Brown. They stayed at The University of The West Indies (UWI) campus in Kingston. Kelsey Dagen, an Adler Graduate School Art Therapy student, shares her experiences and a recap of the busy schedule while interning abroad.

Kelsey heard about the internship program abroad while in class with Program Director, Craig Balfany. At the deadline date, she decided to take the opportunity with the handful of other students. Day one arrived; Kelsey, Craig, and fellow classmates caught a flight and the adventure began. Upon arriving at the campus, they received a tour and met Dr. Brown. Dr. Brown showed them her work area, the psychology and social work departments, her play therapy area, and her school office.

Donated items to Jamaican communityOn day two and three, the group received a lesson on the history of campus, which used to be a plantation, via museums. They visited Life Yard, a community-based organization that creates change through empowering children utilizing art, agriculture, and entertainment. Dr. Brown who works closely with the organization hopes to expand the work with troubled kids on a one-on-one basis. The low-income community brings art together using murals to focus on growing community pride and reducing violence. “It was amazing to see the use of art murals to decentralize trauma and violence.”

The following days consisted of working closely with Dr. Brown. Kelsey and her colleagues led an art therapy directive to help decompress trauma with clients and educating the Division of Social Services in Jamaica on how art therapy can build rapport and self-care. They developed the idea of an art cart to keep supplies from dollar stores and items found in nature for when the opportunity arises. Kelsey and the group were able to partake in the monthly meeting Dr. Brown hosts with girls to talk about barriers and of overcoming disabilities.

Jamaican students mural projectFor hands-on experience, Kelsey and her classmates engaged with the students at the Practicing Primary School. There they worked with three classrooms and an after school “Peace Wariors” program to have discussions and artmaking around the themes of violence in the community and drawing images about safety and safe spaces.

Blue Hole JamaicaDuring the scheduled free time, students experienced a trip to Ocho Rios, The Blue Hole on the White River, visited local beaches, peaked at the Bob Marley Museum and enjoyed awesome ice cream at the Devon House. Kelsey remarks, “I loved being able to see art therapy first hand while being immersed in a different culture. The ‘Jamaica time’ and go-with-the-flow culture was a welcomed adjustment from our American, regimen-minded focus. Also, I loved culturally immersing myself in the food. I tried ackee, boiled bananas, and curried goat patties. I am currently, halfway through the art therapy program, and this experience reaffirmed that I want to work with kids in a family setting using art.”

To learn more about how you can join our art therapy program, click here. Our art therapy program continues to give back to our communities and communities abroad through intern work.

Lisa Lounsbury – an AGS alumna, Art Therapy faculty member, and inspiring entrepreneur – is making big waves in the Art Therapy industry through a refreshing take on social interest in action. As Lisa embarks on her journey, our Adler team reached out to hear about how her experiences at Adler Graduate School (AGS) and beyond have helped encourage her to aspire to new heights.

Alder: You came to AGS later in your career, correct?

Lisa: Yes. I consider myself a late-bloomer. But, when I blossom, I blossom big. I lost my corporate job in my mid-forties and looked to my faith to guide me. Most of my adult life was self-employment in the arts; so, I began self-identity workshops in treatment centers. When the women who participated expressed profound emotional connections to the project, I realized that I needed theory to support this impactful work. Thus, I began my educational journey.

Adler: You went back to school and tailored your degree to the needs of AGS’ Art Therapy program?

Lisa: Yes. In the fall of 2008, I began an Associate Arts Degree at MCTC in Minneapolis. Before graduation, I found AGS’ newly accredited Art Therapy program. After communicating with Craig Balfany about the requirements for acceptance, I designed an Individualized Bachelor of Arts Degree at Metro State that incorporated classes in psychology, fine art, theatre, and world religions.

Adler: Have you always been interested in art?

Lisa: I have been creatively expressing myself since I can remember. My projects included a moss pillow stuffed with dried leaves and wrapped with grapevine, hand-sewn puppets complete with a curtained puppet stage, carved wood sculptures, paintings, and drawings.

