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ACA of Georgia Ethics Event at Richmont

June 22nd the American Counseling Association of Georgia will host an event at Richmont’s Atlanta campus titled: “Raising the Bar: Critical Concepts in the ACA Code of Ethics.”

Knowing the ACA Code of Ethics inside and out is more important than ever. Recent events in Tennessee have shown that we must all be prepared to define, protect, and defend it at a moment’s notice. Moving forward as one strong, unified community is by far the best way to preserve the integrity of the counseling profession. We must speak with one clear voice.

Event Details:

June 22, 2018
9:00 am – 2:30 pm
Richmont Graduate University, Atlanta Campus

Discussion points will include:
  • Securing a strong foundation of general knowledge around content areas in the ACA Code of Ethics
  • Understanding critical ethical updates in such areas as professional values; social media; the imposition of counselor personal values; defining the moment ethical responsibilities begin; and fee splitting
  • Protecting against malpractice lawsuits by keeping up with new ethical imperatives
Presenter:

David Kaplan, Ph.D.David M. Kaplan, Ph.D., NCC
ACA Cheif Professional Officer

Regarding this event, Richmont Faculty and ACA of Georgia Executive Board Member, Keith Myers, Ph.D. commented:

“We are honored to have David Kaplan join us at Richmont Graduate University as we go for a deep dive into the ethical issues that are specific to our profession. Being ethical is about doing what is best for our clients and communities, and I’m glad that he will be here to facilitate that discussion.”

Richmont is honored to host this event and proud to support the great work of the ACA of Georgia.  Concerning the ACA of Georgia Dr. Myers added:

“Being a member of the ACA of Georgia Executive Board and this work of revitalizing the state branch has been a great privilege of mine during the past couple of years. We look forward to offering education and networking events in the coming months and years to all counselors of various disciplines within our profession. Those events will be free to those who reside and practice in our great state and are already an ACA member.”

Registration:

Registration is free for ACA of Georgia members.  Click here to register.  5 ethics CE hours available.

 

How do I pay for my education?

How do I pay for my education? You’ve likely asked yourself this question if you are applying for graduate school. The answer can seem elusive at times.

As someone who works as a Director of Admissions, I wish paying for graduate school was an easy and obvious process. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every student’s situation is unique. However, I do know that we are ready to help—you don’t have to figure out the finances on your own.

For many people, the idea of taking out (or taking on more) student loans can be crippling. I have seen the fear of loans keep people from pursuing the career they have felt called to for decades. That fear is normal. The fear of being responsible for debt is often a fairly healthy thing. We are a culture reacting against a recession we witnessed that exhibited the effects of unjustified or irresponsible debt.

However, we also have a responsibility to be good stewards of not just our financial resources, but also our talents and skills. Your talents are worth the investment. There’s a proven return on investment for those who complete graduate school.

How are we to feel if we neglect our skill or ability to be of service to others who are hurting just because we are fearful of student loans? Student loans are not monsters waiting to devour us. If we are responsible enough to research and understand our loans, then we may be able to use them as tools and resources to fulfill our own careers and callings.

At Richmont, our Admissions and Enrollment team works to inform you about all the resources available to you before you start your graduate school education. We offer three forms of financial aids for students:

With these three forms of aid, we have been able to help thousands of counselors and ministers fulfill their calling to do God’s work of healing, restoration, and transformation in the lives of individuals, churches, and communities.

We feel very fortunate to be able to provide private scholarships to our students. We recognize that not many graduate programs are able to offer their own scholarships or even help their students qualify for financial aid. Occasionally, we hear of students from other programs who were awarded their graduate or terminal degree on a “full ride.”

However, awards known as “full rides” are rarely fully explained or understood. Typically, the recipient of a full ride will have a job or two on campus as part of their “fellowship award.” Richmont departs from these types of awards. Instead, we offer our students scholarships that do not require them to work or serve any purpose other than being a student. This is not typical of graduate universities. We want our students to be able to have time with their families and friends, to even pursue a part-time job.

The Graduate Assistant (GA) jobs that Richmont offers are part-time positions for students to help the school serve other students by operating the Atlanta and the Chattanooga campuses. The positions range from 5 hours to 20 hours per week, and the student receives a competitive hourly wage. Work schedules for GA jobs automatically fit students’ class schedules—they are logistically more convenient than working off-campus jobs.

