Q: Please describe your teaching philosophy.
A. My teaching philosophy centers on empowerment, intellectual diversity and practical application. Keeping differences in mind, I strive to structure my teaching around student needs, rather than the demands of a particular concept or text. As an instructor, it is my responsibilty to get to know students individually, with my goal being to optimize individual strengths and instill a sense of personal empowerment. I believe one of the keys to this empowerment is helping students develop critical thinking skills through respecting and promoting intellectual diversity. Intellectual diversity manifest through differing worldviews as well as the various ways students learn. My role as instructor involves creating a safe atmosphere to explore intellectual differences. By acting as a mento and moderator, worldviews can be discussed openly in a manner that challenges students to consider new ideas and concepts. In a safe environment, students are able to openly share their ideas and learn from each other. As an instructor to future psychologist, it is essential to focus on practical application. This is where my clinical experiences play a key role in my teaching. I have dedicated my work to marginalized populations and social empowerment. With this, I have a diverse array of real-world psychology examples and experiences to share with students who are eager to apply concepts to situations they may face in the future. I find case examples to be essentail to bring psychology to life in the classroom.
Q: Please describe your philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.
A. Working from a Humanistic-Existential framework, I believe that ever human being has the potential to live a meaningful and purposeful life in which they are the expert of their own experience. Stepping back to understand an individual's lived experience provides an anchor to the totality of the therapeutic encounter. I believe in allowing clients to guide sessions while facilitating a phenomenological exploration and dialogue. This allows for a deepening of relationship to occur within sessions that provides a safe environment for clients to process their lives in the here-and-now.
Q: Why did your choose to enter the field the field of psychology?
A. My path to the field of psychology was not a clear-cut one. I did not grow up dreaming of becoming a psychologist. Instead, life's course led me to the field over time. I frequently say that finding a career that makes you come alive through fulfillment and meaning is essential to life's journey. As I began taking psychology courses and connecting with individual's through clinical work, I found my everyday life coming alive. Beyond the academic and professonal fulfillment this field brought, as with many psychologists, personal experiences propelled me further in the field. Witnessing and experiencing mental illness within close relationships in my life was a significant reason for me to pursue this career. My focus has been on helping individuals struggling with mental illness fully recover and live meaningful lives. I believe in empowerment amongst a population that frequently experiences discrimination. My experience as a psychologist has only made me further believe in the reality of full recovery and in the need for those who will advocate for social justice amongst those experiencing mental illness.