KRISTI CANNON: Well, I didn't start off wanting to actually do teaching, at least not out of the gate. I love clinical practice, and so that was really my passion starting off. And so I started a practice in Austin. I work with children, adolescents, couples. But I also have a neurofeedback specialty. And that is something that I really value, and it's kind of a niche area, something that not a lot of people are familiar with. And so that's another thing I really love about teaching is that I can then bring that in and share that with our students.
Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback. And, actually, I didn't know much of anything about it when I got started. It was just a specialization in my doctoral program. But it's really kind of, for lack of a better word, an alternative to medication and something that I could do as a counselor to give my clients an alternative if talk therapy just wasn't working. And sometimes we know talk therapy just won't get to the root of the issue. And so that is something that I found in my doc program and got schooled in and really loved and became infatuated with. And so that's a big piece of my clinical practice.
I think that the greatest thing that I have going for me is I can empathize with what it's like to be a student. And I really try to transfer that to my classroom. So I want students to understand that I've been there, too. I know the challenges you face. I know the excitement, and I know the fun of when you get those moments where it starts to click.
And I really think, in counseling, the greatest thing that we have going for us is that it's kind of a parallel process. So, as we're learning this material, we get to put it on and try it on ourselves and get some insight around ourselves. And then that's really what makes us really good counselors. And I think you've got to really be passionate about wanting to learn.
And coming into this profession is one of those things that is really driven by a passion. Our field is not something where we work with widgets. We work with human beings. And so you really have to be in this because you want to be in it.
I think the biggest blessing that I've had as an instructor is just the smiles and the hugs and the happiness that comes from students who say, you know, you really taught me something, or you really helped me understand even something as simple as APA writing. I've really gotten a lot of good reception from students on the impact that has been made in the classroom. And, of course, that only spurs me on to be more creative and more engaged and really want to provide for them every opportunity that I can to have a really great learning experience.
I'm Dr. Kristi Cannon, and I teach in the MS counseling programs at Walden University.