Adler: Tell us about your volunteer work, and your travels during your career pursuits.

Lisa: When I was sixteen, I was an exchange student in Guatemala for six months. I learned to speak Spanish and to love the Latino population. In my early twenties, I volunteered as a Big Sister for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities and had my little sister for two years. In my thirties, our church went on a mission’s trip to Ecuador. I oversaw teaching our team to create and perform with large-scale back-pack style puppetry and shadow puppets. We taught parables of the Bible and taught the “maestros” how to create both types of puppets. By the end of our trip, the show was performed in its entirety by the Ecuadorian community. In 2001, I acted as a delegation host for the Guatemalan team during the International Special Olympics Games that were held here in Minnesota. After my first year at Adler, I went to Nicaragua for a three-week Social Action and Community Outreach Art Therapy internship through a partnership Adler had with Mount Mary College in Wisconsin. We focused on building community connections and telling their story through art. Instead of one summer session at AGS, I attended ICASSI, a two-week Adlerian Psychology summer school. That year, it was held in the Netherlands. I spent an additional week traveling with a local friend. Directly after graduating from AGS, I spent a month traveling Japan and visiting a friend I had met at ICASSI.

Adler: What is your advice to students who may be pursuing a career change or college later in life?

Lisa: Stick with it; it’s worth it! Going back to school was difficult as a newly divorced, single mom whose car just died. We were able to commute with the city bus system. I reached out to friends and neighbors for rides when the bus did not suffice. I found that I was able to focus better as an adult in school because I knew what I wanted, and I had the discipline from working for so many years. I looked at school as my new full-time job. From March 2008 – March 2014, I was a full-time student including summer school each year. The continuous enrollment kept me on track to reach my goal.

Adler: Now, your goal is converting a Coach bus to become a mobile Art Therapy studio. Tell us more about this endeavor.

Lisa: During one of my AGS courses, I wrote about creating a Healing Arts Center. As I was praying about a specific building that I thought would have been perfect, I stopped and asked, “What if I’m wrong?” Shortly after, I heard a still, small voice say, “Put it on a bus.” Instantly, it gave me chills as I thought of the possibilities of a mobile mental health facility. We could reach people in communities who have little or no mental health professionals and where transportation is an obstacle.

Adler: Was financing the bus unsettling?

Lisa: No. I didn’t have to finance it. God has blessed my business, Art Lab Rx, because it has been growing exponentially since its inception in 2015. We are facilitating group sessions in treatment centers four days a week with four groups each day. At the end of 2016, I became a firm by hiring two Independent Contractors: one AGS student who interned with me at Nu Way, and a peer who was in classes with me at AGS. Prior to my business growth, I took a Guided Business Plan course with Women Venture. They helped me develop a business plan with financial goals. Now that I show solid growth and the bus as collateral, I’m praying the bank will say yes to financing the bus retrofit. If not, we’ll find another way.

Adler: So, tell us about the bus.Exterior of Bus

Lisa: After spending time researching which type of bus would fit our needs, I purchased an MCI 45’ Coach bus with an accessible lift. The frame of this bus has not changed since the seventies which means future units will have a consistent look. I named the bus Maggie after Margaret Naumburg, the pioneering “mother” of art therapy in the US. Future busses will be named after other famous art therapists. Maggie has an accessible lift for wheelchair accessibility, the toilet will be expanded to become ADA compliant, and the eight individualized art stations will also be accessible. She will have a storage space with a counter and sink for clean-up, her own HVAC system, a generator, propane tank, fresh water tank, and holding tank for grey water. The old patterned carpet will be removed from the walls and ceiling. The interior will have a new clean, bright look with plenty of overhead lights. The outside bus wrap will look like a large piece of watercolor paper that has been colored with various art materials. We will have a video of the art-making process to create that design.

