As a student in Antioch University Seattle’s Counselor Education and Supervision PhD program, Erin Berzins, LMHC, is applying what she’s learning in the classroom to her clinical work. “My work as a clinician is constantly evolving and improving as I move through the PhD program,” she says. Berzins credits the program for helping her think about her work as a clinician in a more nuanced way, as she feels more grounded in her theoretical orientation as well as more open to new ideas and research.
The PhD program gives counselors the tools they need to sharpen their counseling skills and allows them to be better researchers, supervisors, and teachers. For Berzins, the research component of the program is an asset as it enables her to apply her new knowledge in her daily work with her clients. “When I sit with clients, I draw upon the work that we have been doing in our classes, and all of the research I am being exposed to,” she says. “My workplace has benefitted because I am able to bring some of the most current information from our field back to the office.” She also notes that her coursework heightens her level of self-awareness, which she brings to her work with clients. “It has been really rewarding to be able to use the coursework so directly and immediately,” she says.
The intensity of the Counselor Education and Supervision PhD program makes it challenging and rigorous, but Berzins finds the faculty to be responsive and caring. She also enjoys the cohort aspect of the program, which fosters a supportive learning environment. “We are all doing this together and we help each other academically, professionally, and personally,” she says.
Despite the demands that the PhD program brings, Berzins is enthusiastic about the doors that furthering her education will open. “Becoming a supervisor, educator, and better counselor all at the same time is definitely a lot of work, but it is really exciting,” she says.