In the News

View PDF

President's Corner

Over the last couple of months, I have been in the Applied Adlerian Psychology class Individual Psychology’s use of Encouragement taught by Rocky Garrison.  My instructor and classmates are making the class a great experience and relevant to not only our personal lives but to the life and Mission of our college: Preparing mental health and human service professionals with a strong Adlerian foundation to foster encouragement, collaboration, and a sense of belonging to the individuals, families, and culturally diverse communities they serve.

This experience has been so relevant to understanding the importance of encouragement, having positive beliefs, and knowing how to apply it to create healthy and happy lives within the context of social interest and belonging. This experience has also been reinforced by two events in the recent weeks.

The first is how AGS is helping and welcoming former Argosy students and supporting them to have courage to face what life has put in front of them with the closing of their school.  Adler (2004) defines courage as the “Real courage is always useful courage, and it is always courageous to meet the common problems of life” (p.31). As an Adlerian College, we respect the courage to be imperfect as people face the unknown, but we are a community that is welcoming and encouraging, supporting our new members to engage in social interest.  Welcome to the Argosy now Adler Graduate School Students.

The second event was the site visit by our regional accrediting body The Higher Learning Commission to evaluate our new campus.  They interviewed faculty staff and board members to not only ask about our new building but to evaluate whether we are fulfilling our mission, to evaluate our culture and give feedback on our quality assurance and assessment processes.  We are pleased to announce that they” confirmed “approval of the new campus based on evidence that the institution has the capacity to sustain quality at the campus and thus meets HLC expectations as defined in its Criteria.”  We are also thrilled to hear about some of their feedback, which affirmed our focus on our mission and being focused on belonging and encouragement.  They stated that: “Students interviewed had many positive comments regarding the responsiveness and helpfulness of staff members. Overall, the campus culture appeared to be very student-centered, and there is a significant amount of faculty and staff involvement in all of the school’s major initiatives.”   This was encouraging to hear, reinforcing what we are doing at AGS. We have implemented many initiative including full time faculty, student advising and program planning, program and curriculum assessment based on rubrics and learning outcomes, the move to portfolio-based final project, program specific student groups, and outside advisory groups, student success and writing services with online options, and an enhanced and engaged Alumni community, just to name a few.  We will be creating an assessment and accreditation page on the website where this report will be available for all to see.

Finally, we will continue to live our mission of creating a sense of belonging, fostering encouragement to the culturally diverse communities we serve.  I look forward to hearing from everyone about how we are doing and how you are being encouraged at AGS.

Adler, Alfred (2004). Courage. In Mark H. Stone & Karen A. Drescher (Eds.), Adler speaks: The lectures of Alfred Adler (pp. 30-36). New York: iUniverse.


Adler To Assist Argosy Students

Over the past few months, Argosy University students have found themselves concerned with recent news regarding their institution. While further details are yet to be revealed, Adler Graduate School is prepared to assist Argosy transfer students in completing their master’s degrees in counseling and psychotherapy.

“The situation is a perfect opportunity for us to demonstrate the core Adlerian value of Social interest. Social Interest in our Adlerian community is about helping anyone to succeed in their identified goals & purpose. Students from Argosy or any other institution would be welcomed into our culture of belonging, contributing, & safety to meet their personal and professional dreams.” -Doug Pelcak, Professional Development and School Service Center Coordinator

Jeffrey Allen, School President, and Rashida Fisher, Program Chair- Clinical Specialties (COD, CMHC, MFT) agree that these steps are necessary to help students in need, support the counseling community, and demonstrate our value of social interest. To offer assistance to Argosy transfer students, Adler Graduate School is working with the Minnesota Department of Education’s Transfer Pathways program.

Will Adler Accept Transfer Credits from Argosy Students?