Adler: What are your plans in the future with the mobile art bus?Bus Inside photos

Lisa: God willing, the renovations will be completed by the end of September, just in time for the Minnesota Adlerian Conference. We will be launching a marketing campaign using social media to attract interest, and I will continue to network with past and future connections such as the Spanish Speaking Mental Health Professional Consortium; CLUES: Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio — a linguistically and culturally relevant resource and nonprofit service organization; as well as others I have met through MARRCH: Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Chemical Health. As a mobile unit, we can reach remote locations, we can serve areas where transportation is a problem, the stations can be moved outside, it’s completely self-contained, and Art Lab Rx is inclusive and available to all people. Having a facility that is completely ADA compliant will expand our audience and increase our offerings exponentially. Possibilities for group work on the bus is endless. We plan to contract with entities for weekly consistent care, periodic wellness workshops and day-long retreats in nature when weather permits, and for programming to support faith-based groups. Also, I am hoping it will work to be parked at a site in both Minneapolis and St. Paul to provide on-going weekly art therapy support for individuals on a journey of long-term recovery – Art Lab is social interest in action.

Adler: Anything else you would like our readers to know?

Lisa: Dreams and visions CAN become realities. Trust, believe, and keep moving forward. It’s never too late.


At Adler Graduate School, we love hearing about the success and journey our graduates have undertaken to further their profession. To learn more about how Adler can inspire you, click here.

To embrace our mission, vision, values, and deep-rooted beliefs in a call for social interest in action, Adler Graduate School partners with various community organizations in offering discounted tuition scholarships. Our team recently met with each of our community partners to spotlight the social interest they have vested in our communities.

East Side Neighborhood Services (ESNS) aims to build pathways toward equity by disrupting social and economic barriers through their 15 strengthening family, metro food shelters, and wide range of educational programs. ESNS opened its doors in 1915, with original settlement houses in the Twin Cities. Today, they have expanded their services to reach throughout Hennepin County. In 2017, ESNS’ Family Healing offered group counseling and crisis-intervention services to 148 clients, Be@School helped 55 young people attend school regularly, and Creative Arts Therapy program provided over 750 one-on-one counseling sessions to 28 young people.

Various locations for the Out-of-School Time programming, Camp Bovey Summer Camp, Northeast Child Development Center, and more ESNS programs grow academic success, social and emotional skill building, community connectedness, access to childcare, and learning opportunities to children of all ages. ESNS offers two brick and mortar food shelf locations and a mobile unit to bring both cultural and nutritional foods to seniors and families in the Hennepin County area. Additionally, Family Violence Intervention programs, employment fairs, and trainings have helped adults secure 114 job placements and provided advocacy, counseling, and case management to those in need.

The Friendship Center across from ESNS’ main location serves as a day program to help seniors stay independent. The program aims to help socially connect and empower seniors through providing transportation to doctor appointments and activities, informational classes on living with chronic disease, tai chi, and gardening exercises.

ESNS’ first female President, Kristine Martin, states, “As a community bedrock of Northeast since 1915, we have provided shelter, stability, and support for our residents. We have routinely responded to the changing nature of our community, and are poised to be a partner of well-being in the Northeast area, and beyond.”

To learn more about East Side Neighborhood Services, contribute to their efforts, or find an internship placement, click here. Adler Graduate School is honored to partner with such charitable organizations that focus on giving back to the diverse communities we serve.

To embrace our mission, vision, values, and deep-rooted beliefs in a call for social interest in action, Adler Graduate School partners with various community organizations in offering discounted tuition scholarships. Our team recently met with each of our community partners to spotlight the social interest they have vested in our communities.

Wayside Recovery Center began in the 1950’s as a traditional shelter and supportive community for homeless women. In the late 1950’s, Wayside shifted focus to meet the needs of the surrounding communities, providing both substance abuse treatment and shelter for women and families. One of very few truly trauma-informed and gender-responsive treatment organizations for women and families, Wayside serves over 500 women and 300 children per year.

Wayside Recovery Center provides both residential and out-patient programs with a multi-generational focus. Their holistic approach backed by dual licensed staff provides the education and knowledge to help build supportive and long-term recovery plans for patients.

