Clinical Staff

Nathan Booth, PhD, University of South Alabama

Licensed Psychologist

Theoretical Orientation:

Though I am an integrative therapist and tailor my approach to the needs of individual clients, my “home base” for conceptualization and treatment is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I believe that painful thoughts and emotions play important roles in clients’ presenting concerns and collaboratively work with them to change how they understand and relate to these experiences while also identifying and engaging in values-based behaviors. That said, I believe that there are many different pathways to achieving these aims and frequently utilize facets of cognitive behavioral therapy, schema therapy, and emotion-focused therapy. At the core of my work is the therapeutic alliance. I seek to establish the safe environment for clients that I believe is necessary for self-exploration and change by conveying genuineness, empathy, and unconditional positive regard.

Clinical Areas:

I have been trained as a generalist through my prior work in college counseling centers. Indeed, I enjoy treating a wide range of presenting issues, particularly concerns related to anxiety, identity, relationships, and trauma. One specific clinical interest is working with men and issues related to masculinities, which is also a research interest. Additionally, I enjoy working with clients who are interested in including issues related to religion and spirituality in treatment. One overarching principle in my clinical work is the importance of assessment in diagnosis and monitoring/evaluating progress and outcomes. Outside of individual therapy, I have experience and interest in both mindfulness-based and interpersonal process groups.

Supervision Style:

Like therapy, I believe that supervision is driven by a safe and supportive environment, which provides the security needed for exploration and growth. I also regard supervision as a collaborative process, in which the supervisee and I work together to identify our long-term and short-term goals and provide ongoing feedback to one another. I take a developmental approach to my work with supervisees, meeting them where they are in terms of their experience and needs. Consistent with Bernard’s Discrimination Model, I view my roles as being a counselor, consultant, and teacher and aim to include intervention skills, conceptualization, and the supervisee’s own individual experiences into our work.

Bio:

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our Boykin Spaniel Truman and Beagle-Terrier mix Lady. I enjoy being active, especially working out, running, kayaking, and hiking. I am a huge sports fan—particularly of my beloved New Orleans Saints—and closely follow college football, college baseball, and the NBA. I also enjoy “nerding out” with a good history book or documentary. Finally, I am a big music fan and am always looking for the next concert to attend.

Chuck Burgess, PhD, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Licensed Psychologist

Theoretical Orientation:

My “home base” theories for working with clients are Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). My clinical work and conceptualizations are also informed by the biopsychosocial model of health and wellbeing, which incorporates considerations for intersectionality between client identities, multicultural backgrounds, and developmental factors. I conceptualize clients’ presenting concerns as a complex set of interactions between biological, psychological, relational, and socio-cultural factors. I strive to be attentive to the systemic influences that impact clients’ functioning, and as such I frequently incorporate principles of Relational-Cultural Theory and Interpersonal Psychotherapy into my work with clients. I see the therapeutic relationship as a fundamentally collaborative one, where growth and development are encouraged by giving clients space to become more aware and accepting of their reactions, identify potentially unhelpful patterns of thought and behavior, and develop ways of moving forward in their lives in a meaningful and consistent way.

Client Areas:

I have a broad generalist training for addressing a wide variety of client presentations and have worked in various settings including university counseling centers, primary care medical centers, and neuropsychological assessment clinics. My areas of special interest include masculine identity development, phase of life concerns, emotion regulation, and social anxiety. My training background in Clinical Health Psychology also informs my work with clients whose symptoms may be influenced by physiological processes or those who may be struggling to cope with a chronic illness or major medical diagnosis. I also enjoy working in group modalities, including interpersonal process groups, structured group interventions (such as CBGT), and didactic workshops.

Supervision Style:

My approach to supervision is primarily developmental. I strive to find a fit between the focus of supervision and the trainee’s level of experience, comfort, and current training goals. For trainees who are earlier in their careers or who are focused on learning a new skill set, supervision activities may include viewing session recordings, role playing, and direct feedback and discussion. For more advanced trainees, supervision activities would likely focus on honing and refining specific intervention skills, processing reactions to clients, and attending to issues of intersectionality between the various identities of trainees, their clients, and their supervisor. I am also interested in helping clinicians at all training levels develop their own professional identities and grow in their ability to trust themselves and their clinical judgement. As in therapeutic relationships, common factors are foundational for the work of supervision to be effective. I believe that mutual trust, empathy, and genuineness in the supervisory relationship are necessary to allow for trainees to challenge themselves appropriately as they grow in their mastery of clinical practice.

Bio:

Outside of the therapy room, I enjoy spending my free time cooking, playing board games, going to concerts, and getting out into nature. I grew up in Florida and love being on the water in any capacity, whether it’s surfing, sailing, or boating whenever time allows. My wife and I are the proud parents of an elderly cat named Mow Mow who enjoys wandering outside in the garden, getting brushed, and reminding us to feed her.