Yes. Adler Graduate School welcomes transfer students from Argosy University who are currently in satisfactory academic status. Transfer credits will be awarded on a case-by-case basis of up to 50% of the credit requirements for the AGS master’s degree programs. Students with more than 50% of their coursework completed will be reviewed on a case by case basis for additional transfer credit. Additionally, Adler Graduate School will waive the enrollment fee from $150 to $50.

Interested in transferring to Adler Graduate School? Contact: 

Marcie Skoglund, Assistant Director of Admissions |


Accreditation and Assessment

By Solange Ribeiro

On February 4-5 Adler Graduate School (AGS) hosted the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) site visit team, who came to evaluate our new campus and to report to the HLC whether the new building and the services being offered were up to par with the old campus. After meeting with students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, and members of the Board of Trustees, the site visit team reported their findings to the HLC, who forwarded their report to AGS early in March.

According to the report, “The Minnetonka facility is newer than the previous facility and is clearly meeting the needs of faculty, staff, and students”.

In the meantime, we continue to work assiduously on the self-study to be submitted to the HLC in August, in preparation to the re-accreditation visit expected to take place in November. As part of this effort we are examining all aspects of the college’s functioning, and there is one piece of data we would like to share with you today. As you know, AGS’ mission is “Preparing mental health professionals with a strong Adlerian foundation to foster encouragement, collaboration, and a sense of belonging to the individuals, families, and culturally diverse communities they serve”. An important part of this mission consists of recruiting and supporting a diverse student body. Data from Fall 2018 show that 17% of AGS’ student population identify as non-white (1.7% American Indian, 3.0% Asian, 3.0 % Hispanic/Latino, and 9.4% African American/Black), 83% are female, and student ages vary from 21 to 76. While the ethnic diversity matches that of MN and the predominance of females matches that of the counseling profession, we continue to make an intentional effort to increase the diversity of our student body, not only in terms of ethnicity and sex, but in all other ways, including religion, gender identity, and levels of ability. Any new ideas for targeted recruitment are appreciated.

Adler Graduate School is in its final year of participating in the Academy of Assessment for Student Learning Network through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Every 6 months we report our assessment progress to the HLC and receive feedback from our mentors. We have accomplished much since 2015. Here are some of our major accomplishments that resulted from being part of the Assessment Academy. First, we updated our Vision and Mission, confirmed our Core Values, and created clear and measurable Goals for our institution. These have become our guiding foundation in everything we are doing at Adler. Second, we mapped our entire curriculum to student learning outcomes, providing a developmental learning process for all students. Third, we began to measure if students are learning what we say they are learning. As many of you know, there are several assignments that are turned in via LiveText. This platform allows us to collect data and analyze if our instruction and assignments are appropriately measuring what we think students are learning. Forth, we completed putting together our Institutional Effectiveness Plan, which helps us assess our progress toward our Institutional goals. During this ongoing evaluation process, we determine what data we are collecting, why we are collecting it, and how we are going to use the information to make decisions for the institution. As most of you know, we have made a lot of progress in our assessment and it continues every day. We are in a good position to present our accomplishments to the HLC this upcoming Fall 2019. Thank you for all your hard work and continued support of our assessment initiatives. To view our Assessment Portfolio please visit

Developing the Art of Dying

It was 21 years ago that my wife Tamara and I began a descent into what became her death from metastatic breast cancer.  We were hopeful and militant in our approach: we would beat this thing.  She was an avid journal writer, and I a poet. We poured our hopes and fears onto the page and planned to publish a book together about how she overcame cancer.  That was not to be.  She died four and a half years later, in October 2002.

I kept writing about grief and death, among other things over the years.  I developed a means of dealing with grief to help my clients, and I achieved some peace.  But the unfinished project kept insisting on a birth. It kept insisting on a stronger container than the one I put it in.  Honestly, I was frightened of undertaking the task necessary to complete my grief.

In 2015, I rolled up my sleeves and dug in.  The book, “The Art of Dying”, was picked up in June 2018 and published just a few months ago.  I wrote it and published it ultimately to give voice to an inevitable part of life that few have the strength or ability to communicate.  I had a story that only I could tell. I told it as honestly and frankly as possible.  To do less would dishonor Tamara, myself, and anyone who might approach the frightening topic.

