Student Recognized by Washington Association for Marriage & Family Therapy

April 2, 2016

Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry is excited to announce that one of our own students in the Master of Arts in Relationship and Pastoral Therapy Program, Darlene Peters, is the recipient of the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (WAMFT) "Student Member of the Year" Award! Every year, this professional organization for Marriage and Family Therapists awards this honor to a current student member who demonstrates academic and clinical excellence while offering unique contributions to their learning community.

Darlene is currently completing her last year our school's couples and family therapy program, and has engaged her clinical sequence at Tulalip Family Services--providing individual, family, and group therapy to the people of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington State. Darlene has an extensive academic background, work, and volunteer history and has served her community in numerous capacities, including work as a paraeducator, an early childhood instructor, and a family service advocate. In addition, Darlene has worked for Indian Child Welfare Family Services and has served as a Tribal Mental Health Support Counselor for the Swinomish Tribe.

Dr. Becky Cobb, Core Faculty and Clinical Coordinator for the program shares: 

“I have the pleasure of working with Darlene within a variety of contexts, including academic courses, group supervision, and connecting with her and her site supervisor at Tulalip Family Services. She is kind, supportive, thoughtful, and sensitive to the needs of others. In all contexts, Darlene is full of good spirit, provides those around her with kind words and healing smiles, and displays a genuine care and concern for those around her. Darlene’s contribution to her clients, colleagues, and the field of couples and family therapy is both distinctive and profoundly needed.”

Darlene Peters was presented with the award at the annual WAMFT Holiday Party and Awards Ceremony on December 5th. She was joined by her classmates and MARPT faculty (see photo). This is the first time that a student from Seattle University has received this award. Darlene says: ""I am honored and humbled to be nominated by Dr. Rebecca Cobb and then selected by AAMFT organization to receive such a priveledged award as "Student of the Year," representing Seattle University, School of Theology and Ministry and the Swinomish Tribal community." Congratulations Darlene!

Darlene shared a few words with us about her experience in the program in response to this honor:

Q: What drew you to couples and family therapy and/or spiritually-integrated couples and family therapy?
A: I am a Native American Indian woman enrolled in the Swinomish Tribe, located in La Conner, Washington.  I wanted to work in our Tribal behavioral health program to serve as a support counselor to assist our tribal people in beginning, or continuing on their healing journey. I was informed by the administrators that I needed a Masters degree and obtain a license in counseling.  I believe that relationships and the entire family must be treated in order for healthy change to occur and be maintained.

Q: Why did you choose Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry?
Father Pat Twohy is an alumni of Seattle University. He told me about this particular program. I desired a program that would integrate spiritually into the therapeutic process for relationships and families.  I knew that this program was for me because of the holistic healing approach for individuals, groups, relationships, couples and families.