Kim Daniels, PhD, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Licensed Psychologist

Theoretical Orientation:

I integrate a number of approaches into my theoretical orientation, but my theoretical “home” is in psychodynamic theory. Most of my training was in interpersonal theories and object relations, and I still draw heavily upon those theories. I believe we develop both our sense of self and our interpersonal templates in the context of relationships. As you might imagine, I believe our early experiences of attachment in our family of origin are pivotal in our development; however, I also believe our relationships with peers and members of our wider community shape who we become and how we respond to the stresses encountered over the lifespan. When I am working with clients, I try to understand them and their presenting concerns within a larger sociocultural context. I am very interested in identifying client strengths and coping strategies and building upon those strengths as we work together in a collaborative framework. In addition to psychodynamic theory, I have also been trained in Internal Family Systems, clinical hypnosis, and EMDR and integrate all into my work with clients.

Client Areas:

I consider myself to be a generalist. I am comfortable working with a wide range of presenting concerns but have particular interest and expertise in working with individuals struggling with body image issues, eating disorders and the aftereffects of trauma.

Supervision Style:

I use a developmental approach to supervision insofar as I try to meet my supervisee where he or she is and mutually develop specific training goals for our work together. Just as I focus in therapy on developing a strong therapeutic relationship, I believe it is essential to develop a strong collaborative supervisory relationship. Learning requires one to take risks, to stretch, and to be self-reflective, yet learning cannot occur if one does not feel safe. I enjoy spending time in supervision identifying and focusing upon my supervisee’s strengths as well as challenging her or him to grow. I am continually growing as a therapist and supervisor, and one of the exciting things about providing clinical supervision is that I get to learn from every new supervisee. I expect to share my experiences and clinical wisdom with supervisees as well as my mistakes. I enjoy using tape review as a learning tool, regardless of my supervisees’ experience level. With fairly novice trainees, tape review can be invaluable for developing strong basic skills, and with more advanced trainees, tape review can provide an excellent window into potential countertransference and process issues. I focus a lot in therapy on interpersonal process and bring this focus into supervision as well.

Bio:

I keep very busy outside of work spending time with my partner, three kids and animals (2 horses, an Australian Shepherd and 2 cats). My happiest times are spent in the outdoors hiking, horseback riding, swimming, water skiing and simply enjoying nature. While I’m usually on the go, I also love to read and enjoy theatre with my kids.

Christine Even, PhD, University of North Dakota

Director/Licensed Psychologist

Theoretical Orientation:

Though my theoretical orientation continues to evolve, I primarily conceptualize from a combination of psychodynamic (object relations) and interpersonal theories and practice within a Time Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy (TLDP) model. I believe that our early environments and relationships (often our families of origin) impact the way we relate to ourselves and others. I believe that corrective relationships, primarily first through the therapeutic relationship, and then with significant others in one’s life can alter destructive and maladaptive patterns. I use interpersonal interventions to process these relational interactions and promote healing. I also conceptualize within a multicultural framework as I truly believe that it is essential to consider cultural issues when conceptualizing any client. I integrate interventions from a variety of theories into my work with clients based on their individual needs, presenting issues, and cultural backgrounds.

Client Areas:

I was trained as a generalist and have worked in both community mental health as well as the university counseling center setting. I am comfortable working with a wide variety of client issues ranging from developmental issues (e.g., adjustment, identity development, etc.) to more severe psychopathology. My areas of special interest and expertise include career counseling, eating disorders, women’s issues, and trauma recovery, with a particular interest in working with individuals with a complex trauma background. I have also developed a passion for group therapy. I enjoy general process groups, graduate/non-traditional student groups, and women’s trauma and recovery groups.

Supervision Style:

Providing supervision and training is one of the things that pulled me toward college counseling center work and is one of my favorite aspects of my job. I approach supervision much like I approach therapy with my clients in that I work within a developmental model and attempt to be flexible and meet my supervisees wherever they are in terms of their training and developmental needs. I approach supervision from Bernard’s Discrimination Model in that I work to balance my role as supervisor, therapist, and consultant as developmentally appropriate. I also acknowledge that supervision is not only a time for growing as a professional but is also an opportune time for individual growth and integrating the personal and professional identity. I look forward to supporting interns through their many endeavors, including completing the dissertation, exploring professional interests, job search, professional identity development, further developing therapy skills, and balancing one’s personal and professional life. I work in supervision to provide a relaxed and supportive environment that is conducive to doing this. I also believe that challenge is a necessary component of supervision and hope that through challenge, my supervisees can come to a better understanding of themselves as well as their work with their clients. I also value differing perspectives and enjoy working with supervisees with different theoretical orientations as I always have room to grow and evolve myself.

Bio:

On a more personal note, there is no place I would rather be than on the water with my family and friends. I greatly enjoy camping, fishing, kayaking, boating, and playing in the water with my two wonderful children. When we aren’t on the water, we are cheering on the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. Yes, even during the bad years. I also enjoy cooking and consider myself quite the chef. I love participating in our annual soup competition, bake off, and multicultural potluck.

