Clinical and Mental Health Faculty Present at Counselor Education Distance Learning Conference


Amy Morrison
Dr. Amy Morrison

Dr. Amy Morrison (Program Director, CMHC and Art Therapy) and Dr. Deb Smith (CMHC Faculty) were selected to present at the Counselor Education Distance Learning Conference on Feb 25, 2022. Their presentation, Exploring Self-Care Practices for Counselor Educators Teaching in Online and Hybrid Programs, investigated how a counselor educator takes care of oneself within multiple aspects of the online teaching experience. It offered a working model of self-care practices specific to online teaching counselor educators. The topic is a passion and ongoing interest for both Dr. Morrison and Dr. Smith.

Their methods of investigation included a literature review, a qualitative survey, interviews, presenters’ personal and professional experiences, and additional voices from the field. The theoretical foundations for their presentation included relational cultural theory, concepts of connected teaching, and the Community of Inquiry (COI) model for online learning and current literature on self-care, wellness, creativity, and self-compassion in counselor education.

Deb Smith
Dr. Deb Smith

The presentation discussed unique stressors that counselor educators experience teaching online and current self-care practices specific to teaching online for counselor educators. It identified personal and professional instances of stress when teaching counselors-in-training online and potential self-care practices. Participants were led in an experiential exercise to examine their own experience of stress when teaching online and explore self-care practices to implement.

Both Dr. Morrison and Dr. Smith have been teaching online in MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program as core faculty for five years. They have served on the social justice pedagogy committee, which includes ongoing discussions of curriculum and best practices for online teaching, and have revised online curriculum in a variety of learning management systems for a wide range of courses.