Applying for GA jobs on each campus is competitive, and pursuing one of these positions is similar to applying for a real job. Prospective students should inquire with their Admissions Counselors early in the process if they’re interested in GA jobs. The more counselors know incoming students, the better the counselor can recommend them for certain jobs, like the records office, the library, or assisting faculty.

Unfortunately, most of the public grants, foundations, lottery scholarships, or “free money” that assisted you in your undergraduate education are not available for your graduate education. Instead, we seek to provide federal financial aid resources and services to all of our students, especially those who may not be familiar with FAFSA or Federal Student Aid.

The Admissions and Finance staff works to create open and transparent conversations about how to use and plan for student loans and to not default on them. Richmont is ranked first overall with a 0.00% default rate, listed on The Student Loan Report’s 2017 Default Rates. And for students who want to pay for their education independently, we help them create realistic payment plans.

Talk to someone. That’s the first step in understanding the financial aid resources available to you. I always recommend that you meet with school staff, current students, or alumni who have experienced what you are about to experience. Talking to them can help you normalize the anxiety you have about new financial responsibilities. You are not alone in what you are feeling, and it is fine to feel that way!

And more than just talking to people, try to learn from them. Chat with people who have been able to pay off their student loans, listen to their experiences, and learn how you can achieve your goals. There is no one universal solution to paying for graduate school or student loans. But don’t forget you have people around you with stories and experiences that can speak into your own understanding and preparation for graduate school.

 

Students and Faculty Present at CAPS Conference

CAPS Conference 2018

The Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) encourages in-depth consideration of therapeutic, research, theoretical, and theological issues. The association is a forum for creative new ideas.  CAPS members serve as psychologists, counselors, educators, marriage and family therapists, social workers, psychiatrists, professional and lay counselors, researchers, pastoral counselors, and students.   https://www.caps.net/about/

Each year at the CAPS Annual Conference, hundreds of professionals gather to share ideas, present research, and learn from each other.  This year’s conference was held in Norfolk, Virginia April 12th – 14th.

Richmont was proud to be well represented by faculty members and students at this year’s conference.  The following is a list of Richmont presenters along with their research topics:

Kelsie Bowman McGlothin (student)

Promoting Healthy Spiritual Development in Children Through Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Sonja Sutherland, Ph.D. (faculty)

Cultural Competence Development in Christian Counselors-In-Training

Daimi Shirck (student) *3rd Place Winner, Student Category

Clergy’s Perceptions of Their Training and Competence in Regards to Pastoral Counseling Compared to Professional Counselors

Amy Kenney (student) and Amanda Blackburn, Psy.D. (faculty)

Perception, Value, & Practice of Wellness in CACREP-Accredited Counseling Programs

Amanda Hindson (student) and Mary Plisco, Ph.D. (faculty)

Mental Health Treatment for Refugees: Exploring Ways to Address Barriers and Enhance Therapeutic Care

Dan Sartor, Ph.D. (faculty) and Jama White, Psy.D. (faculty)

Beyond Bracketing: Exploring Alternative Paradigms in Values Conflicts

Amanda Blackburn, Psy.D. (faculty), Jama White, Psy.D. (faculty), and Mary Plisco, Ph.D. (faculty)

Promoting Wellness in Graduate Students: Evidence-Based Interactive Activities to Engage Students

The New Richmont App

The new Richmont App is available today on both Apple and Andriod app stores (search for Richmont).
You can also text “rgu app” to 77977 to download.

The new Richmont App has the following capabilities:
  • Sections for Admissions, Alumni, Current Students and Continuing Education
  • Make a donation to Richmont Graduate University
  • Prospective students can complete the application process and register for Preview Day
  • Current students can access forms, current schedules, and the student portal
  • Alumni and Professionals can register for continuing education courses (discount rates available)

Download the Richmont App today to stay connected with all of the great things going on at Richmont Graduate University.

New Scholarship Program: Gateway Scholar Initiative

A new initiative launches this month for prospective Richmont Graduate University students.  Dr. Timothy Quinnan (Richmont President) along with his leadership team developed the Gateway Scholar Initiative to create opportunities for more students to be able to attend Richmont.  The Gateway Scholar Initiative includes two new scholarship programs that will award a total of 15 new scholarship for new students.