Wayside’s unique Family Treatment Program serves women and children by removing the barrier of worry for treatment and allowing the families to remain living together on site. “Our Family Treatment Program allows the children to stay with their mother while she experiences residential care and support. This allows us to offer wrap around services for the children’s needs as well,” says Wayside’s Vice President of Clinical Programs, Dr. Jessie Everts. The care structure works at strengthening relational skills, breaking the generational cycle of dependency, and working with children to address the trauma of their mother’s addiction. Wayside offers one of only six family treatment programs in the state and maintains over an 85% reunification rate of children with their mothers.

Among their other programs, the center offers mental health treatment through counseling, a Women’s Treatment Center as a residential substance-use recovery program, and an out-patient treatment in their Wellness Center. Their Supportive Housing program provides safe, affordable, permanent housing for women and their families. The St. Louis Park location supplies 40 beds for single women pursuing recovery and personal growth. Additionally, a peer recovery program that partners past recovery successes with incoming women creates an informal level of care from individuals with personal experiences to form more relationship-based healing.

Wayside believes each woman’s recovery journey is unique. They tailor their services to meet these needs and build lasting results. To learn more about Wayside Recovery Center, contribute to their efforts, or find an internship placement, click here. Adler Graduate School is honored to partner with such charitable organizations that focus on giving back to the diverse communities we serve.

Our team at Adler Graduate School (AGS) recently spent time with Ashwak Hassan, a 2014 graduate. She shared her story of inspiration in becoming a mental health professional, overcoming obstacles, and how her determination to embrace imperfection leads her goals for the future in her Somali community.

After discovering her passion for counseling while obtaining her Master of Counseling Psychology at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Ashwak learned she was missing required credits for the LPCC/LMFT board and began researching AGS for a Marriage & Family Therapy licensure. While graduate school seemed overwhelming to Ashwak, our Admissions team helped her feel welcome. “Adler is a part of your milestone – someone is always there for you.” Ashwak valued that AGS would allow her to blossom as a mental health professional finding joy in eliminating the stigma around mental health concerns in her culture. She was excited to see a unique school dedicated to an Alderian philosophy.

In 2015, Ashwak took the written board exam. With so much anxiety and nerves, she let her thoughts become jumbled, and she did not pass. However, embracing the Adlerian ideals Ashwak remarks, “I personally learned to take everything day by day; enjoy the time spent learning and embracing the courage to be imperfect.” Ashwak gathered a group of supportive students to create a study group. They formed a comradery – “Adler has a plethora of support from peers, instructors, and staff.” In April of 2016, she passed becoming fully licensed in December of 2016.

Since licensure, Ashwak has spent her time creating connections and partnering with agencies in the Somali population. She worked at St. David’s Autism Day Treatment Minneapolis site as a Program Coordinator: having a family member with a child on the autistic spectrum, she began aiding.

Ashwak’s goal is to shed light and raise awareness of acceptance within the community around mental health stigmas and Autism. Since 2007, she has already seen a drastic increase in the acceptance of her culture towards mental health stigmas. The progression and openness of the community have led her to take part as an advisor to the EIDBI board, a spot she holds until 2019.

Ashwak shares her inspiration with her two children, community, and private practice clients. “Embrace the courage to be imperfect. A bump in the road is not the end of a journey, it’s a hurdle to overcome.” At Adler Graduate School, we are honored to be apart of the journey: embracing courage, equality, purpose, belonging, and support.

Lenny Hayes, MA, is the Founder/Owner of Tate Topa Consulting, LLC. When he found Adler Graduate School through a mentor and professor, Dr. William Premo, Lenny was still earning his Bachelor’s degree. Much to his fortune, he was able to complete his last class as an undergraduate while beginning the long journey to obtaining his Master’s degree.