Russ Jackson, PhD, Brigham Young University

Licensed Psychologist

Theoretical Orientation:

My theoretical orientation is a relational/existential integration, with a trauma-informed lens and an emphasis on attachment. My process-oriented work, creativity, authenticity, empathy, ability to quickly foster a connected, culturally sensitive space, and use of humor define me as a clinician. I value clients’ worldviews as I help them explore and resolve complex issues in their lives. I explore how various factors (e.g., social, racial, gender, religious/spiritual, sexual orientation) may impact our worldviews, the therapeutic alliance, and clients’ well-being. I am driven by my sincere compassion for clients and my endeavor to remain culturally humble. This has resulted in diverse clients holding a many identities telling me that therapy feels “real,” safe, and trusting. I feel genuinely privileged when clients allow me to join them in their journey, explore their difficulties with them, and work together to find ways to help them feel better and capable of tackling and resolving the challenges they face. With my existential bent, I deeply value trying to see the world through my clients’ eyes and adapting my style accordingly to help them in a culturally sensitive way.

Clinical Areas:

I was trained as a generalist and would say I’ve worked with clients struggling with any number of mental health issues that are common at university counseling centers, including depression, anxiety, suicidality, academic and social distress, identity and multicultural issues, and so on. That said, I have two particular areas of clinical expertise. The first is trauma recovery, whether the trauma was relational, physical, sexual, or complex. In working with trauma survivors, I tap into the relational, somatic, and neurological aspects of recovery. I find trauma recovery work to be some of the most difficult and painful work to engage in, and some of the sweetest and most fulfilling. Another area of expertise is at the intersection of existential/spiritual and other identities. I have worked extensively with clients on faith crises, issues of when one’s spiritual identity conflicts with another identity, as well as issues of atheist/agnostic clients facing religious discrimination. I have worked with people who identify as Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Hindu, and others, and have successfully integrated clients’ spirituality into effective therapy outcomes.

Supervision Style:

I love supervision! My supervisory style feels like my therapeutic orientation. In supervision, I focus a lot of energy attending to the relational aspects of therapy and supervision and developing multicultural awareness, sensitivity, and competence. I facilitate an open, authentic space where supervisees and I can examine our respective worldviews, perspectives, and biases, explore how those views impact our work and supervisory relationship, and find ways to effectively meet client needs. I love talking about things supervisees are doing well and then emphasizing those pieces. As well, I value exploring supervisees’ difficulties and struggles, whether in client sessions, the supervisory relationship, or other parts of their life that impact their professional life and identity. I want supervisees to know that it is okay to succeed, struggle, and trust themselves in the growing process. Accordingly, I try to be open in supervision and share some of my own struggles and successes when appropriate. Finally, I view supervision as a developmental process, and I adapt my style and feedback to the unique needs of each supervisee.

Bio:

Outside of work, despite my authentically outgoing professional identity, I’m surprisingly introverted. A lot of my favorite things to do in my free time are pretty low-key: baking cakes, finding and trying new cooking recipes (especially from other cultures and nations), reading, building Lego with my six kids, playing cards with my spouse, writing, and sitting around trying to think of jokes that I think are hilarious that my kids are polite enough to smile at. I also love being outdoors. Riding my bike, hiking, exploring, laying in a hammock in the shade, watching the sun set, you name it!

Michael Kaplan, MSW, University of Missouri

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Theoretical Orientation:

My approach to therapy has evolved and continues to expand. My social work training stressed the importance of seeing individuals in all their roles and identities, and to avoid broad labeling or pathologizing. After becoming licensed, I taught a graduate course on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for more than 10 years, and I considered this my primary theoretical orientation. The connection among thoughts, beliefs, feelings and behaviors is essential, and CBT remains the prime example of evidence-based treatment. My early work also included training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and I continue to incorporate this skills-based approach, along with its emphasis on mindfulness and acceptance. In balancing skills with the therapeutic relationship, I’ve made a more focused effort to use elements of person-centered theory in recent years. Finally, existential theory and the writings of Irvin Yalom have also influenced my approach

Clinical Areas:

I enjoy working with people from diverse backgrounds and find great satisfaction in helping others reduce suffering and move toward their goals. My background includes work with children as young as 10 and elders approaching 80. For several years at the start of my career I worked in a community mental health setting with people with severe and persistent mental illness, including individuals diagnosed with personality disorders. This gave me an appreciation for the multitude of personal and environmental problems these clients encounter. I also operated a private practice for over a decade, while working part-time at the MU Counseling Center. I’ve had the opportunity to address a wide range of areas including relationships, trauma and self-compassion. As a generalist I have no single area of focus, though anxiety-related problems seem to be at the root of so much of my work.

Supervision Style:

Since starting full time at the Counseling Center, I’ve provided clinical supervision for our Graduate Assistants. In the past, I provided licensure supervision for a master’s-level social worker, and clinical supervision for an MSW student. My style is supportive and collaborative. I seek to affirm my supervisees’ efforts, while offering practical suggestions as needed. My process includes viewing recordings, providing feedback, and having my supervisees reflect on matters both specific and big-picture. I recognize that my role is not to turn my supervisee into another version of myself, but rather to help them discover and become the clinician that best suits them. I appreciate participating in the growth of others, and I take this role very seriously.

