In the News

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.

Adler Graduate School’s goal at graduation is to have trained human services professionals to facilitate healthy and fulfilling life styles for people, organizations, and communities through graduate education and community involvement. We recently reached out to our fellow alumni to see where they are since graduation.

 

“My clients consistently tell me that the thing they appreciate most about my work is that I’m authentic. I have Adler to thank for that. It’s made all the difference in the world for me to have the courage to be imperfect- at work and at home…the courage piece, that one changed me…I started Mischief Managed, a playful child-centered practice, in 2014. I took on a business partner, a 130lb Great Dane named Dr. Darla. We use play and art with our kiddo clients: Dr. Darla frequently finds herself in costume in the playroom. We also help a lot of parents to understand what their kids are trying to tell them, so they can be the best parents they can be. I finished licensure for Marriage and Family Therapy in 2016. Along the way, we encountered so many people who were either hesitant about the idea of medicating for mental health or wanting to get off their medications.  Dr. Darla had no opinion on this matter, but I became increasingly interested in holistic treatment approaches. I envisioned a place where I could practice alongside complementary healing professionals, collaborating and learning together. So, I set out to create this vision with the birth of Parasol Wellness Collaborative in 2016. The Collaborative is an umbrella company that contracts with therapists and other healing professionals to provide well rounded treatment. For now, we have 7 mental health therapists with varying licenses working out of our two different office locations…” – Leah Corder, MA, Marriage & Family Therapy, 2010

“Adler Graduate School provides a platform to engage professors and peers alike, fostering an environment of higher learning and acceptance. I believe I have always appreciated people. While attending Adler, I found a great appreciation for Ev, Jeanette, Roger, Megan, Sue, Chris, Richard, Earl, Tina, Gale, Amy, and Gunny. From introduction to graduation, each of these individuals were there for me. As a student of faith, I toiled over which grad school I should attend. I was not disappointed with choosing Adler Graduate School. Diversity, Differing Opinions, Respect, and Voice are welcomed here! Entrepreneurial in nature, I have owned a few businesses. Discovering my passion, I felt God leading me in the direction of mental health. I am an LMFT, due to the education received at Adler Graduate School. I am a businessman due to the experience I received at Adler Graduate School. Professors and Staff shared their knowledge as it related to theory and practice. My first internship at Genesis II for Families captured a piece of me that would bloom down the road. Many one on one meetings with George would foster thoughts about character and process. During this time, Roger would challenge me during class to expound and define the input from my experience at Genesis II. It was around this time frame that Chris and Amy helped me see my shift in direction from School Counseling to become a LMFT. I am grateful to them both. Upon completing my thesis, Tina and Gayle encouraged me to take my idea to market. Finding myself at Family Innovations through contacts made during my internship, I was hired during my first interview. Spending approximately 4 years with Family Innovations, I gained more insight and appreciation for those around me. During this time, I attended Elijah House of Prayer ministry school and completed the program. I became involved with TF-CBT and was working out of school on the East Side of St. Paul. It was a sense of paying it forward. I had attended eight elementary schools prior to middle school and that school was the last one. After a period with Family Innovations, my entrepreneurial side was quickening with in me. I studied the areas around me looking at traffic patterns, growth, proximity to other services, demographic, and decided to open a part time office in Cottage Grove, MN.   My journey led me through a business plan, marketing plan, credentialing, and not a lot of growth.  Circling the wagons, I set my sights on reaching out to other resources.  God’s intervention allowed for another connection to become revived and I found myself aligning my company with a drug clinic.  The growth had arrived, I hired a receptionist, and I am looking to another location in the future.” – Bernie Menge, MA, Marriage & Family Therapy, 2013

“Since graduation from Adler Graduate School in 2001, I have been working as a clinician with individuals with addiction and mental illness in Intensive Residential Treatment Services. I worked five years as a clinical supervisor for ARMHS, became an evidenced based trainer for Illness Management and Recovery for the State of MN, and provided in-home and in-clinic therapy. I was hired as the first mental health professional for a Rule 31 CD facility Progress Valley, Clinical supervisor for all women residential treatment trauma informed care facility and a Crisis residential facility, Co-occurring disorders trainer through MNCAMH through the U of M School of Social Work. Currently, I am a full-time outpatient therapist, LPC/ LPCC supervisor, and Mental Health consultant for Rule 31 facilities.”  – Matthew Lindberg, MA, LPCC

