"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"

The Thoughtful Counselor is a podcast dedicated to producing great conversations around current topics in counseling and psychotherapy. We view counseling and psychotherapy as a deeply beautiful and complex process, and strive to incorporate both the art and science of the field in each episode. Thought the explicit focus of The Thoughtful Counselor is on the counseling profession, we view counseling as both collaborative and 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 hope and goal of The Thoughtful Counselor is to provide a free resource intended to assist in the growth and formation of counselors and psychotherapists worldwide. 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.  Any feedback or suggestions you may have for content or constructive ideas to help improve The Thoughtful Counselor as a resource are much appreciate.

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

*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. If you haven’t read Dr. Gladding’s poetry on counseling, definitely do so: http://college.wfu.edu/sites/sam-gladding/some-of-my-poetry

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. 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 (as well as another on the way). 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 expatriates living in Beijing. Mike holds an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Palo Alto University and serves on the leadership team of his Chi Sigma Iota chapter.  He also serves as a leader and elder in his church, Oasis Christian Fellowship in Beijing. Mike loves Jesus, 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 research on ethics and best practices in counseling at numerous regional and national conferences, including the American Counseling Association, the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling, and the Colorado Counseling Association, and has published articles in Community 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.

She enjoys hiking, camping, and playing with her family in the great Colorado outdoors.

Raissa Miller – Neuroscience Series

Dr. Raissa Miller is an Assistant Professor and Addiction Program Coordinator at Boise State University.  Dr. Miller’s clinical experiences include work with children and adolescents who experience sexual assault, work with individuals and couples ages 5-65 at community outpatient clinics, facilitation of relapse prevention groups at a drug and alcohol treatment center, and, most recently, implementation of neurofeedback training.  In her counseling, teaching, and research, Dr. Miller seeks to integrate and apply the latest findings from neuroscience.   You can read some of her work related to neuroscience and counseling 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 community settings, focusing primarily on sexuality health and wellness and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQQIA) children, adolescents, adults, and their families. Her research includes feminist and queer perspectives of counseling and counselor education, sexuality counseling and education, issues related to LGBTQQIA populations, and community-based and participatory action research. Megan is currently a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New Mexico.