Bio:

Much of my childhood was spent listening to records in my family basement. Having recently purchased a turntable, I now seem to be re-living my youth! I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and I continue to value all types of reporting. When not listening to music or leafing through the newspaper, I enjoy spending time with my family. I’m considered the cook of the house, and family mealtime is often my favorite part of the day. My favorite places in Columbia are the MKT Trail, Ragtag Cinema and Main Squeeze Natural Foods Café. I’m also a big fan of the We Always Swing Jazz Series, which brings top-level musicians to our town and providers jazz education in schools. Finally, my son has helped me discover many new joys, including the fun of disc golf!

Jenny Lybeck-Brown, PhD, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Licensed Psychologist/Associate Director/Training Director

Theoretical Orientation:

I conceptualize clients using a combination of psychodynamic (object relations) and interpersonal theories. I believe that the way that people currently relate to themselves and others is largely impacted by their early environments, often through relationships in their families of origin. In the same way that relationships can often be destructive, I believe that safe, corrective relationships with a therapist and eventually with significant others gives clients an opportunity to relearn things about themselves and the world. I use interpersonal interventions to process these relational interactions and promote healing. I am also guided by a strong multicultural framework and believe that it is essential to consider issues of culture, oppression, etc. when thinking about any client. Cultural factors are a large part of who we are as individuals and impact everything from clients’ presenting problems to their coping strategies. Although I primarily conceptualize from a psychodynamic/interpersonal perspective, I integrate interventions from a variety of theories into my work with clients based on their level of readiness for therapy, presenting issues, and cultural backgrounds. My interest in being flexible in my interventions has led me to have an interest in alternative or creative interventions, such as art therapy, imagery work, EMDR, etc.

Clinical Areas:

I was trained as a generalist, and I am comfortable working with a wide variety of client issues ranging from normal developmental issues (e.g., adjustment, identity development, etc.) to more severe psychopathology. My areas of special interest and expertise include eating disorders, women’s issues, and trauma recovery, with particular interest in working with sexual assault and abuse survivors. I am also interested in issues of vicarious trauma of therapists and therapists in training who work with trauma survivors. I have received quite a bit of training in career counseling, and this is something that I enjoy when I have the opportunity to work with a client on these issues. I also like working in a group modality, particularly in groups with an interpersonal process focus.

Supervision Style:

My supervision style is developmental in that I conceptualize each supervisee in terms of where they are in terms of therapist development and try to tailor my style and “interventions” to complement this level of development. Similar to clinical work, I believe that developing a strong working relationship based on safety and trust is the foundation of work in supervision. I tend to be fairly process-oriented in supervision and find it important to focus on the interactions between the supervisee and their clients, as well as looking at the relationship between myself and the supervisee. This work frequently highlights the supervisee’s reactions to clients and own issues that impact clinical work. I think that a good deal of support and encouragement is important for all trainees, and I emphasize the strengths that each therapist brings (and encourage trainees to recognize their own strengths). I also believe that it is important to receive challenge in supervision, and I try to provide direct, constructive feedback throughout the course of supervision (I don’t like evaluations to be a surprise). I don’t like to “micromanage” my supervisees, and I appreciate when supervisees attend carefully to the details of their work (e.g., writing careful, timely notes) so that supervision time can be spent having in depth discussions of clinical work. I am also open to discussing professional issues in supervision, such as dissertation progress, balancing work and family, and job search, as these are important aspects of one’s development as a professional and an overall balanced individual. As training director, I do not provide individual supervision to the interns, though they do get to know me as a supervisor through the supervision of supervision seminar.

Bio:

On a personal level, my “other” full-time job is being a mom to two wonderful kids. Our family enjoys staying active with outdoor activities of all types, playing board games (stand back, I’m pretty competitive!), attending theater events, and watching sports together. Lately, much of my time has been dedicated to providing taxi service for and attending numerous kids’ sporting and extra-curricular activities.  We also have two dogs, a very sweet goldendoodle, Penelope Pickle and her ornery little sister, Lola Lemondrop (golden retriever) who take me for frequent walks and help me easily meet my Fitbit goals. Though I don’t have a lot of “me time,” I am an avid fiction reader and am always looking for new book suggestions. I feel most at peace when I am in the sun and near the ocean and hope to live a bit nearer to a coast when I retire someday.

Anne Meyer, PhD, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Licensed Psychologist

Theoretical Orientation:

Although I feel one’s theoretical orientation continues to be refined as we continue to grow as clinicians, I actively integrate interpersonal, CBT, and emotion-focused therapy, while examining the world from a feminist/multicultural lens. I believe that individuals are impacted by their relationships and cultural context, and while my emphasis frequently examines the impact of current relationships and experiences one has, it is often important to consider early attachment and dynamics of their family of origin in this process. I highly value the use of self to influence client change by focusing on the “here and now” process that occurs in the therapeutic relationship. Using schema work, I help clients consider their understanding of relationships and the attributions they make about events in their lives. I believe in examining the sociocultural factors impacting clients, being very genuine in my work including use of humor, being flexible with my interventions to meet clients where they are, and actively working to empower clients to increase change.