“I graduated from Adler Graduate School’s program with a Masters in Clinical Counseling and Psychotherapy in Fall 2014, and went immediately into their Post-Graduate Certificate in Co-Occurring Disorders Program, finishing in Fall, 2015. I completed my testing for Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LCP) in late Fall 2015. I worked as a mental health counselor both at The Retreat and Pride Institute, residential treatment facilities in the Twin Cities. As I was awarded my completed Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) designation, I worked at Nystrom & Associates. I am engaged in the process of opening a new business, Eden Therapy Clinic, scheduled to open in June 2018, in Eden Prairie. In addition to the Adlerian concepts that have guided all my work, I am focused on client needs related to trauma and have added skills as an EMDR Certified therapist and EMDR Supervisor/Consultant (in training process). I hope to pay it forward in sharing my love of Adlerian concepts and trauma informed care by having interns and licensed professionals in training to work with as me using my designation of Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy Certified Supervisor. My new business, Eden Therapy Center, is a holistically oriented mental health and co-occurring disorders clinic where the Integrative Behavioral Health Model is the guideline for client care. This model respects and incorporates the biochemistry of the body, the psychology of the mind, and the effervescence of the spirit. Employed professionals in the mental health field from various specialties work together using evidence-based practices that help move clients toward their best selves and away from decades of pain whether it shows up as depression, anxiety, PTSD, despair, addiction, or inadequate relationships and confusion. These professionals work with both individuals and groups, meeting them in their current context while encouraging them using multiple intervention strategies and supportive alternative and complementary modalities for their individualized care plan.” – Nancy Lowe, MA, LADC, LCP, LPCC, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 2013, & Co-Occurring Disorders Certificate, 2014

“After successful business careers in the corporate business world, both Jim and Barb chose Adler Graduate School as they recovered from the heartache and disappointment of their respective difficult marriages and divorce. They both hoped for later life career opportunities where they could help others with their own struggles through these all-too-often, no-win scenarios. During her second term at AGS, Barb made note of the guy with the twinkling blue eyes and quick wit sitting in the back of Katherine Hedberg's Lifestyle class. However, it wasn't until Jim and Barb completed many long internship hours together helping families entangled with Hennepin County Child Protection services that they struck up a friendship. Finally, after almost a year, seemingly out of nowhere, Jim asked Barb if she'd like to go out for coffee. She wondered out loud if what he was suggesting was a date. Turns out it was.  After the success of this first encounter, they were inseparable. Now in their fifth year of marriage, with five adult children and six pre-school grandchildren between them, they divide their time between Florida, Minnesota, and South Carolina. Jim is a licensed LPCC in Minnesota and a LMHC in Florida; counseling individuals, couples and families. Barb is dedicated to serving Minnesota and Florida hospice families as they as they navigate their way through the complexities and sorrow of end of life issues and bereavement. She will complete her MFT licensure requirements in 2018.” – Jim McCleary, MA, LPCC, LMHC, Marriage & Family Therapy, 2010, & Barb McCleary, MA, Marriage & Family Therapy, 2010

“I am a LPCC and board approved Clinical Supervisor working as an outpatient therapist at Ellie Family Services. My work focuses on men in transition; suffering with OCD; adolescent males with anxiety, depression, and adjustment concerns; SPMI; PD's; and family therapies. We are currently taking clients and Supervisees for LPCC licensure.” – Ryan Meyer, MA, LPCC, Board Approved Clinical Supervisor, Marriage & Family Therapy, 2013

“I graduated from Adler in March of 2014. Since then, I have worked as a school base therapist and outpatient therapist at Headway Emotional Health. Additionally, I worked as a crisis responder for Hennepin County COPE, and I am now a therapist at the Hennepin County Mental Health Center. I work with a diverse population, and have specialized in trauma informed care.” – Fernando Ferrell, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 2014

“I'm currently working part time in private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist with a specialty in ADHD. I work with families and individuals who are dealing with the effects of ADHD in their lives and relationships. I have passed my licensing exam, and I am working as an LAMFT to earn hours to finalize my licensure. Additionally, I am speaking for numerous community education groups, seminars, and conferences on ADHD, what it is, how to deal with it, and providing tools and techniques for individuals, students and adults to find success. I just provided a presentation for the faculty of Inver Hills Community College on ADHD. I speak on the teenage brain and how a scientific understanding of the changes happening in the teenage brain can help individuals improve their relationship with their teens and their parenting.” – Judy Richardson-Mahre, Marriage & Family Therapy, 2014