What started out as a single degree, soon turned into four years of graduate school, three emphasis – Marriage & Family Therapy, Clinical Counseling, Management Consulting and Organizational Leadership, and a Certificate in Co-Occurring Disorders. However long and grueling a timeline may look, Lenny dedicates much of his success to the time spent at AGS. “In my culture we are taught to stay quiet and not draw attention to ourselves, so I had difficulty doing presentations. The staff, faculty, and encouragement at Adler Graduate School helped me break down these cultural barriers.”

Today, Mr. Hayes has now delivered countless speeches locally and nationally, advocates for youth and adults in the Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ community, brings to light the lack of data specifically for Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ communities who have suffered multiple types of trauma from sex trafficking and abuse, and many other accomplishments.

Mr. Hayes found Adlerian theory to speak congruently with the Native American Medicine Wheel Concept and completed his thesis paper on comparative ideals of Adlerian theory and the Medicine Wheel. In December 2013, he was selected to testify in front of the U.S. Attorney General’s Committee on Violence Against Native Children. His speech was not only published but created into a beautiful poem that shines light and begins conversation on youth, Native communities, and the mental health stigma.

Mr. Hayes chose an unconventional route in not gaining licensure. “A piece of paper cannot tell me how to work with my people.” Having experienced trauma in his past, Mr. Hayes’ self-identifies as a Two-Spirt male, helps him integrate his teachings from AGS into his own private practice. His most humbling moment thus far has been able to work with a Native youth who identifies as gender fluid, his parents driving two hours from Wisconsin to meet with him to discuss his identity and understand and embrace what it means to be Two-Spirit. “They sought a Native outreach connection and found me. Through my own experiences both personal and professionally, I am able to help bring voices back to those who have suffered and who are struggling to find their identity.”

Mr. Hayes continues to advocate and lift the curtain on Native communities across the county. His connections before, during, and after attending AGS have left lasting impacts on his commitment to changing the stigma. Adler Graduate School is honored to have been a part of Lenny’s journey and his continued support to less administered areas. To find out more about program offerings click here.

The NASAP conference brings about new (and old) connections, insights, great speakers, and just a whole lot of fun learning from others who share in the teachings of Adlerian Theory. Naturally, we want to be part of the fun and present to our peers some of the innovative ideas we implement at Adler Graduate School (AGS). This year, we wanted to present on some of the current trends we are seeing at AGS and how these can be connected back to the education of our students. We explored the data on online learning and found that more and more students are wanting to pursue their education in the online environment. Our student participation in online courses increased over 300% over the past 5 years.

So, how do we connect this back to Adler and NASAP? Our presentation, Gemeinschaftsgefuhl Going Virtual: Creating Community, Connection, and Collaboration in the Online Education of Future Counselors, demonstrated how we continue to make these strong connections even in the virtual world. One of our initiatives is to strengthen our online learning community by providing our instructors with more resources and connections. In addition, with the growing number of counseling students enrolling in online education, there is need to learn how to develop a sense of community, connection, and collaboration in the virtual space. We are developing trainings for instructors on our current platforms as well as new ways to connect with students, creative teaching methods, and how to make learning exciting! To see a copy of our presentation follow these instructions:

  1. Download Blippar from the app store on your phone.
  2. Once downloaded, open. Click on the setting icon (gear)
  3. In the “Enter Code” area, enter code 890536 and confirm.
  4. Hit the x button in the center of the bottom screen.
  5. Hover your phone over the below image.
  6. Capture the image by pressing and holding the circle. 
    NASAP Slide Show Photo Summer 2018
  7. After completing the image capture, click on our picture (on your phone) for a copy of our presentation.

You just did your first Blip!

Dr. Harold Mosak z”l, one of the preeminent interpreters of Alfred Adler and his individual psychology, died June 1 at the age of 96.

Regarded internationally, Dr. Mosak wrote hundreds of articles and numerous books on the subjects. He also trained and supervised scores of Adlerians for more than 60 years until his retirement. He was among the first psychologists licensed in the United States, was a diplomate in clinical psychology (ABPP), and he was a life member and fellow of the American Psychological Association. He completed an A.B. in psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Chicago. He also served in the United States Army Air Force (1943-1946).