Clinical Areas:

I have been trained in a generalist tradition and have worked in many settings prior to my tenure at MU. However, my true passion lies in serving the college student population and it is where I have found I feel most at home. I am excited by the unique developmental challenges/growth areas that are inherent to our clients. I have specialized in working with trauma survivors, particularly childhood sexual abuse and survivors of interpersonal violence or sexual assault. It is my work with these clients that I probably find most rewarding. I also have significant experience working with clients experiencing suicidal ideation and Cluster B diagnoses or traits.

Supervision Style:

Being able to provide training also drew me to work in a university counseling center setting. I love helping supervisees grow – clinically, professional, and personally. Not surprisingly, my supervisory style in many ways mirrors my theoretical orientation. I strive to meet my supervisees where they are developmentally but also value interns as “soon to be colleagues.” I enjoy supervisees who are willing to take risks and be open to the growth that occurs during internship year, but I recognize this cannot occur without a sense of safety. I actively work to develop trust within supervision so my supervisees feel they can “spread their wings” and still feel safe. This includes trusting our relationship with my goal being that interns feel comfortable enough to challenge me and openly process our relationship when needed. I find it important to highlight the strengths that interns bring to their work yet also examine the areas they can grow. A common growth area I focus on with interns includes being able to articulate their theoretical orientation and increase the purposefulness of their interventions with clients.

Bio:

If you like sarcasm and humor, please come by my office any time! I really enjoy my down time, whether it’s spending time with family, friends, or my playful pair of cats. I’m always up for learning a new recipe and enjoy traveling especially when I can experience different cultures.

Adrionia Molder, PhD, West Virginia University

Licensed Psychologist

Theoretical Orientation:

My theoretical orientation is primarily an integration of feminist multicultural theory and humanistic theory. I conceptualize many aspects of psychopathology to be a byproduct of disempowerment and oppression that is inherent in a system of inequality. Therefore, my primary goal of therapy is to empower clients by providing a holistic and strength-based approach that facilitates life-long growth. I believe that therapy can serve as an impetus for much-needed change and encourage clients to embrace their true self in order to lead a fulfilling life. As such, I strive to create a therapeutic space characterized by unconditional positive regard, empathy, and genuineness. In addition to fostering self-exploration and self-acceptance, I also assist clients with practicing and implementing coping skills that can be used even after therapy has concluded. Although I integrate feminist multicultural and humanistic theory, I also draw from other therapeutic approaches, including acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and interpersonal therapy, to provide holistic care and accommodate the unique needs of clients.

Clinical Areas:

I was trained as a generalist and have worked in university counseling center and hospital settings. As such, I have experience and am comfortable working with a broad range of presenting concerns of varying severity levels. I am also knowledgeable about the impact of diversity on presenting concerns and enjoy working with clients from different multicultural backgrounds. My areas of special interest include women’s issues, body image concerns, disordered eating, first generation college student’s issues, and poverty. In addition, I have a passion for group therapy, especially interpersonal process groups and psychoeducation groups.

Supervision Styles:

Supervision is a valuable and rewarding training experience that I consider one of the most important services that I can provide as a psychologist. As such, I prioritize supervision with the goal of facilitating the growth and development of supervisees by providing supervision heavily based in feminist multicultural and humanistic theory. I believe that growth and development can only be achieved in a supervisory relationship characterized by unconditional positive regard, empathy, and genuineness. I strive to create a safe and positive supervision experience exemplified by a balance of support and challenge. In my effort to create an egalitarian supervisory relationship, I also encourage supervisees to take an active part in evaluating their own clinical work and the overall supervisory experience. Furthermore, I believe that culture, including a system of privilege and oppression, plays a role in the supervision experience; therefore, I encourage active exploration of diversity and multiculturalism in supervision.

Bio:

When I am not in the counseling center, I am most likely spending time with my partner and my dogs, Charlie and Macy. I am a runner, and I enjoy exploring trails and public parks in Columbia with the goal of training for various races (wish me luck!). In my spare time, I love playing MMORPGs with friends and family. I am also beginning to find the joy of reading for pleasure again.

M. Ashton Phillips-Benesh, PhD, University of Mississippi

Licensed Psychologist/Referral Coordinator

Theoretical Orientation:

Although I have experience using different therapeutic techniques, I conceptualize using Behaviorist and ACT theories. I believe that cognitions are an important, but unobservable part of human behavior, and that working on changing behaviors (grounded in a person’s individual values) is an effective way of increasing someone’s quality of life and sense of purpose. This does not mean I ignore cognitions, but the focus is different – for example, there is more emphasis on giving thoughts less power, rather than changing thoughts or trying to make them disappear. I focus much of my time in therapy noticing (and sometimes discussing) whether a behavior is moving a person towards something (e.g., a value) or moving them away from something (e.g., anxiety), with the goal being that in general the person is engaging in behaviors that allow them to move towards what they value, rather than feeling they have to spend all their time and energy moving away from what makes them uncomfortable.