Presidential Honors Scholarship

This new scholarship is for students who excelled academically in their undergraduate degree.  To qualify applicants must have achieved to cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.85 or above.  Applicants must be accepted into Richmont’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and be starting classes fall of 2018.  Recipients of this scholarship will receive $3000 toward their first year at Richmont.  The deadline to apply for this scholarship is May 1st, 2018.

Gateway Scholarship

The Gateway Scholarship will be awarded to students who demonstrate financial need.  To qualify students must submit proof of financial need along with their scholarship application.  Applicants must be accepted into Richmont’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and be starting classes fall of 2018.  Recipients of this scholarship will receive $1500 toward their first year at Richmont.  The deadline to apply for this scholarship is May 1st, 2018.

The Gateway Initiative includes an easy application process for these new scholarships.  You can apply online here:  richmont.edu/admissions/scholarships

To qualify for these scholarships you must have completed the application process and have been accepted into the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.  For more information on the admissions process visit: richmont.edu/admissions

Should You Become A Counselor?

Think back. What was it that drew you to pursue becoming a counselor? Every counselor’s experience of being called to the profession looks different. For some, it’s a love for hearing people’s stories, it’s a conversation with a friend or professor, it’s a sense of how helpful talking to another person can be. For others, it’s connected to your own experience in counseling or working through a difficult season. Some start down the path fresh out of undergraduate school, others may be seeking a new chapter that has greater meaning and purpose, one that can bring hope and healing to people’s lives. A strong sense of calling happens in all the experiences in between.

Maybe you have a strong sense of what inspired your vision to become a counselor, or maybe it’s something that’s been there all along, a knack for seeing and grasping underlying narratives. Or maybe you’re not even sure what counseling is, you just know you want to help people.

Tom Sanders, Director of Admissions at Richmont Graduate University, provides a nuanced understanding of counseling that goes beyond a vague sense of counseling as problem solving. He says, “People are hurting, and their hurt is more than having a lack of things. It’s an internal deficit that people experience, and sometimes counseling is pouring back into that deficit or helping them realize that their deficit is not crushing.” When there are no clear answers, counseling is reminding people of God’s purpose in the pains of life.

Counseling is a unique profession that privileges you to enter into the sacred spaces of people’s intimate lives and deep places of pain. These spaces are not worksites for repair, but spaces for sitting, perceiving, and understanding both the intertwined vibrancy and trauma of people’s’ lives that they themselves may not realize. Counseling draws others into awareness, working towards healthy communities through relationship building. At its most basic level, counseling is sitting with people through hard times.

In the same way that counseling is unique, counselors themselves offer their own unique narratives as connecting points to people who have experienced similar stories. Not every counselor will have a warm and empathetic, extroverted personality, though these are good qualities. Counselors, in reality, are a diverse group of people with diverse experiences who counsel diverse clients. Good counselors tend to be people who have experienced healing of their own. In Sanders’ words, “It’s encouraging to see the redemptive story—there is a redemption in understanding your own brokenness and using that to understand others who are in a similar places.” Counselors realize that they have stories too, and that their vulnerability could help others realize they’re not alone in losing a child or going through a divorce or suffering from addiction.

A counselor’s career is fundamentally relational. It requires the ability to listen with empathy paired in tension with the ability to help articulate their own story. Counseling is giving. It is giving time, attention, and service to people in vulnerable moments of their life. It is its own reward as you watch God use you as an agent of healing and transformation in people’s lives.

The first step in the journey to becoming a counselor is getting trained. At Richmont, we provide Christ-centered education to help people become agents of transformation and healing. Take the next step in the journey to becoming a counselor today. Attend a preview day or visit our admissions page.

Grand Opening of the new Richmont Store

Today we are excited to announce the launch of the Richmont Store!  At the new online Richmont Store, you will be able to purchase high-quality Richmont apparel and accessories.  Currently, there are ten items available and we will continue to add new items each semester.  Credit cards are accepted and free pickup is available on campus.  Items may also be shipped for an additional fee.

Check out the new store by following this link:  https://www.richmont.edu/store

A Student’s Perspective: Courtney McWhorter

Meet Courtney McWhorter, a second-year student in Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Richmont Graduate University. Courtney hails from Covenant College, where she studied Biblical Studies with a concentration in missions.

