About Us

A Podcast Dedicated to the Art and Science of the Counseling Profession

The Thoughtful Counselor is a podcast dedicated to producing great conversations around current topics in the counseling profession. Counseling is a deeply beautiful and complex process, and therefore we strive to incorporate both the art and science of the field in each episode. In addition, although the focus of The Thoughtful Counselor is on the counseling profession, we view counseling as inter-professional and thus include interviews with professionals from many helping professions including marriage and family therapy, social work, clinical psychology, and psychiatry. We currently have listeners from all over the world including the US, China, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Southeast Asia, the UK, and Europe.

The goal of The Thoughtful Counselor is to provide a resource to assist the growth and formation of counselors worldwide. Consequently, the podcast is currently open-source and we encourage you to use it in anyway you see fit (see licensing below). We would love to hear from you about how you incorporate The Thoughtful Counselor into your work, practice, or teaching.  Therefore, any suggestions you may have for future content or ideas to help improve The Thoughtful Counselor are much appreciate.  Contact us here.

Finally, The Thoughtful Counselor simply wouldn’t exist without the mentoring, encouragement, and feedback of Drs. Megan Speciale and Margaret Lamar.

downloads since September 2016

“Counseling is a complex riddle where the mind’s lines are joined with scrambling and precision to make sense out of nonsense…a tedious process like piecing fragments of a puzzle together, until a picture is formed”*

*Quoted from Gladding, S. T. (1978). In the midst of the puzzles and counseling journey. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 57, 148. copyright Samuel T. Gladding. 

Licensing and Use

The Thoughtful Counselor is licensed under a Creative Commons license. Basically this means anyone is free and encouraged to share, copy, and redistribute the material in any medium or format, as well as remix, transform, and build upon the content. Therefore, all we ask is that you do not use the material for commercial use and give appropriate attribution. For more information about creative commons, as well as a comprehensive summary of the license, click here.

Mike Shook – Creator

Mike is husband to Becca and father to John, Matthew, and Everett. He has lived in China since 2007, where he worked for an NGO caring for children with medical needs before beginning a career in mental health counseling with English speaking cross-cultural workers and immigrants living in Beijing. Mike holds an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Palo Alto University, is a national certified counselor, and a licensed mental health counselor in Florida. He also serves as a leader and elder in his church, Oasis Christian Fellowship in Beijing. Mike loves Christian theology and spirituality, his family, reading, beer, good food, and the outdoors.

Allison Kramer – Ethics Series

Allison Kramer, Ph.D., LPC, CAC II, is the Program Lead for Counseling Psychology at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Addictions Counselor in Colorado since 2001. In addition to teaching, she also has a small mental health counseling private practice.

Kramer has presented original on ethics and best practices in the counseling profession at numerous regional and national conferences including the American Counseling Association, the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling, and the Colorado Counseling Association.  Furthermore, she has published articles in College Journal of Research and Practice, ACA’s VISTAS, and Counseling Today. She has authored book chapters in Explorations in Diversity: Examining Privilege and Oppression in a Multicultural Society and in the American Psychological Association Handbook of Ethics in Psychology.

Last but not least, she enjoys hiking, camping, and playing with her family in the great Colorado outdoors.

Raissa Miller – Series

Dr. Raissa Miller is an Assistant Professor and Addiction Program Coordinator at Boise State University.  Dr. Miller’s clinical experience has been working with individuals and couples ages 5-65 at outpatient clinics.  Specifically, she has worked  with children and adolescents who experience sexual assault and has facilitated relapse prevention groups at a drug and alcohol treatment center. Most recently, her work has involved the implementation of neurofeedback training. Interestingly, Dr. Miller seeks to integrate and apply the latest findings from in her counseling, teaching, and research. You can read some of her work related to neuroscience and the counseling profession in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, the Journal of Humanistic Counseling, and Counseling Today.

When not at work, Dr. Miller prefers to spend her time outdoors exploring the beautiful state of Idaho with her husband and daughter.  They love hiking, kayaking, skiing, and camping together as a family.

Megan Speciale – Sex Series

Dr. Megan Speciale is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program at Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, CA. Megan has worked as a professional counselor and advocate in a variety of settings, focusing primarily on health and wellness.  Specifically, Speciale’s works with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQQIA) children, adolescents, adults, and their families. Consequently, her research includes feminist and queer perspectives of the counseling profession and counselor education, sexuality counseling and education, issues related to LGBTQQIA populations, and -based and participatory action research. Megan is currently a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New Mexico.

Aaron Smith

Dr. Aaron Smith is both an eight-year Veteran of the United States Marine Corps infantry (attached to Delta Company 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marines, out of Albuquerque, NM), as well as, an Assistant Professor of Counseling and Psychology within the Psychology Department at Western Washington University (CACREP). He is also the director of the Warrior- Lab, a Veterans mental health research collective composed of undergraduate and graduate students that assist with applied, programmatic counseling-research pertaining to Veterans, service people, and their families.

Dr. Smith received dual BAs in Psychology and Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (UNM). He also holds an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CACREP), as well as, a PhD in Counselor and Supervision (CACREP), both from UNM. In New Mexico, he served in roles as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Clinical Supervisor. Dr. Smith teaches in both the Counseling Graduate Program (CACREP) and the psychology undergraduate program (APA) at Western Washington University.

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