In the News

Adler Graduate School (AGS) is honored to spotlight our School Counseling Service Center (SCSC) in their recent award. The SCSC received the 2018 Minnesota Association of Charter Schools Innovation Award for student learning. The award recognizes the innovative partnership with Seven Hills Preparatory Academy, which was initiated five years ago and has since developed and evolved to match their school's growth and meet the students' changing needs in counseling. 

Seven Hills Preparatory Academy Executive Director Carl Schlueter states, “I would like to recognize Mr. Doug Pelcak from Adler Graduate School and the many tremendous interns (including Brittney and Lexy) we have benefited from as part of this unique program, which provides targeted and tailored, cost-effective and high-quality, counseling services for students as well as supports for families and training for staff.” Alumna Brittney Keating was spotlighted for her work with SCSC and AGS accomplishments earlier this year.

The counseling program has been successfully introduced at three other charter public schools using the founding model. Student counselor ratios across the country and the state are significantly higher than recommended averages, and yet student mental health and social-emotional support are critical to academic performance and educational success, so we are proud of the innovative work accomplished by this program.

To learn more about the AGS School Counseling's master’s and post-degree licensure programs, connect with our admissions team at 612-767-7055.

Catherine Reid Day, a 2011 Adler alumna, recently shared with us that her case study and article was published in the spring 2018 issue of the Journal of Individual Psychology.

Catherine came to Adler Graduate School because a friend repeatedly mentioned, “You’re a natural Adlerian.” Not understanding what her friend meant, Catherine investigated and found Adler Graduate School.

Initially, she chose to come for a certificate in coaching and to develop her understanding of Adlerian values and techniques. Her goal was to teach and coach executives; she decided to continue and complete her masters to add credibility to her expertise in nonprofit executive experience and her consulting skills.

The ideas she researched for her master’s thesis facilitated the formation of her business today, Storyslices, which focuses on the intersection of story and purpose. The business focuses on strategic communications, leadership development, and family owned business organizational culture. By using early recollections and her proprietary model of tragic and transformational characters, she aims to help people become the leaders they aspire to be.

The Adlerian Organizational Leadership degree, now called Adlerian Studies, offered her a small, close-knit cohort full of diversity. Catherine’s peers were natives from Liberia, Kenya, and one is a member of the Whapeton Sisseton tribe.  During their time at Adler, the Arab Spring emerged and her classmates were watching the uprising from a very personal perspective because of their homelands. Before classes, her classmates would watch CNN and other news outlets to get updates on the distant demonstrations. The experiences of her peers lead her to understanding psychology from a different perspective. Catherine felt herself learning from their struggles and experiences.

Story Slices Method DiagramWhen the chance to write for the special edition on diversity came about, Catherine knew her time at Adler and previous work with her clients would be ideal in spotlighting diversity and equity. Her published article, Claiming Equity Using Early Story and Metaphor, is a case study on a small family foundation in Seattle and the coaching work she did transitioning her executive client through the ‘spending up’ of the foundation. In June, she will be sharing the case study and her Story + Mastery = More method at the upcoming NASAP conference in Toronto. As she put it, “being on the level is a key value of Adlerian psychology. We, as a community, have not faced the challenges of equity and diversity head on and this case study offers a window into one approach.” Her mentor, Dr. Premo, acknowledges Catherine’s work as progressive.

Catherine believes that we need the courage to transform mistaken beliefs surrounding equality and equity. Through communicating feelings of safety, belonging, and significance, our communities can mitigate these mistaken beliefs.

Catherine has also shared her method and work using the Adlerian perspective by participating in the Medicinal Mind podcast, presenting at various conferences, and she’s working on completing a book that expands the ideas presented in her article. She chairs the Creative Enterprise Zone board in Saint Paul that is working toward innovative city and system changes.

At Adler Graduate School, we love hearing about the success and journey our graduates have undertaken to further their profession. Like Catherine, not all students require licensure, which is why we offer our Adlerian Studies master’s degree and certificate programs. These programs help deepen and strengthen Adlerian concepts in coaches, non-profit leaders, degree seekers, and more. 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 Art Therapy program partners with the Lifeworks Organization to help facilitate a sense of purpose and belonging through art therapy.

The partnership supports art therapy field experience opportunities for our Adler Graduate School art therapy students and provides art therapy services to participants who are challenged by developmental, cognitive, and physical disabilities. Through the partnership, the participants benefit from community connection, a safe space to be creative and express themselves, and provides a sense of belonging within a supportive and encouraging environment that enhances personal strengths and abilities.

For the past several Fridays, Lifeworks has utilized our Art Therapy Studio to work with these individuals. Our students have been able to provide hands-on experience to the participants. The artistic pieces created by Lifeworks’ artists, in collaboration with the Adler Graduate School’s Art Therapy Department, will be featured at the end of the series in a gallery show featuring the artists.

