Alumni Profiles - Erica Tan
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
An exploratory study of the attributions made by individuals who experience same-sex attraction
Having spent five years in Regent University's Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, Erica Tan's experiences at the university have expanded her view of God's role in her career as a clinician. “Here in the Psy.D. program at Regent,” says Tan, “I have learned that integration of the Christian faith and psychology is not defined by a prescribed technique, but rather by a way of life and interaction with others. I think the most amazing thing about my education at Regent was the mentorship from the professors. Not only did they teach integration – i.e., spiritual and psychological – but they modeled it really well. Unlike other programs, there was no separation of the spiritual from the psychological. I think that's one of the strengths in the Psy.D. program. The faculty did an amazing job helping me to cast a vision for what it looks like to be a balanced psychologist – in life, in work, in play.”
When Tan began her program, she asked a professor what it would take to be successful in graduate school. “His response was, ‘Grades don't matter. It's who you are, what you do and how you relate to people,’ ” she recalls. “I have been encouraged at Regent to relate to others by calling forth their 'Imago Dei' – the Image of God in them. I have found that to be the essential truth and it has been the formative value that I work from.” Whether working with professors, other mental health clinicians, clients, the church, Christians or non-Christians, Tan obtained the tools she needed at Regent to integrate her faith with her practice as a clinician.
Since graduation in 2004, Dr. Tan worked as a licensed clinical psychologist at Eden Counseling Center and was the director of clinical training there, supervising Regent counseling and psychology graduate students on their internship rotations. Erica has also continued to collaborate on research projects with Dr. Mark Yarhouse, professor in the Psy.D. program. Recently, Tan relocated across the country to Portland, Oregon to work with Portland DBT, a group practice specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. “Regent University's Psy.D. program,” Tan says, “has equipped me tremendously with the skills and perspective that will enable me to engage in servant leadership in anything I do.”