Alumna Learns Trauma to Open New Center

Marion Bean Moreland, a 2019 Master's in Counseling graduate, is still taking the necessary steps to become a high value professional. Recently, she participated in a training offered by Divine Mercy University's (DMU) Center for Trauma and Resiliency Studies. We caught up with her to learn about her work experience and skills gained during training.

Tell us a little about yourself and where you have been working since graduating DMU?

After graduation, I began working at a community mental health clinic where there was a variety of needs but the greatest was in the area of addiction. I was leading groups in a crisis unit where people were detoxing from various substances and providing individual counseling at two different locations. In April, I transitioned to private practice at Appalachian Life Enrichment Counseling Center (APLECC) where I am fortunate to be working with an incredible team and unique clients.

Despite this transition happening in the early stages of COVID-19, I have built a full-client load. This has been a life-giving transition and I feel like I am beginning to solidify my professional identity. I have continued my work with Green Cross Academy of Traumatology (GCAT) including availability for deployments and chairing our first conference to be held on DMU's campus from September 9-11, 2021.

Do you use EMDR often? What kinds of things is this technique helpful for?

While working at the community mental health center, I utilized Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for resource development either through calm places, containers for the feelings that are too much in the moment, and discovering characteristics of strength that lie within themselves. Many of my clients were in the early stages of sobriety and were not ready to begin processing trauma. Instead, I utilized some of the work Laura Parnell teaches in Rewiring the Addicted Brain which uses the bi-lateral stimulation of EMDR to connect the consequences of usage to the amygdala addiction response. Now that I am in private practice and my clientele is more varied, I am using EMDR more frequently, though doing so remotely has added a new level of complexity to the protocols.

How do you envision the impact of trauma training on service to the community?

I am amazed at the resilience of the people of West Virginia. This community suffers in so many ways, leading the nation in opioid addiction, grandparents raising their grandchildren, unemployment and other economic distresses but there are so many people wanting to change the patterns of the past. My trauma training enables me to help open the Appalachian Trauma and Resiliency Center. This center will work as a non-profit organization and an adjunct to APLECC in providing training, counseling, advocacy, and support in the areas of trauma, crisis intervention, and disaster mental health for frontline workers, first responders, military, survivors, and other mental health colleagues.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I remember at my first residency when Dr. Benjamin Keyes, Director for Center for Trauma and Resiliency Studies, asked me to look forward to five years and imagine where I wanted to be professionally and then to look back at the steps I would need to take to get there. At that time, I had no idea what GCAT was, but I knew I wanted to work with first responders, focus on trauma, and that I needed to graduate. Starting grad school at 50 seemed a bit crazy, but here I am at 54; I'm seeing my imagination become a reality and experiencing so much more than I could have imagined. It's hard work and at times exhausting, but it is worth it!

Learn more about the Center for Trauma and Resiliency Studies.