We would like to welcome all our students, alumni, and surrounding community to this annual spring art show Friday, May 18, 2018, from 10-11 AM. The show will be an open house on campus.

Adler Graduate School aims to promote community, encouragement, and a sense of belonging through social interest in action. Recently, our Marriage and Family Interim Program Director Jean Budge was awarded a volunteer award for her work with Minnesota non-profit Project DIVA.

Project DIVA opened their doors 10 years ago with the goal to help young, black girls grades 3-12 develop self-identity through positive help and outlook. DIVA stands for dignity, integrity, virtue, and availability. The program matches aspiring girls with a mentor in their career field of interest. Project DIVA typically works with 20-30 girls who find the program through referrals, word of mouth, and school. Programs focus on emotional stability, career readiness, physical health, social health, and financial stability. Their mentors act as career coaches helping them find positive ways to find opportunity in their future endeavors.

Jean had the opportunity to mentor a 17-year old girl interested in the therapy and counseling field. Mentors usually work with their mentees for a period of a year. Jean has been working alongside her mentee since 2016 — when Project DIVA Career Coach Coordinator Martha Norris reached out for a counseling contact. When not mentoring, Jean has lead educational workshops on mental health to girls and their parents to promote wellness, additional support, and guidance.

The program has recently expanded to an Omaha location with the hopes of growing nationwide. Beside mentoring, volunteers can assist in community service, guest speaking, and through financial donations. To learn more or find creative ways to volunteer, click here.

Adler Graduate School is pleased to announce that President Jeffrey Allen, PhD, is being honored at this year’s Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Reception presented by Xcel Energy. The event honors the Twin Cities' newest executives on May 3, 2018.

Dr. Allen joined Adler Graduate School in December of 2017, and has made strides in community partnerships, the Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation process, and faculty and staff improvements. Dr. Allen has brought over 25 years of education management, including: leading schools to maximize their enrollment, retention, and supporting faculty and staff success. We are privileged to have him on our executive team.

Dr. Jeffrey Allen has supported student success as an administrator, dissertation chair, committee member, and an adjunct faculty member. His background includes a full range of experiences gained from working in executive and officer roles in higher education and nonprofit organizations, teaching, and social work. He believes in a relationship-centered approach in every aspect of an organization’s operations and has created trusted and strategic relationships at all levels inside and outside of the organizations. He helps execute growth through a practical application of assessment and self-reflection. In his personal life, he has applied the Adlerian principles of dignity, respect, equality, encouragement, purpose, belonging, and social interest.

To view the list of honored executives attending the event, 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.

House of Charity began transforming lives in the early 1950s, offering meals, housing, chemical and mental health treatment, and public showers. “One of our primary goals is to help struggling individuals meet their basic human needs of food and housing while reducing barriers to their long-term self-sufficiency.” The supportive housing programs serves over 200 single adults and the Food Centre, at 714 Park Avenue, feeds more than 350 people each day.

House of Charity’s Day by Day Program (chemical and mental health recovery program) serves adults in the Twin Cities struggling with co-occurring disorders. The Day by Day program is a 120-day outpatient program that offers personalized recovery plans, health and wellness programming, psychotherapy, chemical health assessments, and more using an integrated, holistic approach to restore the mind, body, and spirit.

House of Charity offers Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) internships in their Day by Day program. Interns can practice their skills through hands on group sessions, office work, and learn from the expertise of co-workers in the field. Interns work along side Mental Health Professionals, LADC’s, and Clinical Case Managers to assist clients in completing their goals.

To learn more about House of Charity, 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.House of Charity Building

Adler Graduate School announced today that it has earned the 2018-2019 Military Friendly® ​School designation.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® ​School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. For the first time, student survey data was taken into consideration for the designation. More than 1,400 schools participated in the 2018-2019 survey with 941 earning the designation.

The 2018-2019 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Victory Media 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.”

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. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary 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.

About Victory Media:
Founded in 2001, Victory Media 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 ® and Military Friendly ® brands. Victory Media and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Dept of Defense or any federal government entity.

Learn more about Victory Media at

Adler Graduate School (AGS) is excited to announce it will be moving to a new location at 10225 Yellow Circle, Minnetonka, MN. This move allows AGS facilities to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff, the Adlerian community, update technology, and make considerable improvements to our work space.

The move comes after over 12 years in our current location. “The move will facilitate our growth and ability to support our student body and prioritize our facility and technology needs to meet this growing population,” states AGS President Dr. Jeffrey Allen.