Courtney proudly identifies her younger self as “that youth group kid” who “signed up for all the mission trips … literally.” From Kenya and Sweden to London and Honduras, time overseas instilled a sense of adventure in her.

After graduating college, Courtney wanted to help kids grow to love exploring the unknown and missions. She began as Youth Director at Rock Creek Fellowship, where she wrangles middle and high school students. Six years later, Courtney is still leading kids into adventure and deeper relationship with Christ.

When she is not at a middle school football game or seeing a high school rendition of Beauty and the Beast for the eighth time, Courtney can be found hitting the books for her classes at Richmont. We caught up with Courtney to ask her a few questions about ministry and counseling.

Courtney, first things first: Have you ever lost a student at Six Flags or any other amusement park?

I would tell you the story, but it’s still a little sensitive with the family whose kid I lost. Just kidding. I have not lost any kids at Six Flags, but that’s not to say there haven’t been any close calls.

I really love roller coasters, so I’m all about getting the youth group there when the park opens and staying till it closes. If you aren’t a little queasy at the end of the day, you didn’t do it right.

What is your favorite part of being a youth director?

I love being involved in student’s lives. Teenagers are really awesome, and my life is better and richer for having known them and being part of their lives. My role is to serve them and their families, but really, they are a blessing to me in so many ways. I love being an older sister to them in the faith.

One of my favorite parts of my job is the high school girls small group I lead on Wednesday mornings. Small groups have been an influential part of growing in my relationship with Jesus, and I love being able to facilitate those conversations and studying the Word together.

How do you want to use your Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree? Is there any tie in with youth ministry?

Counseling seemed like a logical next step because of my role in youth ministry. I wanted tools that would be helpful to serve where I am now and wherever I end up in the future. I love students and teenagers, so I hope to be a resource to any church I’m involved in—whether in ministry or adolescent counseling.

What has been your most impactful class so far?

I have enjoyed a lot of the classes I have taken, but I think the most impactful would probably be Group Counseling with Dr. Jeff Eckert. It was a challenging class, but rewarding in so many ways.

I believe that we are healed in community, and a lot of aspects of my job that I love involves facilitating conversations in community. Sometimes when we’re struggling or in a unique situation, it’s just so healing to hear that we’re not alone. I think groups are like potlucks: everybody brings something to share and we all benefit from what everyone else brings.

Why did you choose Richmont?

I chose Richmont for a lot of reasons: I love Chattanooga; I wanted to stay working at Rock Creek Fellowship, and I wanted a place where I could learn how to integrate my faith into the healing process of counseling.

I love that Richmont brings a holistic view of people and counseling, acknowledging that because Jesus entered into our suffering I can enter into the suffering of others. For me, there was no better option than Richmont where I could integrate my faith and the world of psychology, because one without the other wouldn’t make sense.

A degree from Richmont equips you to heal and transform the lives of others. Interactive lessons with professors, clinical internships, and a 100 percent passing rate on the national licensure tests are second to none. Find out why Courtney and many others choose Richmont to equip them to make the world a better place. Apply today.

2017 Perspectives – Richmont’s Annual Review

Our annual Perspectives magazine is now available!  Inside this year’s issue titled “A New Chapter”, you will hear from our new President, Dr. Timothy Quinnan, read about the growth of our graduate programs, and learn about the continued development of our counseling centers.  2017 was a great year for Richmont Graduate University and we are excited to share the highlights and stories with you.  Click below to read or to download 2017 Perspectives.

Henegar Therapists and Richmont Staff Receive Life-Saving Training

Shortly after the New Year, 16 members of the Henegar Counseling Center (HCC) as well as 5 of Richmont’s staff gathered to learn the life-saving techniques of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to utilize an automated external defibrillator (AED).   They were trained to assess the need for CPR and perform compressions, breaths, and AED procedures.   Using CPR and an AED is the best chance of saving a life when an individual is no longer breathing.

These professionals learned that “it’s better to act than do nothing.” Although they hope never to need their training, it’s comforting to know that many HCC therapists and staff members on the Chattanooga campus are now certified in CPR/AED. It’s fitting that the legacy of Hope, Care, and Comfort of HCC is extended to safety emergencies.

Learn more about Henegar Counseling Center at henegarcc.com