Client Areas:

I was trained as a generalist and have worked in a variety of settings, including Community Mental Health, VA Health Care settings, and now in a University Counseling Center. I am particularly interested in working with anxiety disorders, especially Panic Disorder and Social Anxiety; PTSD; and Depressive Disorders. I have completed formal, 6-month long trainings in Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD. I have some experience with and hope to continue to expand my training in behavioral health, such as chronic pain. I enjoy working in individual as well as group settings. In addition, I feel that psychologists have an important role outside of the therapy room, and participating in outreach and education are a necessary and enjoyable aspect of my job.

Supervision Style:

One of my favorite aspects of being a psychologist is supervision. I approach supervision using the developmental model, letting the supervisee’s training, experience, and comfort level guide me. For someone who may be new to the process, role playing, recorded sessions, live observation (when possible), and more immediate feedback and discussion are available. For more advanced trainees, supervision can be more focused on particular areas of struggle or surprising experiences in the therapy room. I believe one of the most important aspects of supervision is that it is in a safe, encouraging environment. I hope to create a space in which the trainee feels comfortable not only bringing questions of technique or theoretical orientation into the room, but also any questions or struggles with the interpersonal process that can arise during the therapy, including how identity and culture can intersect with therapy as well as supervision.  I also want the supervision room to be a place where professional development can be discussed, as this is so often intertwined with a trainee’s clinical development.

Bio:

In my free time I love reading – especially historical fiction and biographies, going to see plays, and exercise such as aerial yoga and weight training. My husband and I are always on the lookout for new fun restaurants or recipes to try. We currently have one cat, Thursday Next, named after the Jasper Fforde series.

Kerri Schafer, PhD, University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Licensed Psychologist/Outreach Events Coordinator

Theoretical Orientation:

I am an integrative therapist, primarily working from an interpersonal and psychodynamic framework. Theory aside, the therapy relationship is of primary importance as I believe many meaningful changes occur within a relational context. My goal is always to be authentic, transparent, safe, and trustworthy. Conceptually, I frequently draw from attachment theory to understand how we view ourselves, what we expect from others, and how we’ve learned to get needs met. I also want to understand the full context of a student’s life — how identities and identity-salient experiences intersect to create the strengths, struggles, and nuance of the person sitting with me. Insight is often an important part of my work, though experiential and emotional learning are primary. I also frequently utilize skills (i.e., for soothing, distress tolerance, emotional regulation), psychoeducation, and providing readings or other resources to empower students and help them experience symptom relief.

Client Areas:

I am a generalist and enjoy working with students with all sorts of experiences and goals. Some of my particular areas of expertise and passion including working with transgender and non-binary students, those experiencing poor body image and/or disordered eating, and those with concerns related to their family of origin.

Supervision Style:

My aim is to meet my supervisee wherever they are in their development as a clinician. The supervisory relationship is important to me (and to our work), so I aim to create an atmosphere of trust and transparency. I am a believer in the power of positive feedback and strive to give a lot of it, while also being honest about growth areas. My favorite supervision moments involve helping a supervisee tune in to their own reactions and wisdoms, assisting supervisees in recognizing and clarifying their therapeutic style, and identifying and finding ways to move through stuck places. Utilizing supervision for professional development is super important, and I am happy to have conversations about next steps, work/life balance, difficulties with systems, etc. I will end by saying I really appreciate the use of humor in supervision – if we can laugh together, we can get through pretty much anything!

Bio:

I am a true downtowner and spend plenty of my free time eating, shopping, and meandering around the area, preferably with some of my favorite people. The best times for this are during our local film festivals! I recently got my first adulthood dog, Bear, and am enjoying his adorableness and learning about dog behavior (but I’m a cat person too! Shout out to Chicken!). I also love plants, am a dedicated iced coffee drinker, and am finding my way back into reading for fun.

Beth Shoyer, PhD, University of Missouri

Licensed Psychologist/Assistant Clinical Director

Theoretical Orientation:

My theoretical orientation has evolved over time to find a home in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. I also believe that it is crucial to bring a multicultural lens which includes awareness of systemic issues and intersectionality of identities to client conceptualization and treatment. I believe we all engage in conditioned patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, formed by the interaction of biology, family, socio-cultural and other factors, that can define and confine our experience in ways that impact our ability to live a healthy life. I also believe that to fully engage in life we need to find our way back again and again to present moment experience. This includes awareness of thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations so that we can bring an embodied presence to the moments of our lives. For me, awareness is key to healing and living fully. With awareness we can step out of conditioned patterns, be choiceful about our responses, and shift our relationship to experience. Awareness of cognitive distortions as well as the stories we have about ourselves and our lives can help us let them go and see beyond the limitations they impose. This awareness work must be sensitive and respectful to the impacts of trauma, loss, and other factors that bring clients to therapy. I focus largely on the present but also work towards awareness of how patterns have developed including socio-cultural forces, family dynamics, other past experiences and physiological influences. We are survival-oriented beings so must take into account the impact of physiological systems that kick into gear in response to the perceived environment which can physical, psychological and systemic threat. Along with awareness, compassion is key and challenging for so many of us. I work with clients to develop a set of coping strategies that include self-compassion, self-care and cognitive/behavioral skills. If clients are interested, I am happy to incorporate mindfulness meditation in our work together.

