We walk this path together!
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is typically a 2 to 3 year program. During this time of commitment to personal and professional growth, our students often remark on the sense of 'community' they develop with one another. Admission to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is quite competitive, and we believe our students are a significant aspect of our success as a professional counselor preparation program.
Here, you will find profiles of featured students selected to demonstrate the variety of interests and backgrounds within our student community.
Macintyre Schauman, B.A.
Entry Year: 2021
Academic Tracks: Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Body Centered Therapy
Prior Education: Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Theatre from the University of Central Florida.
Why I Chose App: I wanted to engage in collective healing work to help people rediscover and reclaim their connection to the natural world. My long-term career goal is to run a restorative nature retreat center that offers outdoor mental health services including psychotherapy, meditation, yoga, and trail walks. I want to combat the environmental crisis by helping people heal themselves through nature, and as an ecotherapist, inspire others to bring themselves in harmony with the outdoors. I cannot think of a better place to study ecotherapy than amongst the beautiful Appalachian mountains. After spending all of my childhood summers there, I know this landscape is an excellent teacher for restorative health, and I am ready to learn more.
Counseling Interests and Professional Goals: As a queer person, I know first-hand the factors leading to a lack of high-quality mental health care in the LGBTQ+ community, whether it is lack of awareness, negative stigma, cost, or discrimination. Over the past year, I volunteered at the Zebra Coalition, an LGBTQ+ youth center in Orlando, Florida. It’s mission is to support LGBTQ+ youth, ages 13-24, who are facing homelessness, bullying, family isolation, and physical, sexual, and/or drug abuse. I am excited to use the training I receive in the clinical mental health counseling program at Appalachian State to continue my support for LGBTQ+ youth.
Jessica Souza, B.S.
Entry Year: 2021
Academic Tracks: Clinical Mental Health Counseling with concentrations in Addictions Counseling
Prior Education: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science from NC State (2019)
Why I Chose App: I chose App State once I met the professors who provide such a welcoming, genuine, and professional atmosphere and encourage community. Everyone I have met, whether it be alumni, faculty, or current students, rave about the school and all it has to offer. I really wanted a program who would invest in me and my future in the same way I would back
Counseling Interests and Professional Goals: I’m hoping to work inpatient or related clinical settings to combine my passion for counseling and helping relationships with science and healthcare. I’m hoping to work with those who have experienced trauma or are struggling with addictions, specifically adolescents and young adults.
Toria Jenks, B.S.
Entry Year: 2021
Academic Tracks: Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a general concentration
Prior Education: Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in statistics from Appalachian State University
Why I Chose App: Boone has held a special place in my heart from the first time that I toured App State’s campus in high school! I was lucky enough to go to undergraduate here and even luckier that App has its own incredible counseling program. Talks with my advisor, former students, and doing my own research convinced me that App State’s CMHC program fully prepares its students to be competent practitioners. The faculty in the CMHC program are knowledgeable, experienced, and truly dedicated to the training of their students. I love the cohort model as well, as I know that we will form close relationships and support each other throughout graduate school and in our future careers.
Counseling Interests and Career Goals: I am interested in working with older adults (specifically around 65 and older). Older adults are an often overlooked and underserved population in mental health, and I believe that their mental well-being matters just as much as any other age group. I hope to help support older adults as they navigate the various life changes and losses that can come with aging.
Michaela Wilson, B.S.
Entry Year: 2021
Academic Tracks: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, general concentration with the addictions certificate
Prior Education: Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Concentration in Human Services and Spanish Minor from Appalachian State
Why I Chose App: I chose App for my undergraduate degree because I wanted to come to the mountains and enjoyed the positive, welcoming environment that Appalachian has. After undergrad, staying here for the CMHC program felt like an obvious choice. I was drawn to our program because of the experience and expertise our faculty has, as well as the ability to create my own track based on my own interests. After spending a week in the program, I am increasingly sure I made the right choice and this is where I am meant to be!
Counseling Interests: I plan to work in the Correctional System, either in a Mental Health crisis response role with a Police Department, or Mental Health Counseling in a Correctional Facility.