The new building will require extensive renovation to better serve the educational needs of the current and future AGS student body. To donate to our efforts in further training human services professional in facilitating healthy and fulfilling life styles for people, organizations, and communities through graduate education and social interest in action, click here. Your gift can contribute to the capital improvements, excellence in academic programming, and in keeping an Adler education affordable for current and future students. Adler Graduate School is a 501(c)(3) organization and contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Have you ever wondered what you could do with a M.A. degree from Adler Graduate School (AGS)? We had the fortune of discussing life after graduation with an alumna, Cindy Anderson, MA, LPCC.

Cindy chose an unconventional route to college. She was a stay at home mother with a fear of public speaking. She took a single class at a local institution and fell in love with learning. One of her favorite undergraduate courses focused on organizational behavior, leading her down the path into psychotherapy. While her B.A. focuses on English literature, Cindy discovered that the integrative and investigative aspects of the human condition are littered throughout literature.

Since graduating in 2003, Cindy continued her work at her internship site, Pathways Counseling Center in St. Paul, opened a short-term private practice, and has since found her passion as an Inpatient Psychotherapist and Case Manager at the University of Minnesota Medical Center for the last ten years. At the medical center, the focus is on the tools and support patients need to improve and balance their lives. Cindy’s team accomplishes Adler Graduate School’s vision — transforming society through social interest in action.

While others may refer to her as a social worker, clinical treatment coordinator, or counselor, her patients relate to her as an advocate for change. Her day-to-day routines include early morning team meetings, researching her new patients’ history and catching up on the progress of her current patients, Rule 25 assessments , developing and collaborating on a plan of action, and confirming placements for patients following hospitalization. She can see up to seven clients daily.

Cindy reflects on her work saying, “While it took a year to fully grasp hospital procedures, I truly appreciate that Adler Graduate School provided a great foundation for my career field. It opened my eyes to seeing more to the world and the early recollection classes were invaluable.” In 2013, Cindy converted her LPC license to LPCC and completed a certification for supervision training this past spring through AGS.

At Adler Graduate School, we love to see our graduates in action. Cindy’s story inspires all of us at AGS to continue developing human services professionals. To learn more about our programs or discover what you can do with Adler Graduate School click here.

Julie Kaufman, a 2016 Adler alumna, recently came back from a unique, yoga centered training in Costa Rica. As she embarks on her journey opening her own clinic and healing clients through body and movement, our Adler team reached out to hear about how her experiences at Adler Graduate School (AGS) and beyond have helped cultivate her road to fulfillment as a wellness professional.

Adler: Julie, I am thrilled to be able to talk with you on your Adler Graduate School experiences and life since graduation. Can you start by giving our readers some background knowledge about you?

Julie: I would love to. I grew up in Mahtomedi, Minnesota. I was heavily involved in dance and gymnastics.  I graduated from Hamline University in 1992, with a B.A. in Psychology and Exercise Physiology. I spent most of my young adult years teaching gymnastics and working for a small non-profit company serving people with developmental, emotional, and physical disabilities. In 2002, life took me down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast where I lived until my return home to Minnesota in 2012. I started graduate school that same year and embraced all that Adler life had to offer. I am currently completing my post-graduate supervision with the world-renowned, Dr. Richard E. Close. 

Adler: You heard about AGS through a previous alumna, your cousin. What was it about AGS that made you excited to learn and grow?

Julie: My cousin, Katherine Vasil, spoke so highly of AGS that it was difficult to even think about attending any of the other local graduate schools. But, I knew I had to do my research before making such a big decision. While the other schools all offered great programs, AGS felt like a place where my individual path was honored. I also had the experience of meeting an individual in yoga class who shared she was a therapist.  When I told her I was looking at schools, and before I ever mentioned which ones, she encouraged me to check out AGS: not because she attended AGS; but because if she could have done it over again, she would have gone to Adler. I asked; the universe answered!

Adler: What are three words you would use to describe your time spent at Adler Graduate School?

Julie: Connection. Insight. Love.

Julie Kaufman in Yoga PoseAdler: Okay, I am excited to have a chance to discuss your recent time spent in Costa Rica. Can you give our readers some context on the program you attended?

Julie: After much research into the many yoga teacher training programs around the world, I chose the Marianne Wells School of Yoga for three reasons: I wanted a full immersion yoga experience; I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and do some solo traveling; and I wanted a program that emphasized not just the physical practice, but the spiritual aspects as well. This decision was perhaps most important for my training as a holistic therapist. While many people think of yoga as just a physical practice of holding poses, it is much more. As stated on my website, yoga has nothing to do with striving for a bikini body, abs, or thigh gap. Rather, it is a way of living. It is a way of integrating and caring for the mind, body, and spirit. It is a practice of surrender, compassion, love, connection, focus, responsibility, and acceptance. Within a therapeutic setting, yoga helps clients learn the difference between discomfort and pain: an imperative aspect of wellness. When we realize we can safely lean into the struggle of discomfort - instead of running from it in fear – we begin to experience our inner truth and power in a more profound way. In essence, what used to derail us, now fuels us.