I want therapists, clients, the bereaved, funeral directors, grief counselors, and anyone who has ever lost someone to benefit from my work. So I am pleased and honored to bring my book to AGS to share with you all on May 11th.  I will read from the book and sell/sign copies.  But mostly I want to begin an important dialogue.  Let’s talk, shall we…

Event Page | Book Page

50th Founder's Day Celebration

Things can always be different, yesterday, today and tomorrow. As an Adlerian community our roots run deep, sustained by our relationships, memories, and the years we’ve shared. Join us for food and drink as we honor our roots, enjoy the present, and look forward to what tomorrow can bring!

Event Page | 9.28.2019 | 10225 Yellow Circle Drive, Minnetonka, MN | 1:00 PM - 5:00PM 

Get To Know Us: Don Raasch

By Fayemarie Anderson Carter

As part of our efforts to engage with our student body and alumni, we are launching installments over the next few months exploring our roots, examining the journey of AGS and giving voice to our hopes for the future. An alumni association can be a very integral part of developing and maintaining our presence in the community. Why not then, get to know the guy who has chosen to lead us down this path? Let’s meet Don Raasch, the President of the Adler Graduate School Alumni Association (AGSAA).

Don is a recent graduate of Adler Graduate School with areas of interest in Marriage and Family Therapy and the Co-Occurring Program. He currently leads a team at Vinland Outpatient Services in NE Minneapolis, serving clients struggling with substance use, mental health issues, & disorders resulting from traumatic brain injuries.

This is actually Don’s second career, stemming from a lifelong desire to help others. When asked about the factors which influenced his decision to jump right into a leadership position after just graduating, Don talked about wanting to find a way to fill the void left by completing this rewarding endeavor when he graduated.  He found himself missing the community that is Adler so  when Ev Haas sent that email looking for volunteers for an alumni group, he thought that it was only logical to fill that void by volunteering. Don looks forward to giving back to his Adler community while fulfilling a sense of purpose not experienced anywhere else.

Don not only decided to volunteer to be a part of the AGSAA but to fill the position of president. When asked what he felt was the most important directive as president, he said that he would like to provide a compass for the other board members as the association strives to maintain consistent communication between the administrative body and students/alumni. Don is keen to meet the needs of the alumni in the community as they navigate the ever changing profession that is mental health services. Don believes that strong and clear communication among administration, students, staff, alumni, other mental health providers/institutions and governing bodies is imperative as we provide support and resources to our healers.

Finally, Don was asked about what he would like to say to perspective members of AGSAA: why should you join? Don again pointed to the fact that Adler Graduate School provides many services to the community. He sees alumni as a most powerful example of a key Adlerian principle, giving to those in need. He feels that AGSAA then, can be a unified way of providing for our community thus having a greater impact on those we serve. He also sees AGSAA as a means by which we can address the changing needs of our current students. In other words, we got people on the ground, why not use their experience and knowledge to enhance the education of those coming up? All in all, Don sees the AGSAA as a way to continue to spread Adlerian therapeutic principles in a cohesive manner, incorporating change as demanded by the needs of our community and creating a wide and impactful presence in the larger world around us and within us.

It is our hope that we continue to develop communication with you through these installments and that you will find value in sharing your talents, experience and knowledge with us as AGSAA members. Please do contact us should you wish to raise a concern, ask questions and share insight. We want to know how we may serve you and your community. Stay tuned for the next few installments all about the history of AGS, Minnesota!


Writing Center Corner

The Adler Writing Center  sponsors  a student writing contest each month.  Students - watch your Adler email for a prompt, write a paragraph, and send to  Check your Adler email.  See below the prompts and the writers that have won each month.

Winning March Entry

“What is one of your favorite kinds of music that soothes you and reaches your soul and why?”

