Multicultural Women’s Issues Becomes Focus for Psychologist

Adriana DiPasquale, PsyD ’04, 34, will never forget the day that she traveled from Boston to Keene to interview for AUNE’s PsyD in clinical psychology program. “It was just amazing,” she said. “The day of my interview, we were in the middle of a blizzard. I was late, I was scared – it was a grad school interview!”

“Everyone was so welcoming and very calming. It felt like a good fit for me, and it was. It wasn’t without its challenges, but if I had to do it over again, I really don’t see myself doing anything different,” said Adriana, who subsequently graduated from AUNE in 2004 with her doctorate.

Today, she is employed by the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts as assistant director and coordinator of training at the college’s mental health center. As such, she counsels Holy Cross students and supervises those from other colleges and universities who are performing practicums there.

Self-Described Realist Strives to Make A Difference
Adriana says she has known what she wanted to do since high school and has always wanted to help people and make a difference. “I’m a realist,” she said. “I know I can’t make a huge difference, but particularly, when you’re doing one-on-one therapy or doing group therapy, you can make small differences.”

Adriana, who grew up in Middletown, N.Y., earned an undergraduate degree in psychology in 1997 from Boston University. While enrolled at AUNE, she spent three years at the counseling center at the University of Cincinnati – first as an intern, then as an advanced intern until joining the staff as assistant coordinator of outreach and consultation.

Immediately after her AUNE graduation, she completed her post-doctorate work at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. There, for four years, she served as staff psychologist, coordinator of outreach and liaison to multicultural student communities.

“During my time at the University of Cincinnati and Mount Holyoke College, I facilitated a Women of Color Support Group,” she said. “The group provided opportunities for women from diverse backgrounds to explore and support each other in addressing the challenges and complexities involved with managing multiple identities in each campus and in the larger culture.”

Helping Women Manage Multiple Identities
In 2008, she was recruited by the College of the Holy Cross for her present position where she focuses on multicultural psychology, treating persons from all walks of life.

“It’s the foundation of my clinical work,” she said. “It’s evident in the way that I attend to the socio-political complexities of the client’s environment, and honor cultural differences to achieve goals of empowerment, personal growth, and conflict resolution. This also includes recognizing the influence of my own beliefs and values on the therapeutic process.”

“I have chosen to practice in environments that are dedicated to creating an inclusive atmosphere of persons of all backgrounds including, but not limited to, ethnicity, culture, age, sexual orientation, gender expression, ability, spiritual practice, and socioeconomic background,” she said. Besides providing therapy to students, she presents at conferences, speaks at student orientation events, and serves as a liaison to campus cultural organizations. She credits AUNE for training her well for her chosen life’s work.

“It’s what I wanted to do,” she said. “I anticipated having a passion for psychology and doing therapy. When I got to grad school, that was confirmed. My two other areas of focus are supervision and outreach. AUNE prepared me really well for that.”

“The great thing about AUNE is that the professors are all practitioners,” she said. “AUNE is also very big on taking on multiple roles in the community. In doing that, you have to go beyond the traditional role of the psychologist and be more flexible.”

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