Adler: What made you want to spend time developing your strength in yoga and a meditational background?

Julie Kaufman Costa Rica Sayings BoardJulie: In 2010, the universe hit me with a devastating loss. I found myself struggling within a heavy existential crisis. It was in that time a dear friend introduced me to the world of mediation and “real” yoga. As my practices intensified, so did my healing. Amidst all the changes going on in my little world, I was able to feel safe and grounded. Fast forward to 2012, I knew I wanted to bring yoga and meditation to my future clients. I just didn’t know how I would make it happen.  

Adler: You mentioned the fourth life task and its importance to you. Can you describe the meaning to our readers?

Julie: Oh boy! I geek out over the fourth life task. A little background might help. Throughout my training, the fourth life task had always been presented as a screening style therapy question that focused on general self-care tasks such as exercise, sleep, relaxation, and nutrition. I never gave it much thought; after all, the first three tasks were all the rage. As my master’s project was looming near, I knew I wanted to explore the intrapersonal characteristics involved in helping us manage life’s transitions. My research led me to a 1967, article by Dreikurs and Mosak, The Tasks of Life II: The Fourth Life Task. This article was the article that formally introduced the fourth life task. It had nothing to do with exercise, apples, or zzzzzz’s.  Rather, the fourth life task is the task of getting along with oneself. It is how we experience ourselves: how we experience ourselves in relationship to others, how we experience ourselves in relationship to the universe, to our courage, our power, and our truth. I realized that the problems we experience in the other life tasks (social, work, love, and spirituality) are due to our struggles within how we experience ourselves: the fourth life task. Hence, it is the fundamental task of life and where the heart of therapy takes place. 

Adler: You have exciting news as a recent graduate. You are opening your own clinic. Can you tell us a little about your business?

Julie Kaufman OfficeJulie: My office is located on Main Street in the historic area of Stillwater, Minnesota. My office consists of two separate therapy areas: one for those who prefer the traditional talk therapy environment and another (the yoga studio) for those who want to incorporate yoga or just a more relaxed, experiential style of therapy. Most of my clients have wanted to meet in the yoga space. I’m guessing it’s because of the two big and cozy bean bag chairs in there. Because I don’t work with insurance companies, I get to structure my practice in a way that best fits my style and the needs of my clients. For example, I’ve always felt a bit encumbered by the 50-minute time restraint. I offer 75 and 90-minute appointments for traditional talk therapy and up to 2-hour sessions for those who want to incorporate yoga, mediation, and/or EMDR.

Adler: How do you plan on incorporating what you learned in Costa Rica to your practice?

Julie: On a foundational level, I encourage all of my clients to begin an at-home wellness practice that includes silent sitting meditation. For those that are interested in incorporating yoga, I provide theory discussion and posture instruction. I strive to teach each client at the pace they need to slowly build a repertoire of postures they can safely practice at home. While I value the role of group yoga classes and the connection and community feeling they can offer, it is my belief that practicing at home can help keep one’s focus on their inner physical, mental, and spiritual experience—especially when they hold the mistaken belief that in order to practice yoga one needs to be flexible, thin, wearing fancy yoga outfits, or have a “yoga body”. Not only are these beliefs the opposite of a genuine yoga practice, they can easily set the stage for feelings of competition, disconnection, and shame. 

On another level, yoga can be helpful when working with trauma: both the “big” ones (those that are most easily identifiable), and the more nuanced microtraumas that fester and accumulate over time. This is because unprocessed traumatic experiences (and the shame feelings they induce) are held within the body.  Yoga provides a unique nonverbal “roadmap” leading the client and therapist into the space where healing can take place. This process can begin with basic mind-body-spirit awareness and exploration – and when the client is ready – move into the physical practice of yoga. With the physical surrender into the discomfort of a posture that activates trauma energy, there comes a release of emotion. The client might or might not have the words or ability to verbally process the emotions and thoughts that have been brought to the surface. However, through a process of listening to, honoring, and responding to how the body wants to move through the trauma, one can complete the movement that was originally disabled during the fight, flight, or freeze response­ (and is the essence of Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing therapy). The body response is where the trauma experience can be reprocessed with adaptive material.  With this completion of movement, the client is able to integrate the adaptive body response with what the mind knows and the spirit feels.

Adler: What are your goals for the coming year(s)?

Julie: I have a tendency to experience feelings of fear as a stop sign. My intention for 2018, is to allow myself to move into my fear by trusting in my truth, strength, and competence. Professionally, my intention is to continue seeking out ways I can provide my clients with individualized experiential forms of therapy. I will be working with other AGS alumni on developing client workshops, therapy groups, and with Dr. Richard Close on academic presentations and professional development workshops.

Adler: Anything else you would like to share about your journey in Adlerian psychology?

Julie: I can’t imagine my life without it.


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.


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