Music is one of the greatest gifts we can give to others.  When we take in music, we are receiving an offering from the journey of another person.  When we give music, we are offering our vulnerabilities to strengthen others.  Music envelops a connection on a spiritual level that is unbreakable; one song can bring us back to a specific moment in time that can make us laugh, and cry, and be thankful.  I have been blessed with the gift of music all my life.  My grandmother was a music teacher who later travelled to Thailand and brought back a beautiful instrument.  She organized a revolutionary choir with this instrument called the Unkalung.  She learned to compose the music for the instrument along with the choral chords.  The Unkalung Choir travelled internationally and my grandmother was able to touch the lives of so many with this unique sound.  She included me in many of her Christmas concerts in Madison, Wisconsin and I began my love of performing.  I would later go on to earn a full-tuition scholarship at the University of Wisconsin for music writing and performance.  I also developed a love for recording music and had the chance to create songs with many incredible artists, including Grammy Award winning artist Sean Paul and LIfe-Time Grammy Achievement Award winner Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC.  Music took me to places I never thought I would be able to go.  I travelled to Jamaica, and Los Angeles, and sang at the Apollo with a choir.  I was blessed to have the chance to sing and perform at the National Boys and Girls Club Keystone Conference in Dallas, Texas as well as share music and love with students at University of North Carolina-Charlotte on inclusion and equity.  I was also given the opportunity to share the stage with incredible youth performers at Summerfest, and I opened for several artists at the Taste of Madison.  For me, music is a love language.  It is a lasting connection.  I can think of no better way to bridge our differences and come together than through music.  I do not have one specific type of music that soothes my soul because many styles of music reach me and through the music, I am able to connect with others.  Whether it is out dancing with friends, or singing in church, or listening to music before bed, I appreciate music in all forms and the way it creates connection.  I embrace many forms of music, and they all soothe my soul.  Music has always been a healer and an incredible gift in my life.

Winning February Entry

“What brings you joy in the middle of winter?”

There are many things in life that bring us down.  It happens whether we see it coming or if it is the surprise you never wanted.  It happens all throughout the year and winter is no exception.  It forces one to create their own job. It is at times the only way to get through the long, frigid, winter days.  One way I create joy is spending quality time with my significant other, recharging by spending time with close friends, or working out frustrations and pent up energy at the fitness center.  It may even be the small things throughout the day.  It may be a dog going for a walk with their best friend , all the while looking up with complete and utter adoration for the bond they share and simply enjoying the outdoors, in spite of the cold.  Joy may be seeing someone hold the door open for another out of sheer kindness.  Creating joy in the busy hustle and bustle of every day life is difficult and it is hard work.  It doesn’t come easy some days.  However, simply catching a glimpse of these positive moments can breathe the warmth of joy into us to get us through the cold winter days.

M 12:30-6:30 | T 12:00-4:00 | W 1:00–6:30 | Th 4:30-6:30 | F 2:00-8:00 | Sat. 11:00-3:00

Online: Sat. 1:00-6:00 | Sun. 1:00-6:00 

Twins tickets are always a hit. Watch your Adler e-mail for notices of writing contest entry topics for April 2019 and through the summer!

Adler Graduate School Pledges to Assist Argosy Students

Over the past few months, Argosy University students have found themselves concerned with recent news regarding their institution. While further details are yet to be revealed, Adler Graduate School is prepared to assist Argosy transfer students in completing their master’s degrees in counseling and psychotherapy.


“The situation is a perfect opportunity for us to demonstrate the core Adlerian value of Social interest. Social Interest in our Adlerian community is about helping anyone to succeed in their identified goals & purpose. Students from Argosy or any other institution would be welcomed into our culture of belonging, contributing, & safety to meet their personal and professional dreams.”

-Doug Pelcak, Professional Development and School Service Center Coordinator


Jeffrey Allen, School President, and Rashida Fisher, Program Chair- Clinical Specialties (COD, CMHC, MFT) agree that these steps are necessary to help students in need, support the counseling community, and demonstrate our value of social interest.

