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Spotlight on Walden // Mar 30, 2012

Establishing a Network for Positive Social Change

Jeff Lubsen, a 2011 Scholars of Change and MS in Mental Health Counseling student, says Walden University’s commitment to effecting positive social change has inspired him to help healthcare providers in his community understand the importance of providing culturally competent care.

(Watch Jeff's Scholars of Change video)

In 2011, Jeff established The LGBT-Affirmative Therapists Guild of Greater Kansas City, an organization that aims to increase awareness about how to better serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and their families. Jeff’s organization offers a referral service for those seeking LGBT-friendly healthcare and also offers healthcare providers education and guidance on how to better serve their LGBT clients.

Recently, Jeff represented Walden at the American Counseling Association (ACA) Conference & Exposition in San Francisco.

“I was honored to attend this year’s American Counseling Association conference as a student representative for Walden University,” said Jeff. “As the organizer of The LGBT-Affirmative Therapists Guild of Greater Kansas City, it was refreshing to see that the conference had an entire division dedicated to LGBT issues in mental healthcare, and as an advocate for social change, I was proud to see Walden faculty members presenting there.”

Jeff also shared with Spotlight on Walden a key takeaway from his experience at the conference. “I attended a session on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which focuses on helping clients deal with shame, guilt, and self-forgiveness. The presenters showed us a number of mindful-based techniques that can help clients move beyond their current pain by ‘changing the channel’ in their life schemas. One quote that particularly stands out was when a presenter talked about pain and anger. He stated that anger informs us at the beginning; it lets us know that something is not right. But if that anger isn’t processed, it can turn to bitterness, which can then hurt our heart. His point was that anger does not have much utility in one’s life after the ‘informing’ part is over, which is why resolving anger is so essential, especially in situations of victimization.”

Faculty members from the School of Counseling and Social Service who presented at this year’s ACA conference included:

  • Dr. David Capuzzi and Dr. Colleen Logan, “Perspectives on ACA’s Next 60 Years: A Past Presidents’ Forum”
  • Dr. Brandé Flamez, “An Experimental Investigation of Climate, Learning, and Efficiency in Online Instruction” and “Best Practices in Marriage and Family Counseling”
  • Dr. Victoria Kress, ”Creative Techniques for Teaching Key Concepts in Required Courses in Counselor Education Programs” and “A Relational Cultural Approach to Working With Eating Disorders”
  • Dr. Colleen Logan, “Bullying in the Workplace: Yes, It’s Real, and It Needs to Stop. Now.”
  • Dr. Constance Matthews, “Publishing in ACA Refereed Journals: Suggestions From the Council of Editors”
  • Dr. Rhonda Neswald-Potter, Dr. John Marszalek and Dr. Michelle Perepiczka, “Maori Drawing for Counseling Self-Care”
  • Dr. Ifetayo Ojelade, “Integrating Indigenous African Healing Modalities Into the Clinical Practice”
  • Dr. Ruth Ouzts Moore, “Counselors in the Courtroom: Ethical and Legal Issues” and “The Tug of War Child: Treating Parental Alienation Syndrome With Creative Counseling Techniques”
  • Dr. Jason Patton and Dr. Stacee Reicherzer, “Bridging the Gender Continuum: Supporting a Newly Identified Transgender Client in Naming and Claiming Her Identity”
  • Dr. Michelle Perepiczka, “Beyond the Thin Blue Line: A Mental Health Preventative Program for Law Enforcement Officers to Reduce Trauma ” and “Decreasing Dropout and Increasing Outcomes: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Systematic Measurement for Counselors”
  • Dr. Stacee Reicherzer, “Counseling Immigrant Clients: Research, Practice, and Advocacy” and “The Transgender Liberation Struggle and the DSM-5: Examining Power and Paradox in Our Roles as Counselors”

Additional information on presentations can be found in the 2012 Conference & Expo Program Guide.