“My name is Jimmie Heags, Jr. I grew up in a small town in Mississippi, called Lambert. I moved to Minnesota in my senior year of high school. During this time, I have been working with children and their families in a variety of settings. I hold a license in both school and clinical counseling from Adler Graduate School. I am working towards becoming a licensed alcohol and drug counselor by spring of 2018. In addition, I am an approved supervisor with the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy. Primarily, I work at Intermediate District 287 as a District-wide clinician. In that role, my job responsibilities range from providing professional development for school employees to intervening with students experiencing a crisis. My specialty areas include restorative practices, trauma-informed practices, crisis prevention and intervention training and behavior support training. Lastly, I am a certified Nurtured Heart Approach Advance trainer. This certification is a very Adlerian approach for understanding and working with young people with intense behavior. In addition to working for District 287, I have been am a field experience instructor for the School Counseling program at Alder Graduate School. Recently, I have begun providing individual therapy at Levan Counseling and Consulting. The mission for my work is to help remove barriers to student success and partner with children and adults to attain the quality life they seek. One of my favorite quotes is from Frederick Douglass, ‘Without struggle there is no progress’. My most grounding Adlerian principle is having the courage to be imperfect. – Jimmie Heags Jr. MA, LSC, LPCC, School Counseling & Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 2009

“The day after I finished at AGS, I moved to the Washington DC area. I now work for a private practice as a Clinical Counselor. I see mostly 11-18 year old, young adults and some pre-marital couples. I use Adlerian practices every day. Also, I teach cooking classes at a local elementary school for Pre-K-first grade. I try to instill significance, security, and belonging in my students to start them down the right path. My final Adler paper was about instilling social interest in young children. I feel that the cooking classes play a huge role in promoting that.” – Brittany Wolfish (Beck), LGPC, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 2014, & Co-Occurring Disorders Licensure Only?

“I am the owner of Segal Psychotherapy, LLC. We are a group practice located in Minnetonka that serves people in relationships that have been negatively impacted by affairs, addictions, betrayal, communication issues, emotional needs not being met, and unhealthy behaviors. We are experts in relationship therapy using Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) as the foundational approach to treatment. We help people uncover, understand, validate, and recover from negative feelings, behaviors, beliefs, and actions.” – Renee Segal, MA, LMFT, Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist & Supervisor, Marriage & Family Therapy & Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 2009

“In 2011, I completed my studies at AGS from both the Marriage and Family Therapy and Clinical Counseling programs. Since then, I have moved to Canton, Georgia. I am currently earning my doctorate in General Teaching Psychology at Walden University. I expect to complete my dissertation and graduate early next year. I am a certified Christian Counselor with the Board of examiners in Georgia. I am the Co-owner to a company called Christian Mentor. I mentor young adults to live a Christian lifestyle. I am a Licensed Minister and Ordained Chaplain who loves ministering and traveling internationally to do missions work with children and adults. In addition, I am a court-appointed advocate for abused and neglected children in my county. I speak with judges, attorneys, social workers, and foster parents to help at risk children find a safe home.” - Latonya Rainwater, MA, Licensed Minister, Chaplain, and Christian Counselor

“I am working as a Licensed Minister and Ordained Chaplain. I graduated from the Marriage and Family Therapy and Clinical Counseling program at AGS. Currently, I am writing my dissertation on “Why Young Adults Decide to Leave Religion” at Walden University. I reside in Canton, Georgia. I have an associate’s degree in Music Business and Audio Productions and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. I am self-employed and run a Christian organization in partnership with my sister that provides individual mentoring to the youth and young adults. As a Christian mentor, I help individuals tap into their strengths and focus on growing and building a closer relationship with God. I am also a court-appointed advocate for abused children in the state of Georgia.” – Elizabeth Rainwater, MA, Licensed Minister, Chaplain, and Christian Counselor

 

At Adler Graduate School, we love to see our graduates in action. Alumni testimonies inspire 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.

Adler Graduate School is excited to announce a change in our admissions process. Starting today, AGS will be moving to a four starts per year enrollment process. The progression to four start times will allow us to report statistics, cultivate relationships, answer student inquiries, and smooth the transition of new graduate students.

Students will maintain a five-week course curriculum that includes one class per term; however, new students will only be admitted during the first session of each term. “Our hope is to better meet the needs of our new students by fully preparing them in time for their first class,” states Director of Admissions, Christina Hilpipre-Frischman. The new four start per year process will start with our spring term that begins April 2, 2018. The application is free, and prospective students may set up meetings with our admissions team prior to applying.