With his mentor Rudolf Dreikurs, and colleagues including Bernard Shulman, Dr. Mosak founded the Alfred Adler Institute - today Adler University - in 1952.  The movement spread in 1967 as Minnesota Adlerian Society was formed, and in 1969 became the Alfred Adler Institute of Minnesota connected to the individuals in Chicago. Dr. Mosak was a frequent lecturer at the Adler Graduate School over the years.

In 2014, the Harold H. Mosak Adlerian Mastery Lab was collected and resides at the Adler Graduate School in Minnesota. The collection contains some 2000 items, mostly printed and published materials, correspondence, some press, and other ephemera related to the study and teaching of Adlerian psychology. The items in the collection, particularly in the Adler and the First Generations, document the earliest days of the study of psychology, though many materials reflect the changes the profession has seen. The items in the General Collection document development of psychological research and practice up to the present day, but the bulk of the collection relates to Dr. Mosak’s studies and teachings and includes much work from his contemporaries, including Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs, and scholarship that builds off Dr. Mosak’s work.

The Adler Graduate School community extends its condolences to the family of Dr. Mosak and is grateful for his many contributions.

Pat Welch, a current Art Therapy student, grew up in a Native community with indigenous world views. She has continually worked with kids in Native groups finding value and belonging by combining art and people. In the early 90’s, she was a Member of the Ordway Center for Performing Arts Cultural Advisory Counsel. She spent two years at a Native Youth Theater Project that focused on indigenous writers, involving kids in viewing theatre performances, and kids creating plays. These plays showed the interdependence of the native values: everyone plays a role. She started a Native American doula program working with young, pregnant, American Indian women teaching traditional birthing and parenting while accompanying the women through labor and birth. Pat helped women find strength, significance, the courage to be imperfect in the Native American Family Center before finding her way to the Centre School. It is here Pat found her calling: passion for empowering a cohesive group working with kids.

Center Student & ArtworkWhen Pat turned 50-years old, she asked herself “What do I want to achieve before I leave this planet?” In that moment, she decided to take the leap into earning her bachelor’s degree at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and continuing on to a master’s degree through Adler Graduate School. Pat choose AGS for it’s local appeal knowing nothing of Adlerian philosophy.

In time, Pat had an epiphany: the Adlerian philosophies mimic those in her Native roots. While the words to describe the ideas may be different, their core values are undeniable: finding the balance to be healthy and the ideals of how generational and historical trauma effect the perceptions of ourselves.

Center students creating artworkTwo years ago, the Center School won a million-dollar school grant for three years allowing Pat to make her dreams within her counseling career come true. Her vision since she was 16-years of age, came true. Pat believes in advocating against who we are told to be and who we accept ourselves to truly be. She works with high risk urban Native kids ages 12-21 in school. Pat’s approach to working with the kids in the program is different. She treats them as powerful individuals: motherly and understanding. Kids refer to her as “OG, the original gangster,” a term near and dear to her heart.

Through Pat’s program, the individuals learn self-realization through kinetic sand, coping skills, sense of belonging and self through sensory level activities. At any point in time during the school day, students may enter her art studio. They talk; they paint; they grow. On a weekly occasion, a group of students can help make dinner and enjoy it together at a table. For many, it is the only time they have a “family meal”. Pat also shows teachers trauma-informed education to allow success of the student who experience trauma. This program is the first funded program to combine art and mental health with urban Native communities.

Center student working on artworkPat works with Native children in making therapy accessible in a group context. Pat’s goal is to develop her current program into a place for everyone outside of the school. Where most kids are discouraged, Pat’s program allows the individual the ability to finish something: building success and positivity.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to leave this planet with?” Pat did and found her life’s journey, dream, and task. Adler Graduate School is proud to be apart of Pat’s journey to bringing awareness, advocacy, and diminishing the mental health stigma that surrounds Native communities. To find out how you can do your part in leaving this planet without a mental health stigma and more about AGS programs, click here.


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