Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Trauma Specialist, and Agency Owner/Director
"I formed my own company, Family Harmony, which specializes in traumatic stress and am now self-employed full-time."
LaMarr D. Edgerson, 47, lives in Albuquerque, NM and is pursuing a Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization, with a special focus on Trauma, from University of the Rockies. For three years, he drove the 700 miles to Colorado Springs, Colorado one weekend per month (and sometimes two weekends) to attend class with many others from around the country. He’s now in the last phase of his program, having recently completed his internship. Once he successfully defends his dissertation, he will officially be Dr. Edgerson.
“I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio listening to my grandfather's words of wisdom,” says LaMarr. “He stressed the importance of higher education, and he wanted a doctor in the family. As a result, he introduced me to quite a few successful men with higher education. I realized early in life that there were only a few options if I wanted to get out of the stressful streets of Cleveland. All of those options included an education.”
LaMarr spent the next twenty years in the United States Air Force and completed several degrees - an Associate's in Dental Science, an Associate's in Social Psychology, and a Bachelor's in Social Psychology. “I was the first in my family to earn a college degree,” he says proudly.
After retiring from the Air Force, he earned a Master of Arts in Psychology with a focus on Marriage and Family Therapy. “I worked in the field for a while and began to build a name for myself, but I wasn't satisfied. I wanted to help veterans who were struggling with post-traumatic stress. In order to do so, I realized I needed more specialized knowledge. I wanted to be an expert. And I never forgot my grandfather's dream.”
He began researching doctoral programs, and found University of the Rockies. “After speaking with a number of people, I finally met a student from Albuquerque. She told me about the great faculty, and I was sold. This is the reason I chose to drive 700 miles as opposed to the 15 minutes to University of New Mexico. I have not had any regrets.”
While pursuing his degree, LaMarr has been very active in various associations on the local and national levels. He is the former President and current Chair of Professional Development of the New Mexico Mental Health Counselors Association, a member of the New Mexico Counseling Association, and a member on the policy and legislative committee of their national organization, the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). LaMarr is a member of the DSM V Task Force for both the AMHCA and the American Counselors Association (ACA). In this role, he offers input from a counselor’s perspective on the making of the new and critical psychiatric diagnostic and statistic manual (DSM V). LaMarr also makes presentations at these associations’ national conferences.
In addition, LaMarr has worked at Forensic Behavior Health with felons and police officers, and also at First Nations, a small community health clinic that specializes in caring for Native Americans. But currently, LaMarr is trying out entrepreneurship. “I formed my own company, Family Harmony, which specializes in traumatic stress, and am now self-employed full-time. I have one assistant and one contractor who works for me. We work with children, adults, couples, and families. Along with state insurance entities, I contract with the Albuquerque public school system as a therapist.
“After I graduate in December 2012,” continues Lamarr, “I plan to complete a post doctorate, and then prepare for the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP). I have also been considering going for the ABPP (American Board of Professional Psychology) in a few years, which is the highest level of certification a psychologist can achieve. My long-term goal is to open a Wellness Center that focuses on traumatic stress. My new company is the second phase of that project. Once I finish the program, I will have the training and credentials I need to make my dream a success.”