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.

For more information about our programs, contact our admissions team or set up an information session by calling (612) 767-7055. To apply for one of our esteemed program click here.

Adler Graduate School is honored to welcome Dr. Jeffrey Allen as our new school president. Dr. Allen brings over 25 years of education management: leading schools to maximize their enrollment, retention, and supporting faculty and staff success.

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.

It was the consensus of the search committee that his familiarity with higher education organizations through periods of growth and reorganization, as well as his background in enrollment management, evaluation and accreditation, program development, operations, technology, and public relations will serve the institution well.  As a seasoned executive to colleges and nonprofit organizations, his marketing expertise and past role as Chief Academic Office is vital to the new role Dr. Allen will assume.

Dr. Allen earned his doctorate at the University of Minnesota. He holds an M.A. in Teaching Social Studies, and a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He earned a certificate in Executive Fundraising from St. Thomas University, and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and social studies teacher in the state of Minnesota.

Taylor Vance — a recent Art Therapy, December 2017, graduate — is the first to complete the experiential part of her Master’s Project in a refreshing Adler style: creating an artwork donation. Her paper focused on the two modalities of applied behavior analysis & SCERTS. In her work, she created a painting demonstrating the past, present, and future of autism; then, donated it to her previous internship site, St. David’s Autism Day Treatment, for their inspiration in helping Taylor determine her passion.

As Taylor embarks on her journey after graduating, our Adler team reached out to hear about how her experiences at Adler Graduate School (AGS) and beyond have helped encourage her road to self-actualization as a mental health practitioner.

 

Adler: Congratulations on your graduation achievement. We are so happy to be able to talk about your time spent at AGS. Can you start with a brief background about why you choose Art Therapy?

Taylor: It started in high school, when I discovered my love for art. But, I did not know how to make that a career. I first heard of art therapy through my school counselor and began my search for colleges that could support art therapy.

Adler: You have traveled abroad twice before attending graduate school. Tell us about both of those experiences.

Taylor: Yes, the first study abroad was very short, only about two weeks. It was a London Art Tour; we visited theaters, museums, and galleries to gain a perspective of what is possible through art. The next study abroad experience I had was the summer before my senior year at college, I traveled to South Africa through GVI-Global Vision International. They offered a volunteer internship doing art with children. I spent two months that summer in a small town 40 minutes outside of Cape Town. The first four weeks were spent working in a first-grade classroom using art to teach lessons; the last four weeks were spent in an orphanage. I had the opportunity to discover how powerful art can be not only for teaching but healing. It allowed these children to learn creatively.

Adler: Since you love to travel, understand different cultures, and analyze how their art expresses their heritage, you attended ICASSI in Dublin, Ireland while attending AGS. How was that adventure?

Taylor: When the opportunity to go to ICASSI came around, I jumped on it. One, because it was in Ireland; two, because I had never been to an event like ICASSI. I did not know what to expect being around a bunch of Adlerians for two weeks. It was one of the most insightful experiences. Being surrounded by individuals who know so much about what it means to be human and be a part of a community was inspiring.

Adler: Your entire journey to graduation you have been forging a unique path, creating the career you envisioned since high school. How were those creations of your undergraduate degree, travel, and ultimately your Master’s Project transformative?

Taylor: The most valuable thing I have learned at AGS is that it is you must be your most authentic self. If you don’t bring your most authentic self into the room, your clients will know. My experiences lead me to this point, helping me discover my authentic self and accept it. When it came to deciding the type of master’s project, I struggled to find something that would express what I wanted to get across. It took some collaboration and brainstorming to find something that was authentic to me but also authentic to my topic, Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Adler: Your Master’s Project discusses autism. Why did you select that topic?

Taylor: One of my first internships was at St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development in the Autism Day Treatment program. This internship is where I had my first experiences working with these individuals. I was inspired to discover how art therapy can help this population. After St. David’s, I had the opportunity to work for another autism treatment center, The Lazarus Project. Both these locations are what inspired my master’s project. St. David’s used SCERTS as their treatment method and The Lazarus Project used Applied Behavior Analysis. I had the unique experience of learning both treatment methods. When I was brainstorming topics for my master’s project, it made sense to use my experiences with these treatment methods to generate a topic.

Adler: Can you give our readers a short explanation about your art piece?