Client Areas:

I have been trained as a generalist and work with a wide variety of client issues. I have particular interest in working with eating disorders/disordered eating, grief and loss, and stress related issues. I love and feel it is imperative to seek continuing education and have obtained extensive training in working with eating disorders and trauma sensitive mindfulness. More recently I have sought training in cultural competence/systemic racism and working with grief and loss. I have worked in a variety of settings including student health and wellness, private practice, and as the Clinical Director of an Eating Disorders Treatment Center.

Supervision Style:

One of my favorite things about my job is being able to supervise and I have been lucky to be able to supervise throughout my training and my career. As a graduate student, I was able to supervise multiple trainees, lead a supervision of supervision group, and co-lead a supervision practicum with the training director. These early experiences showed me how much I wanted to make this a solid part of my professional life. My love of supervision is partially selfish because I learn so much from each supervisee I work with. An important part of my approach is to allow each therapist to practice from their own theoretical orientation whether it is in my wheelhouse or not. Also, I want the supervision process to feel safe and challenging while at the same time help build the therapist’s trust in their own skills and abilities. So much of the time new therapists feel plagued by Imposter Syndrome and talking about this and other professional development issues is an important part of the supervision process. Being aware of our internal responses to our clients and the therapy process, which includes whatever personal experience we are bringing, is so important as grist for the mill in processing the experience of developing as a therapist and a professional. Supervision needs to be safe, collaborative, structured to some degree, and dependable. Like working with clients, supervision must also be culturally informed and include awareness of systemic issues and intersectionality. As the supervisor, it is my responsibility to not only provide culturally competent supervision but also continually acknowledge issues of power, authority, and relationship. I like going deep into client work and I will share what I think and strategies I might use. I also hope the supervision session will include laughter and an exploration of whatever emotions arise naturally.

Bio:

Being a mom has been a large part of my personal life and lately I have been adapting to both of my kids being away at school. They couldn’t be more different in their interests, one is in musical theater and the other computer science, and they have kept me on my toes. I love being outdoors and walking on the beach or hiking in the mountains are among my favorite things (along with ice cream).  Another important part of my life has been training in and teaching mindfulness meditation which has included going on meditation retreats and practicing interpersonal meditation with meditation friends. I am also creative and currently am very into quilling which is a way of using paper for design, “painting,” and even sculpting. I love it!

Chris Smith, PhD, Indiana State University

Licensed Psychologist/Graduate Assistant Coordinator

Theoretical Orientation:

My theoretical orientation is predominantly humanistic and in its present configuration incorporates client-centered and existential concepts to help facilitate an understanding of clinical issues. Within the framework of these theories, I incorporate cognitive behavioral approaches to facilitate understanding and growth. My approach is very holistic, and I strive to recognize and understand the developmental and socio-cultural factors that influence the individual’s view of self and their sense of themselves in the world. In helping individuals understand the socio-cultural factors that influence them I strive to empower them to make changes that they view as meaningful and helpful.

Clinical Areas:

I have worked in a variety of different clinical settings and consider myself to be a generalist in practice. Due to this I am comfortable working with a variety of concerns and developmental issues that range from common concerns to more severe psychopathology. My areas of special interest and expertise include multicultural and diversity issues and concerns, Men’s issues, issues faced by first generation college students, and social class concerns. I have also received significant training and clinical experience working with GLBTQA individuals. I am also deeply committed to group therapy and feel that group can provide very important learning and growth experiences for clients while also providing them with a great place to practice new skills.

Supervision Style:

I view supervision as an important, valuable, and rewarding part of my work as a psychologist. I approach supervision from a developmental perspective, and my supervision style incorporates the Discrimination model of supervision as outlined by Bernard and Goodyear (1992) with aspects from my humanistic theoretical orientation. I believe that supervision is co-created by the supervisor and supervisee and work with my supervisees to create an egalitarian relationship that encourages mutual feedback as well as openness to differing opinions and approaches. Within the context of supervision I strive to promote growth, openness to new challenges, learning, and very importantly self-care.

