News & Announcements

In the history of a warm and vibrant Trinidad is the rubble left behind from broken families and a slew of natural disasters. Therein lays a nation of people waiting to emerge with clear minds and healed pasts.

Enter Regent University's Trauma Team, a division of the School of Psychology & Counseling's (SPC) Center for Trauma Studies.

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China is a nation "ripe for Christianity, " according to Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) professor Dr. James Sells.

And with this ripeness comes a budding interest in healthy marriages and strong families.

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"We didn't sign up for the war when we first started," said Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) assistant professor, Dr. Olya Zaporozhets.

But war is a reality for the people of Ukraine, especially near the Crimean border, where for the last two years, Regent SPC students and faculty have broken into online supervision for trauma and compassion fatigue training.

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Despite its strong economy and vibrant culture, the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago is not immune to crisis, often hit by hurricanes and other disasters large and small. To help residents become more self-sufficient in recovery from crisis, Regent University's Center for Trauma Studies is onsite providing trauma training and support for establishment of a Green Cross Academy of Traumatology.

About 25 people are on deployment in Trinidad through July 14. The team includes Regent professors and students from the School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC), as well as participants from Regent's Green Cross Training. Follow their activities on the Trauma Team blog.

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It's almost 11 p.m. in Quezon City, Philippines. The Skype line jumps and skips. Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling associate professor, Dr. Gabriel Dy-Liacco, sits in front of his computer, his face reflecting the ethereal, bluish glow from his computer screen.

This is how the remote professor conducts his online classes. Nearly thirteen hours ahead of most of his students in the United States. Dedicated to his craft and his passion for God's primary mandate: to love His children.

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Students involved in the Center of Trauma Studies through Regent University's School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC), oftentimes never get to see the changes their efforts have on the people they help.

"I tell our students that even if you don't think you have an impact, you do," said Dr. Benjamin Keyes, SPC professor and director of the Center for Trauma Studies. "Sometimes it's a word, sometimes it's a phrase, and sometimes it's just being with them and being present with them that makes all the difference."

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With interests ranging from massage therapy and chiropractic medicine to biblical studies, theology and counseling, Eric Ferguson '98 (School of Psychology & Counseling) received a thorough, though patchwork-quilted education through various degrees and universities.

But what stitches all of his passions together is his simple love for helping people. This desire is the spark that drives forward his international missions organization in Managua, Nicaragua.

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In an academic community where the topic of sexual identity is inclined to spark more questions than answers, Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) professor and Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity (ISSI) Dr. Mark Yarhouse is an agent of both research and peace.

On Friday, June 6, Yarhouse and his colleagues celebrated the institute's 10 years of studies dedicated to chipping away at the ever-evolving sex and gender issues that arise in both the secular setting and the Church.

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With Regent University's core challenge of leading the world in change and scholarship, the School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) is paving the way with research conducted by its faculty members. During the spring 2014 semester, Dr. Carissa Dwiwardani, assistant professor for SPC, was selected as a Scholar for the Multicultural Concerns Committee for the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 39.

"The way we think about human nature and how people change is very much influenced by our culture and the way we gauge what's 'healthy' and 'not healthy,'" said Dwiwardani. "A lot of psychoanalysis is carrying values on human nature and change that is very culturally explicit."

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This month, master's and Ph.D. counseling students from Virginia traveled to Regent University to participate in the Virginia Association for Counselor Education and Supervision's (VACES) 2014 Graduate Counseling Student Conference, hosted by the School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC).

The conference called for counseling students around the state to present on a wide variety of counseling topics including school counseling, mental health, direct services, marriage counseling and military counseling.

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Three months after the water rushed away from Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, most of what remains is rubble and a community of hurting people.

Last month, Regent University's Trauma Team, led by School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) professor and director of the Center for Trauma Studies, Dr. Benjamin Keyes, along with SPC alumnae Jennifer Cotton '13 and Nicole DiLella '10, traveled to meet the psychological needs of the impacted residents of Tocloba and other nearby islands.

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Before they can enter the field as professionals, a required step in training for clinical psychology doctoral students is their final year: internship. Although applying for yearlong internship program can become a grueling process for fourth year Psy.D. students, the rewards are sweet.

On Friday, Feb. 21, Regent University's School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) participating Psy.D. students obtained an unprecedented 100 percent match rate from the National Matching Service (NMS), an organization that pairs students with their internship programs.

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Fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Regent University's School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) continues urging its community to keep moving forward in the pursuit of equality.

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, American Black Psychologists (ABPsi) Student Circle hosted the fourth annual Black America program, "Cultural Perceptions: Family Constellations and Societal Implications."

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As Regent University continues to lead efforts of improving psychological education, Dr. William Hathaway, dean of the School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC), has been appointed to serve on the executive committee for the American Psychological Association's (APA) Commission on Accreditation (CoA) through the remainder of his three-year term.

"This is an opportunity to work more closely with influential leaders in professional psychology accreditation and to contribute to important initiatives being undertaken by the APA Commission," said Hathaway. "These include a major revision of the standards that govern the accreditation programs in professional psychology."

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The trauma and terror overwhelming the nation of Syria has created a growing need for professionals trained in providing grief counsel to those suffering loss and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In late October, Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) professor Dr. Benjamin Keyes and associate professor Dr. Merrill Reese traveled to Lebanon to take part in leading a "power-packed" three-day training session for Syrian pastors, youth ministers, social workers and psychologists.

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For 15 years, Dr. Mark Yarhouse, Hughes Endowed Chair and professor at Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC), has been writing and speaking about a topic that, for some people in the United States and elsewhere, remains challenging: sexual identity.

In his latest book, Understanding Sexual Identity, Yarhouse tackles the subject once again, as his words become a resource for youth ministers who are seeking guidance for how to respond when a young person tells them they are gay.

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During the academic year, Regent University's Office of Academic Affairs acknowledges three faculty members each semester. The Faculty Awards for Excellence Program recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship, teaching and service involvement among the faculty.

The Fall 2013 Faculty Excellence Awards were presented by Dr. Paul Bonicelli, executive vice president, at Regent's quarterly facutly-staff meeting earlier in November.

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A volunteer group of 15 psychologists and professional counselors in Kenya is using trauma training materials developed by Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) professors in their work helping hostage survivors of the Kenyan mall attack and family members of deceased victims to cope with the tragedy.

Over the last two years, Regent's trauma team, led by SPC professor Dr. Benjamin Keyes, has traveled to Kenya each summer to provide counseling to villagers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the perpetual discord and violence in the Rift Valley. As part of these outreaches, the most recent of which took place in August 2013, the group offered a series of training workshops for local mental health professionals, community leaders, pastors, families and school children.

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"I find myself being honored that these clients will let me see into the very depths of their souls and allow me to be a part of their healing journey," said Dr. Benjamin Keyes, Regent University's School of Psychology (SPC) professor.

As the director of Regent's Center for Trauma studies, Keyes and 12 other members of the Trauma Team traveled this summer to Kinangop, Kenya—a township nestled within the mountains of the Rift Valley, just 90 minutes northwest of Nairobi.

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Dr. Benjamin Keyes, assistant professor in Regent University's School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC), is a man who keeps his promises.

When Keyes discovered the state of the nation during his travels to South Sudan in December of 2012, he vowed to return. This summer, he did—bringing $13,000 of food supplies along with him.

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On Saturday, July 27, Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) students Reese Holt and Carla Sterling partnered with the Signet Family Life Center in Chesapeake, Va., to provide a free health and wellness fair for the members of the community.

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