Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization
“I love attending University of the Rockies and am grateful for the experience that I am gaining - I know it will help me become a better practitioner!”
Zoe Mills, 40, of Colorado Springs, CO graduated from University of the Rockies in August 2010 with a Master of Arts in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy specialization and is now enrolled in the Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization program. Currently, she is working on her practicum, focusing on individuals in the military. She will be defending her dissertation, which is on treating the hyperarousal symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder with neurofeedback, in May 2012, and then beginning her pre-doctoral internship a few months later.
We spoke to her after she had just completed her first year of her Master’s program. “The most important aspect to me in choosing University of the Rockies,” she explained, “was to be able to serve the community of Colorado Springs through Rockies Counseling Center. It was also important to me that I did not have to look for an external internship but am able to perform my practicum hours from the beginning of the program. I love attending University of the Rockies and am grateful for the experience that I am gaining - I know it will help me become a better practitioner!””
When Zoe was around 35 years old, she says she started to realize the importance of obtaining a graduate degree. “I was drawn to counseling due to my own life experiences and desire to help others. I looked at four different schools. University of the Rockies had a program specific to marriage and family therapy, which is where my interest lies. I like having the opportunity to work toward obtaining my doctoral degree after I have completed the Master's program. I like the non-traditional hours and structure.”
Zoe was excited to discuss the work she was doing with a group of students on a poster they were to present at the 2011 APA convention. “We will be surveying students, professors, supervisors, and clients. Our goal is to see what each of these groups feel make a clinician effective. It is important to look at our clients as individuals and to treat them according to what is best for them.” Her group intends to publish the results of their study.
Once she finishes her Doctor of Psychology, Zoe will be pursuing several goals. She would like to work in a private practice doing psychological assessments, and would also like to work as a consultant and coach to assist people who own their own businesses. Finally, she would like to be able to work with couples, families, and individuals to help them work through issues that prohibit them from achieving their life goals.
Zoe had nothing but good things to say about her experience as a graduate student. “At University of the Rockies, I am continually being stretched. The more I'm willing to work through my own issues and discover who I am, the more available I will be to help others. One of the things I love about University of the Rockies is the variety of the backgrounds of our professors. They are psychologists who are currently practicing in the field. They are not just teaching, but doing what they love. We have terrific instructors who give their hearts to us and help us discover what works as we become clinicians. More than just one field of study is represented here, and we have different theoretical backgrounds and interests. For students who do not know what direction they want to go in, this diversity is perfect! It gives students the ability to try and learn different things from a variety of perspectives.
In closing, Zoe said, “Being a grad student on campus at University of the Rockies has been a wonderful experience.” We look forward to getting future updates from Zoe!