Taylor: The idea behind the painting was to create a response to my research. When I was deciding on the type of project I wanted, the idea of creating art was a part of answering to my authentic self. I wanted to express the individuality of each person with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but also how far the research has come.

Adler: Coming into AGS as one of the youngest of your cohort, you had not heard of Adlerian psychotherapy before attending graduate school. How would you describe your experience with Adler theory and application?

Taylor: It sounds silly to call it fate that I found AGS. Now that I have graduated with this knowledge and insight about myself and the world, I can’t see how I could do my job without the education I received at AGS.

Adler: What 3 words would you use to describe your time at AGS?

Taylor: Insightful. Challenging. Transformative.

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

Taylor: It is hard work. You need to be willing to open yourself up and discover who you are. I think that is what makes us better therapist and counselors.

 

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.

Adler Graduate School's goal at graduation is to have trained human services professionals to facilitate healthy and fulfilling lifestyles for people, organizations, and communities through graduate education and community involvement. We recently reached out to our fellow alumni to see where they are since graduation.

 

“I have operated a private practice, Friendly Psychology Professionals, since 2014. I currently am supervising; I am a Minnesota Board-approved supervisor for LMFT and LPCC. I participated in Adler's ‘non-profit incubator’ for a year, and I would recommend it to anyone. I am studying Psychodrama and plan to become accredited. I will be leading an experiential workshop on psychodrama at Adler on April 6, 2018.” – Timothy Kuss, MA, LMFT, LPCC, Supervisor, Marriage & Family License, 2005

 

“I am an AGS graduate working as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I am currently serving individuals, couples, and families in the Ham Lake area. My approach is strength-based, client-centered, supportive, and encouraging. My aim is to provide a safe space where clients can feel heard and understood as they work through the many issues and challenges life and relationship present.” – Diane Halverson, MA, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapy, 2010

 

“I am originally from Charleston, South Carolina. My educational background includes degrees in business, law, Drug & Alcohol Counseling, and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling. My passion for learning, teaching, coaching, and helping is evident in my inclusive approach to human interactions. I embrace the Alfred Adler philosophy of developing relationships and giving back to the global community. I participated in the 2011 International Committee of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes in Hitzkirch Switzerland. In 2017, I opened Vitality Family Mental Health, a private practice located in North Minneapolis. Additionally, I teach in the Alcohol and Drug Department at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.” – Albert Brown, MA, Marriage & Family Therapy and Clinical & Mental Health Counseling, 2012

 

“I am the owner of Beacon Therapy Associates, a group private practice in Champlin, MN. I have more than 23 years of experience working with families, children, adolescents, and adults…I am a Clinical Member of the Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and the American Psychotherapy Association. I am an Approved Supervisor for the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy, Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy, and an Approved Supervisor for AAMFT. I hold a Master of Science degree with honors in Human Development: Family & Child Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology: Human Relations from the University of Central Oklahoma. Additional graduate studies for my LMFT license was obtained at Adler Graduate School in Richfield, MN…” – Shelly Davenport, MA, MS, LMFT, BCPC, Marriage & Family License, 2000

 

“I work for Dr. Hal Baumchen at Northland Counseling; this is my eighth year. Whenever I can, I travel overseas to give marriage and parenting seminars in Jamaica, Rwanda, Thailand, and other places. It usually works out to twice a year. The rest of the time I keep busy mentoring young people and spending time with my 7 grandchildren. I'm really thankful for the education I received at Adler because it's so practical!” – Cynthia Gill, MA, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapy, 2006

 

“I have worked at Pathways Counseling Center in St. Paul MN, as a problem gambling therapist since 2004 along with working as an AMHRS (Adult Mental Health Rehabilitation Services) with the SPMI (Serious and Persistent Mentally Ill) population. I have worked with Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance since 2013 as an outreach worker, trainer, and prevention specialist. I have spoken throughout the state to multiple groups, both staff and clients, about the dangers of problem gambling to people in recovery, the trauma of addiction, and focusing on healthy relapse prevention strategies.” — John Von Eschen, MA, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapy

 