Bio:

I have been very fortunate to have found a career that I enjoy so much and that feeds my passion for learning and sharing with others. I am constantly in awe of the things I learn from trainees, clients, and coworkers. In my spare time, I particularly enjoy reading, relaxing with family and friends, and exercise. I find that a good sense of humor and an openness to new experiences has served me well, and I try to incorporate them both into my life as much as possible, with particular attention paid to laughing and joking. Whenever possible I like to travel and really enjoy experiencing new environments and seeing new cultures.

Angela Soth McNett, PhD, University of Missouri

Licensed Psychologist/Groups Coordinator

Theoretical Orientation:

I use an integrated approach comprised of Interpersonal, Person-Centered, and Feminist orientations within a Multicultural framework. Guided by the grounding tenets of these theories, I believe a strong and safe therapeutic relationship is the central vehicle for client healing and change. This alliance serves as a secure base from which to explore clients’ presenting concerns, emotional learning, repertoire of coping strategies, and interpersonal functioning. In particular, I believe it is important to examine how a client’s current behavior and relational patterns may have emerged from early significant relationships. I use interpersonal and experiential interventions to facilitate reparative, corrective emotional experiences in the “here and now” to assist clients in creating new, adaptive understandings of themselves and the world. Given client (and therapist) identities are formed and embedded in multiple levels of experiences and contexts, my conceptualization of the specific interpersonal experiences a client needs to change are guided by his or her personal developmental history, cultural worldview, readiness to change, and strengths. Accordingly I aim to be flexible in my work, and also use Emotion Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Precision Cognitive Therapy, and Art Therapy interventions to meet the needs of the client-in-context. Overall, I passionately believe in the importance of clients gaining a validated, positive identity which bestows meaning and nourishes both psychological security and cultural salience.

Clinical Areas:

I consider myself a generalist and enjoy working with a wide range of client issues and concerns. My specific areas of interest and expertise include women’s issues, eating disorders and body image, family of origin difficulties, relational concerns, personality disorders, and multicultural issues. I also have a passion for couples counseling and group therapy, especially interpersonal process groups. I find the unique microcosm of a group to be a highly productive interpersonal “learning lab” for personal and relational growth. On the whole, I enjoy clinical work and find the process of forming real, transformative connections with students invigorating.

Supervision Style:

I highly value training and find supervision to be one of the most rewarding aspects of working in a University Counseling Center. I use a collaborative, developmental approach which focuses on identifying and reinforcing supervisees’ current strengths, while also integrating new skills and refining existing ones. Similar to my therapeutic approach, I believe the crux of successful supervision occurs in the context of a genuine, warm, and trusting relationship. I find such interpersonal safety promotes supervisees’ willingness to explore challenging issues and experiment with new clinical interventions and conceptual frameworks. I ask supervisees to be invested in their growth as a therapist, as well as to engage in self-reflection and self-evaluation. Common growth areas I tend to focus on in supervision include intentional application of theoretical orientation, deepening affect, and use of self in therapy. In addition, I am happy to discuss professional development issues including research, job search and career choice, career/family balance, and transitioning from a counselor-in-training to a professional psychologist.

Bio:

On a more personal note, I love spending time with my family (including pets!) and friends. Other interests include traveling, reading, theatre, gardening, music, and photography.

Donna Strickland, MA, University of Missouri

Licensed Professional Counselor

Theoretical Orientation:

My therapeutic approach is integrative and based in mindfulness, not primarily as a skill, but as a way of grounding therapy in the present moment and providing a holding environment for deeply investigating causes and conditions of suffering. A relational/attachment-oriented psychodynamic perspective ultimately frames all that I do: I want to provide a secure base for clients’ exploration, to encourage their compassionate curiosity about themselves and their backgrounds, and to support them in coming to better understand and identify their needs. To further my knowledge of psychodynamic approaches, I completed a two-year program in Advanced Psychodynamic Psychotherapy at the St. Louis Psychodynamic Institute and am currently studying Relational Theory at the Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center in New York. As a relational therapist, I recognize that everything from a person’s external environment impacts their internal experience, and that this is true for both the therapist and the client. I am thus deeply committed to a social justice perspective that leads me to attend to the ways that clients are impacted by systemic oppression and to reflect on my own participation in these systems. I have also worked in a full-model DBT program and am trained in EMDR, ACT, and Compassion Focused Therapy. These behavioral and somatic interventions supplement and support the more exploratory work that I do with clients.

Clinical Areas:

I identify as a generalist and particularly enjoy working with clients on relationship concerns, times of transition, and trauma.

Supervision Style:

My supervision style, like my therapeutic approach, is highly collaborative. I work with supervisees to identify their own goals and provide a supportive space for reaching those goals. I encourage ongoing reflection as a primary tool for discovery and growth and see this as essential for both supervisor and supervisee.

Bio:

Before becoming a therapist, I was an English professor, and so I continue to take a great deal of pleasure in reading (and sometimes writing). I am also a meditator and often lead mindfulness groups or workshops in the community. I enjoy cooking gourmet vegan fare with my partner, running on the MKT trail, and petting my elderly cat.

Contact Us

MU Counseling Center
Strickland Hall, 4th floor
573-882-6601
Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday