In the News

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

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

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

You just did your first Blip!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Greater Minnesota Family Services is a Non-Profit founded 25 years ago with the goal of working harmoniously with family and county agencies, to create effective services for families in rural Minnesota. Family-based counselors and therapists work within nearly 40 rural counties to provide therapy in the homes of individuals, families, and group counseling. They strongly believe that the family is the best place to resolve parent/child crisis. “Often children are placed out of the home, not because families are unwilling to change, but because community resources have not had the time or intensity of services to help the children have successful experiences in their homes and communities. Department of Human Services recently released a statistic that 70% of master level graduates move to metro areas, lessening the resources necessary to help families in need, leaving only 30% of graduates for rural areas.”

Greater Minnesota trains each new staff that joins the agency in a “Reflective Supervision” type of practice. It is a 2-day retreat where staff take time to learn more about themselves at an in-depth level and how that impacts their relationships with each other and the clients they serve. The retreat is an attempt to help counselors be more in touch with themselves (which can be overlooked in their busy/academic world) and find more internal motivation to practice better self-care and wellness.

Greater Minnesota’s services aim to focus on family conflict, health, unity, emotional abuse, neglect, social functioning, school performance, and prevention and reunification of children who are returning from out-of-home placements. They offer school and family mental health programs in 50 school buildings throughout Minnesota that work with youth on a one-to-one counseling basis and other programs that provide group counseling, skills, and therapy like the Challenge Program, Heartland Girls Ranch, and North Crow Group Home. These programs serve as therapeutic services and site-based intensive mental health programs.

Their early childhood services include Head Start programs, daycare, and SEED: Social Emotional Enrichment and Development programs which provide Day Treatment for young ones three hours per day. The SEED program helps children ages 3-5 with relationships, regulation, routines/exploration by focusing on social skills, therapeutic play, team building, family skills, and individualized attention. “Research suggests it [emotional intelligence] is responsible for as much as 80% of the successes in our lives.”

Additionally, the non-profit has a 17-bed Shelter Care in Willmar, Minnesota that provides short term crisis stays for youth and longer term group home placement for youth in need of more prolonged treatment.

Greater Minnesota Family Services’ has a unique G.M. Gives program which provides flexible funding for children and their families receiving services in assisting them to be more self-sufficient and enhance their circumstances. The program helps inspire real and lasting change for children and their families. Past G.M. Gives have gone to helping boys join Cub Scouts and assisting in the finances for therapeutic equine treatment. These funds are generated through donations only by staff and outside donors.  

To learn more about Greater Minnesota Family 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.

Adler Graduate School (AGS) is always excited to hear about what our graduates have pursued after graduation. Our team was able to catch Beth McNally and Adam Arnold, the dynamic duo, who graduated in 2011 and 2009. They spilled the beans to our team on how they met, their experiences at AGS, and what they have been up to since graduating.

Adam: Beth?

Beth: Yeah?

Adam: We’re instant messaging right now.

Beth: We are! Kind of like how we got to know each other before dating. So, we’re here chatting about Adler Graduate School and our work as mental health professionals?

Adam: We are! I’ll ask you the first question: What inspired you to go to school to be a mental health professional?

Beth: Hahaha. Well pretty simple: My mom died when I was 21 years old. The pain and grief I went through, along with coming-out of that grief, made me want to help others who are in pain.

Adam: Always gut-punching when I hear that story, even though I've heard it before in various ways. Something my mom's pastor once told her was to apply one's skills ‘where you have been wounded’.

Beth: Yeah, totally. What about you?

Adam: What about me?

Beth: What inspired you to work as a mental health professional?

Adam: Coming-out of college, I was working as a theater director with kids. Many of my relationships, I noticed, were turning into deeper relationships than just actor/director. I was nudged by one of my mentors, noticing the same relationship dynamics with the children, to consider becoming a mental health professional who works with kids. I had a meeting with admissions at Adler Graduate School, and decided then and there to cultivate my courage to risk failure.

Beth: Huh! What has been your journey as a mental health professional who works with kids since finishing at AGS?

Adam: I continued working with kids to create theater pieces focusing on mental health and social justice issues during and after my time at AGS. I went into private practice right after graduate school working in various treatment centers for kids along the way. I also met a smart, powerful woman during the graduate school process…

Beth: Say more about the smart, powerful woman……………..

Adam: I met my future wife (YOU) while taking Couples Counseling at AGS!

Beth: I knew of ‘Adam Arnold’ because he had flyers for his plays at the school. Then, I ended-up in class with him; but, I never talked to him. Roughly 3 years later, he ended-up living in the same building as my sister, and we ran into each other. That sparked us into chatting on Facebook almost every night.

Adam: Ah yes, the flyers. For over 10 years, my days were spent handing-out and hanging-up flyers promoting our plays. I remember seeing you walking out of the elevator in my (and your sister’s) building. I knew it was ‘Beth McNally’ from AGS, but I got scared and didn't say anything to your face. I messaged you later, right? And yeah, we chatted on Facebook every night until we finally went on a date. I still swear to this day you were carrying a guitar, in a case, on your back when walking-out of that elevator, but you claim to have never played guitar…

Beth: Yeah, I have no idea what that pack would have been other than maybe helping someone with their guitar.

Adam: It's possible that you had a backpack that I mistook as a guitar.

Beth: A big back pack! Yeah, we chatted for hours and hours until 3am most nights.

Adam: So much fun! We learned a lot about each other. We eventually dated, got engaged in 2011, and married in 2012.

Beth: Yep.

Adam: We haven’t talked about your professional journey since starting graduate school.

Beth: Right! I worked as an ARMHS worker for a couple years which was part of getting my internship hours. Then, I was hired at a private practice and started working with individuals, couples, and families in 2011 – right after we started dating. That’s where I stayed until we opened-up our practice, Enliven. I was super lucky to do that kind of psychotherapy work right away.

Adam: Yes, lucky. I remember how excited you were when these developments were occurring. We're married, and we run a mental health clinic together. How does that work?!?

Beth: You mean how does it work running a clinic together?

Adam: And, how do we stand spending so much time together!

Beth: Luckily, we like to spend a lot of time together! The business aspect is easy. We keep well balanced boundaries with our home life verses work life. What do you think?

Adam: I like spending time with you when you're nice to me! The boundaries are key. We will label a conversation "work" prior to talking. Then, we both go into a different “work mode.” People often ask us what it's like to be married to each other and both be mental health professionals. I say our marital conflicts are just the same as other marriages except we use clinical words during our conflicts.

Beth: “You're not being very attuning right now.”

Adam: “That was very invalidating.”

Beth: “I feel frustrated when you don't do the dishes. Would you be willing to be more diligent?”

Adam: “I'm noticing you're dysregulated right now. What is one thing from your calming plan that you can do right now?” (Yes, we both have calming plans.)

Beth: Hahaha. Yeah, it can sound so silly.

Adam: Silly, especially when the phrases are delivered in an aggressive manner.

Beth: But, I think the reason it’s like that for us is we both value doing what we ask our clients to do.

Adam: Indeed.

Beth: So, if I’m telling my clients to be gentler to their spouse, then I need to do that as well.

Adam: Authenticity.

Beth: I think most clinicians would say that they learned a lot about themselves in graduate school. AGS, especially, made us focus on ourselves in our assignments. I think because of those self-reflections we are pretty good at knowing how to talk about feelings, about how our past informs us now, and how to understand each other more deeply. This is an advantage we have in our marriage.

Adam: I think it's an advantage for sure. I think we have a vibrant, fun, authentic marriage. We've also had some tremendously challenging times individually and relationally. It's been beneficial, for sure, having learned those skills. We have both benefited from continuing to seek professional therapeutic support for ourselves when needed.

Beth: We are not shy about seeking psychotherapy for ourselves when needed. We are not exempt from life’s challenges.

Adam: Wait, we forgot to mention another member of our family who is involved at our clinic.

Beth: I was thinking that too! We have a therapy dog named Doogie.

Adam: Doogie was abandoned in Georgia and brought-up to Minnesota by an animal non-profit. Beth found him in a foster home for dogs. We adopted him 5 years ago. Beth, you want to talk about Animal Assisted Therapy?

Beth: My final graduate project at AGS was on Animal Assisted Therapy; it was what I wanted as an integral part of my work with clients.

Adam: How so?

Beth: I believe animals can help people in ways a person can’t. People feel less anxious and comfortable when Doogie is around. He is attuning to my clients’ emotions and is very gentle. He too has a “work mode” because at home he is loud and naughty. Verses at Enliven, he’s calm and gentle.

Adam: It is remarkable how different he is at work. Hey, how about an Adlerian principle that has stuck with you into your professional career?

Beth: Of course, the theory of Lifestyle Assessment has stuck with me in terms of how our family dynamics impact a sense of self.

Adam: Another topic we are constantly talking about in our marriage: How our families of origin are informing our marriage.

Beth: Oh, and I do address mistaken beliefs with my clients.

Adam: I appreciated the Adlerian emphasis on understanding the purpose of the child's behavior. I am constantly thinking about that emphasis while working with kids in my office.

Beth: Tell me the best part of your job and the hardest part of your job?

Adam: Best - getting to experience the mind-blowing wisdom and curiosity of kids. Hardest part - kids telling me spoilers from movies that just came out that I have yet to see.

Beth: Hahaha. Yes, you hate spoilers. You would rather a kid trash your office than hear a movie spoiler.

Adam: Indeed. Your turn.

Beth: Best part of my job is doing what I love: seeing my clients getting better and improve is why I show-up every day. The hardest part of my job is when a client’s hill to climb is steep - unfairly steep. I just wish I could wave a wand to help them.

Adam: Beth?

Beth: Yes?

Adam: Do you still like me?

Beth: Yes.

At Adler Graduate School, we love to see our alumni in action. The stories of how they became apart of AGS to what they have accomplished since graduation inspire all of us to continue developing human services professionals. To learn more about our programs or discover what you can do with Adler Graduate School click here.

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.

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