Tatiana McLean (’18) Prepares for a Career in Counseling

By Hannah Werthan

Molloy College's first cohort of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) students began their studies in 2015. Tatiana McLean was a member of the inaugural class, and this September, she begins full-time work in the same private practice where she interned in Fall 2017.

Tatiana wanted to pursue Dance Movement Therapy in graduate school, when she discovered Molloy Colleges Master's Degree Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. "Tatiana exuded a radiance and confidence from the initial interview with me. She has the ability to connect with others on a deep emotional level while representing herself in a highly professional manner," says program director Dr. Kestemberg.

As a graduate student, Tatiana juggled many commitments. She worked part-time at Good Samaritan Hospital, was a peer mentor and graduate assistant, and completed 600 hours of internship work. During her final year of the program, she presented with Tiare Martinez, and professor Tyce Nadrich at NYMHCA, the state-level counseling organization. Tatiana also won the Outstanding Counseling Student in New York State award. Dr. Kestemberg describes Tatiana as being one of the students responsible for the "spirit" of the program, organizing peer events and developing their social media presence.

A couple of classes in the program stood out to Tatiana as being particularly impactful, including Dr. Laura Wood's counselling skills class. Dr. Wood brought in Drama Therapy students to "play" patients for a 45-minute session. Each CMHC student was assigned a "patient" without receiving any background beforehand. The session was then recorded and played for the class and the other CMHC students gave feedback. Viewing video evidence and sharing feedback allowed Tatiana to see how her counseling abilities had grown.

Tatiana was an intern at Balance Mental Health Counseling, a private practice. She recently heard from the owner of the practice that her clients are still doing well. "I'm happy that they are employing some of the techniques that I taught them when I interned at the practice," Tatiana says. She looks forward to returning to the practice full-time in September. Her goal is to open her own practice within three to five years, so that she can fulfill her dream of serving clients through traditional talk therapy or dance and art therapy.

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