To offer assistance to Argosy transfer students, Adler Graduate School is working with the Minnesota Department of Education’s Transfer Pathways program.


Will Adler Graduate School Accept Transfer Credits from Argosy University Students?

Yes. Adler Graduate School welcomes transfer students from Argosy University who are currently in satisfactory academic status. Transfer credits will be awarded on a case-by-case basis of up to 50% of the credit requirements for the AGS master’s degree programs. Additionally, Adler Graduate School will waive the enrollment fee from $150 to $50.


What Financial Aid Offerings Are Available?

FAFSA and Standard Federal Financial Aid Programs are offered to all students.


How Can Argosy Students Transfer?

1. Fill out an online application form

2. Submit transcripts, AGS will waive letters of reference

3. Submit Statement of Purpose (If students are in Satisfactory Academic Status).

4. Once admitted, confirm enrollment with $50 enrollment fee

Please visit for more information. All Argosy transfer students are required to take AGS 511: Adlerian Foundations.


What Academic and Degree Options are Available?

Master of Arts Degrees in Counseling & Psychotherapy Emphasis Areas:

  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Co-Occurring Disorders
  • School Counseling
  • Art Therapy

We also offer a Masters of Arts in Applied Adlerian Psychology for non-licensure students seeking to enhance leadership roles within their organization.

Certificates Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Applied Adlerian Psychology

License-Only Individualized Programs:

  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
  • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor

View our programs for more information.


About Adler Graduate School

Adler Graduate School is a non-profit, HLC Accredited private school focused on placing licensed mental health professionals in their field - with an affordable, service driven approach to education since 1969. Our graduate degree programs are led by experienced practitioners, providing students with small classroom settings & individualized attention, offered online, nights, or weekends.


Students Interested in Transferring Should Contact:

Christina Hilpipre-Frischman

Director of Admissions

Adler Graduate School Minnetonka, MN

P: (612) 767-7055 | F: (612) 861-7559 | Text: (612) 404-5111

Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Alumni Celebrating Adler Graduate School's Grand Re-Opening Event

Today’s communication environment is constantly changing. With so many options available, it can be challenging for organizations with the best of intentions to reach people, and even more challenging for supporters to know how to help. Like any organization, a little help from supporters can go a long way. Fortunately, there are several ways to support the AGS community without spending a fortune. 


You’ve already showcased your support for AGS’s mission to empower & develop mental health and human service professionals by becoming a part of our community - So why not collaborate our efforts in a focused approach to contribute to that mission?


Write A Heartfelt Review

An organization's reputation is important. 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, and 57% will only choose a business if it’s rating is at or above 4 stars. With the vast amount of options available, it’s crucial for today’s organization to have a solid online reputation. On the other hand, when someone has a bad experience they’re likely to tell 15 - 20 people about it, taking roughly 40 reviews to undo the damage of a bad review.


Did you have a positive experience with us?  We encourage you to share it to help others in the same situation where you once found yourself! Additionally, If we fell short please reach out to us via email - feedback is still extremely important. While knowing what could be improved is welcomed, it definitely is more effective to get in touch directly with the right person, and certainly less harmful. 


Like, Comment, Share

Many of us know that social media is a huge opportunity for the AGS community to share our message. It can allow us to reach individuals that don’t even know Adler existed. What many of us may not know is that for people to see it, our content must be favored by the social media channel’s algorithmWe see several passionate supporters on social media regularly, and they help in more ways than most of us know. By regularly engaging with AGS on social media, they've allowed others to see our message that normally wouldn’t. Sharing a post, clicking that like button, or simply commenting “love it!” is enough.


Connect with us:

Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Instagram 


Create Your Own Content

Are you visiting AGS soon? Working on an Art Therapy project? Attending a workshop? These are all great opportunities to put AGS on the map. Taking a picture and tagging AGS or using #AdlerGrad on social media can be incredibly valuable and share our message with others.


