ROBYN TRIPPANY SIMMONS: As I have grown professionally, what I realize I'm most passionate about in terms of being a counselor educator is mentoring students-- seeing them come from that place of, I don't know what to do, what if I mess up a client, to having the confidence to know that, all I really need to do is care, use the skills that I'm learning, and be able to connect with them. Before I became a counselor educator in 1999, I had five years of full-time clinical experience working with clients who had experienced sexual trauma, whether they were children who were just coming out of a sexual trauma experience or adults who had been sexually traumatized as children. Throughout the years, off and on, I've maintained a small clinical practice.
What I would bring to you in the classroom is what I like to call contextual learning. I like to take something from a textbook and find a way to make it real for you, whether that's a case vignette that I provide you, whether I ask you to reflect on it personally, whether I ask you to give me some academic answer to a question and then back up and ask how-- what surprised you about yourself, what surprised you about coming up with that answer, so that you then internalize it and it doesn't become just something you have to do to get through the class. I want you to make it very real in your life.