Inside the Classroom: Counseling Theory & Techniques

Written by Hannah Crivello
March 17, 2014

This upcoming spring quarter, students in the school?s Relationship & Pastoral Therapy program will engage the STMC 552 course ?Counseling Theory and Techniques.? Dr. Ruby Takushi, one of the school?s longtime adjunct professors, will be leading students through a rich collection of material surveying dominant counseling theories and techniques with attention paid to multiculturalism and relationships.

Dr. Takushi remarks that it?s ?a big idea course in a limited timeframe--giving students a taste of the dominant ways in which clinicians have thought of the counseling enterprise when they work systemically in therapy.?

Throughout the quarter, Dr. Takushi will invite students to explore what their own beliefs are in regard to how people are made-up, while wrestling with their own theoretical orientation in concert with their knowledge of spirituality, theology and anthropology. Students will be encouraged to ask these important questions and more, so that they may ultimately carry with them their own personal commitment to the therapeutic practice.

We sat down with Dr. Takushi this month and spoke about her passions and contributions to students? clinical learning experiences. In addition to this course, Dr. Takushi has taught other pivotal requirements within the counseling program including ?Relationship & Pastoral Therapy in a Multicultural Context? and ?Advanced Relationship & Pastoral Therapy Skills.?

Dr. Takushi has been licensed as a psychologist in the state of Washington for well over a decade and offers individual psychotherapy for a range of anxiety and mood disorders, with a specialization in the treatment of addictive behaviors. Her clinical approach integrates an appreciation for the relational, physical, psychological, and spiritual as essential elements of health. While training at the University of Washington Addictive Behaviors Research Center from 1996-1999, Dr. Takushi conducted research and published in the field of gambling addiction and cross-cultural counseling. Prior to coming to Seattle in 1996, she lived in Washington D.C. and completed her post-doctoral training at St. Elizabeth?s Hospital with a specialization in Group Psychotherapy. She served on the faculty of Howard University from 1992-1996 during which time she also worked as a staff psychologist at the D.C. General Hospital Methadone Clinic for women. She served on the board of the Evergreen Council for Problem Gambling from 2001-2010 and has served on the board of the Recovery Caf? since its inception.

Dr. Takushi currently serves as Director of Programs for Seattle?s Recovery Caf? in addition to her work in private practice and classroom instruction. The Recovery Caf? is well-known nationwide as a unique ?recovery support center utilizing an alternative therapeutic community model.? Many students at Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry have interned at this mileau service-based Caf? over the years, including 2013 MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy alumna Carolyn Dougherty and current MA in Transformational Leadership student Jennifer Leard.?

Dr. Takushi commented:

?I have always had an interest in thinking about the human experience and how it intersects experience with God. I am delighted to be a part of the school and the MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy program, as this is a perfect opportunity to connect relationships, spirituality and theology in conversation and in the context of a rich learning community. Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry a special place.?

Dr. Takushi continues:

?There?s something really valuable about being in the field while teaching?drawing connections to real-life application that informs classroom conversations with students about ideas and theories. I am able to lead conversations with integrity and share examples that inform the theory. Because clinical practice and theory address behavior, bringing my own professional experience with individuals at the Recovery Caf? is important to my course preparation. I work with a population that is marginalized by the dominant culture. Their search for hope, acceptance, and meaning is apparent to me and renews my commitment in bringing authenticity to the classroom.?

For more information on the MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy (MARPT), visit here.

Watch a video interview of 2013 MARPT alumna Carolyn Dougherty, at the Recovery Caf?, here.

For more information about the Recovery Caf?, visit here.