Tell Us What You’re Up To

Staying in contact is crucial to maintaining a higher learning community in today’s environment, and it’s inspiring to see the work of others come to fruition. It’s similar to the benefits of a good review, and it’s a chance to show people how others have benefited through Adlerian Psychology. It also allows aspiring mental health professionals to reach out and build their network. On the topic of what you’re up to, we love to feature alumni happenings in newsletters, blog posts, and on social media.


If you’re short on ideas, you can answer a quick question: What is your current role and how do you incorporate Adlerian Psychology to help others?

Example: “As an LPCC at [organization name] I regularly use prevention, intervention, and clinical skills for working with diverse clients, helping them feel a sense of contributing and belonging through Adlerian psychology.” - Jane Doe, AGS Alumni, 2013


Share Your Story | Alumni Association


Share Materials Related Adlerian Psychology

If you’ve contributed to any journal, study, presentation, or other relevant works, you’re showing the world that Adlerian Psychology is just as useful today as it was in its infancy. We’d like to share those contributions to our audience. Showing thought leadership allows our community to gain visibility, influence, validation, and access, inspiring others to contribute to our mission of empowering & developing mental health and human service professionals.


Share Your Contributions


Word Of Mouth & Referrals

Whether you’re an instructor or involved in a related organization, putting in a good word about Adler is extremely valuable. You could have a student that’s inspired by social interest or a friend that’s interested in enhancing their career. Perhaps you’re in touch with a human resources professional or business leader that’s looking to strengthen their skill set. Sharing AGS as an option not only benefits us but helps spread the word about the benefits of Adlerian Psychology.


Many of us were students before email existed and well before social media. You may have had an incredible experience with AGS and have yet to share it, or were unaware that your reviews and interactions online are valuable. One thing is certain - a little support in any of these areas can contribute to our shared goal, all without spending a penny! 






Adler Graduate School recently announced that it has earned the 2019-2020 Military Friendly® School designation.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly ® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. This year 766 schools earned this prestigious designation.

The 2019-2020 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine. The list can also be found at

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by VIQTORY with input from the Military Friendly ® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default Rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

“Adler Graduate School is committed to supporting active-duty service members and veterans. Our online courses are convenient for students who are outside of the Twin Cities and cannot come to campus for class, and we offer financial assistance in the form of tuition discount scholarships for military members and veterans. We are so thankful for the service of our veteran and active-duty students and work hard to let them know they are valued members of our campus community,” states Christina Hilpipre-Frischman, Director of Admissions.

Victory Media’s Chief Product Officer Daniel Nichols stated, “Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to colleges creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to invest in programs to provide educational outcomes that are better for veterans.”

View Adler Graduate School's Military Friendly Ratings ​ | For more information about Adler Graduate School student veteran programs, visit or call 612-767-7055. 

About Military Friendly ® Schools:

The Military Friendly ® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria, and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. Ernst & Young, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services, independently evaluated the scoring methodology used for the Military Friendly® Schools list using the criteria set forth by VIQTORY. The services performed by EY are were limited to advisory procedures and do not provide assurance over the scoring methodology.

The survey is administered for free and is open to all post-secondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at

About Adler Graduate School:
The Adler Graduate School has a distinguished history in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. Through the encouragement and support of internationally known psychiatrist Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs, the institution was founded in 1967 as the Minnesota Adlerian Society. It began in the Twin Cities as a small movement to present Adlerian concepts to the regional community. Today, in addition to the Master of Arts in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy, the Adler Graduate School offers various certificate and other specialty study programs. It is a well-respected graduate institution educating and training mental health practitioners. At its core remains the Adlerian philosophy of encouragement, open-mindedness, and mutual support to advance the public interest.

To find a program and learn more about admissions contact us at 612-767-7055.


Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs ® , Military Spouse, and Military Friendly ® brands. VIQTORY and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Department of Defense or any federal government entity.

Learn more about VIQTORY at



View PDF

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.


Subscribe to In the News