“…I began my journey at Adler Graduate School in 2005. I had always wanted to be a School Counselor because when I was in high school I would not have graduated if it were not for a certain special School Counselor. I was a high school dropout and a youth at high risk of going nowhere in life. A school counselor and a special alternative high school accepted me and encouraged me to stay on track so that I could graduate. From that time in 1981, I knew that learning and education were always going to be my healing and path. I was 40 years old…a scared and intimidated 40-year-old woman who had not been in college for at least 12 years... That day, the first day, at Adler Graduate School I felt courage and belonging. I felt so empowered with that courage and belonging I went on for another 10 years at Adler Graduate School. I earned a Master’s of Arts in Adlerian Psychotherapy and Counseling.  I became a Licensed School Counselor. I returned for the Marriage and Family Therapy program and became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. And I returned for the Co-Occurring Disorders program and became a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor. I currently work for People Incorporated in the School Linked Program as a Mental Health Therapist and I am pursuing a private practice.” – Debra Landwehr, MA, LMFT, LADC, School Counseling, 2010, & Co-Occurring Disorders Certificate, 2016

 

“As a 2012 Adler graduate, I completed a Master's Project that blended the Adlerian concept of Social Interest with understanding the particular needs of Mixed Race people struggling with identity and belonging. For the first five years of my post-graduate career, I worked in community agencies that provided culturally-specific programming, first at African American Family Services, followed by a fellowship with Reclaim for LGBTQ+ Youth, and finally at Pangea Care (which focused on immigrants and refugees). I received invaluable experience, supervision, and mentorship during in these years, working in a variety of clinical, administrative, and leadership/supervisory positions. I have a trauma specialty which includes training in EMDR, Adaptive Internal Relational (AIR) Network Model, and TF-CBT. I provide trauma-informed therapy with a focus on clients of Mixed Race and Trans-racial Adoptees, and try my best to provide safe space specifically for QTPOC.” – Lola Osunkoya, MA, LPCC, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 2012

 

“I completed my studies at Adler Graduate School from both the Art Therapy and the Marriage and Family Therapy programs.  Since then, I have been working with children, adolescents, and adults with ASD and ADHD, their parents, and their siblings. My passion for my work is informed by my training and experiences as an artist, in art education, in mental health, and as the parent of a beautiful child with this unique way of experiencing the world.” – Jocelyn Thoemke, Med, MA, LMFT, ATR, Art Therapy, 2012, Marriage & Family Therapy, 2012

 

At Adler Graduate School, we love to see our graduates in action. Alumni testimonies inspire 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.

Each year the Adler Graduate School’s Social Interest in Action Committee takes our vision statement— transforming society through social interest in action – to heart. This year, our committee selected our Field Experience Partner, Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health & Well-Being.

Lee Carlson supports various mental health populations in our Minnesota community including adults with SPMI, children and adolescents in various school settings, outpatient clinics, and community centers.  We have past graduates who are now current professionals working for Lee Carlson Center in various capacities. Additionally, we have current students working on obtaining field experience hours at their organization. 

We were honored to have collected specific donations on the participants wish list as well as monetary donations in the form of gift cards. We want to thank our Adler community for the kind generosity and support toward a wonderful mental health organization within our local community.  

Brittney Keating, a recent school counseling graduate student, entered Adler Graduate School (AGS) without much knowledge of Adlerian psychology. She googled graduate schools in Minnesota, talked with respected friends and family and fell in love with Adlerian psychology after her first class at AGS: 511 Foundations of Adlerian Psychology.

From the useful learning tools acquired in class discussions to the influential instructors teaching classes from their experiences, Brittney found Adler to be refreshing and relevant. She built a cohort of classmates that became lasting friendships. This sense of belonging only furthered as she continued into her internship.

Brittney was personally selected from her program to join the Adler School Counseling Service Center (SCSC), created by Doug Pelcak – Coordinator of School Counseling Internships and Service Center. The program partners with charter schools k-2, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. The goal of the SCSC is to collaborate with schools to create comprehensive school counseling programs, impact systems, and address the needs of school counselors and underserved school communities by providing education and consultation to increase the quality and access of SC services.

Brittney spends her days working with kids to provide support and understanding: describing what it means to be a good family member, friend, and student both 1-1 and in small group settings. She helps build a foundation of developmental social and emotional learning skills.

“Doug set a good base for school counseling in this program. I get to work with students in a way I believe in, which I learned from Adler, with a supportive staff that believes in the school.” In the last year, Brittney has been hired on with her intern charter school. She has developed anti-drug programs and is currently working with an Adler Graduate School art therapy student to bring in art programs to help students come together as a group. “I love that I get to help bring a counseling program with Adlerian base to schools in need: helping form a community and school culture.”

At Adler Graduate School, we love to see our graduates in action. Brittney’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.

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