Teacher Fulfills Craving for Catholic Psychology

Oftentimes in life, people search endlessly for their purpose and how to excel in their career. These searches can be done through online research, by asking friends and family for guidance, or it can occur during unexpected moments of discovery. For Carol Cole, a Spring 2019 graduate of Divine Mercy University, a radio announcement exposed her to the online Master’s in Psychology degree that would change her life. In a brief phone interview, Carol shared what compelled her to further her education, which not only helped her gain a deeper affection for humanity, but also strengthened her teaching abilities to spread knowledge to others. How did you gain interest in the online Master’s in Psychology program?  I have a college degree from the University of Michigan in psychology, but I went into healthcare to become a respiratory therapist. Afterward, I taught a couple of general psychology classes for instructors who went on to sabbatical but I needed more knowledge.  Everything at Divine Mercy University (DMU) is structured in a way that you feel its teachings are very integrated with the faith. That was something I loved about the program, especially in terms of the Catholic-Christian Meta-Model. I feel so much more prepared to teach psychology. Even though all the classes were based in Christianity and Catholicism, I feel that the tool that DMU gave me was the ability to take what I learned in the classroom to become a better teacher. Since graduating in May, I now plan to teach developmental psychology to nursing, physical therapy and respiratory therapy students at Ohlone Community College in Northern California. I feel capable of doing a much better job and being able to apply our principles of the faith to weave them into the psychology curriculum that I will teach.  What was the biggest lesson you learned while studying at Divine Mercy University?  I learned how important my faith is to me and how the study of psychology, interwoven with faith, makes your experience as a Catholic so much more meaningful. I feel like I have a deeper caring for the human person since studying at DMU. I think the material and interaction with other students, through online postings, were beneficial. When you aren’t face to face [in a classroom setting], you are putting out thoughts that are your deepest thoughts because you feel like people won’t critique you automatically. I feel like that kind of communication was so valuable. It was so beautiful and then to meet everyone at the end was fabulous as well.  What was the topic of your capstone?  My capstone was on “Spiritual Intimacy in Marriage.” I really feel that some Catholic married couples don’t necessarily grow together in their faith all that well. I put together a program that can be presented to a local parish that includes seminars to help couples grow in spiritual intimacy.  What was the best resource at DMU that helped you succeed?  I think it was the caring and concerned attitude of the instructors; you could tell it was coming from deep personal beliefs in Christ Jesus. You could tell that they really want you to focus on your faith in the psychology classes and that doesn't exist when you attend a secular university. I felt like God was walking alongside them from the way that they would respond. I have a good basis because I can compare what I felt from the other programs and classes I’ve taken and how they relate to the instructors at Divine Mercy University.  Every day since graduation, I think about how I relate to people and how I’m excited to create lesson plans that incorporate the principles I learned into the classes that I teach. This degree has changed me as a person. I always thought it was a divine thought because I had never heard about this program until I heard it on the radio. I had a craving in my heart to study psychology from a Catholic vantage point, but I really didn’t know where to look. I really think there are a lot of people who can benefit from it as I have. It has been an amazing part of my life. My parents even said that they’ve never been to a more beautiful graduation. Sign up today to learn more about the online Master’s in Psychology degree.

What Makes a Good Counselor?

Have you ever thought about a career in counseling? Are you concerned whether or not a counseling degree will help you find a job that would “be worth it”? If so, below are just a handful of job titles you could earn with a degree in counseling:
  • Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Addictions Counselor
  • Career Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Counselor
But degree and employment opportunities aside, what makes a good counselor?
They are licensed to practice Being licensed certifies that you meet the standards of the profession of counseling and are legally recognized to practice clinically, and gives both you and your clients a standard of care. It also allows you to show the caliber of your qualifications and makes you eligible to accept a potential client’s insurance, as well as legally securing your client’s privacy. (A violation of patient privacy results in potential job loss or other legal repercussions). But most importantly, it keeps you and your clients safe and responsible. They are put through rigorous training A Clinical Mental Health Counselor is a highly trained professional who can understand, identify, evaluate and treat various problems, both mentally or emotionally, that impact different areas of personal life. Counselors receive education in the fundamental aspects of the person: personality, family, society, culture, and aging, as well as specific problems that could arise like addictions, school or work related issues, depression/stress/anxiety, relationship struggles, acclimating to a life changing event and much more. Clinical Counselors are trained to evaluate and interpret diagnostic test results and create a comprehensive plan to address their clients’ particular needs. They can get very specific Upon graduation and licensure, Clinical Counselors can decide to specialize in an area they feel best suits their talents, knowledge and passion. There is a plethora of opportunities for clinicians who don’t specialize in a particular area, but many do specialize in child or adolescent counseling, marriage and family counseling, addictions counseling, or trauma counseling with specialization in therapeutic interventions like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR). All the work pays off It's good to know that all of the trained and specialized services a counselor offers is helping the world move in a better direction, one individual at a time. It's also good to know it literally pays off too. According to recent polls done by ZipRecruiter, the average salary in the United States for a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) is $64,623 a year. That's above the current national salary average for working adults. This means that most LPC positions fall between $45,500 and $71,500 a year, which doesn’t include salaries for counselors who have a specialty or start a private practice. They help in a way that few can The demand for well-qualified counselors and experts in mental health is reaching an all time high. As a licensed clinical mental health counselor, you're trained and certified to accompany people on their journey to healing and transformation. You are able to assist them in working through whatever concern brought them to you, and helping them to learn the tools to take life in a new and healthier direction. If this seems like a career that could be your passion, go to Divine Mercy University’s website and look at the online M.S. in Counseling degree we offer. DMU takes a holistic approach to the person, knowing that each of us has a unique dignity, freedom and soul as well as mind, heart and body. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us online or call us at (703) 416-1441.
About DMU
Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic graduate university of psychology and counseling programs. It was founded in 1999 as the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. The university offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology, Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling, Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology, and Certificate Programs.