In 2019, Amanda Averback graduated with a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. After graduation, she wanted to continue the strong sense of community she and her classmates felt while in the program at Texas Wesleyan. Amanda recently worked with the alumni office to start a counseling alumni network.
We asked Amanda about what drove her passion to becoming a therapist, her experience at Texas Wesleyan and her vision for alumni of the program. Check out what she had to say.
Why did you want to become a therapist?
Several older and wiser therapists have described the desire to become a counselor as a calling. I have also experienced it this way. I can think of no other way I want to spend my time on earth, than having the privilege of being with someone as they take on the grueling work to become the person they want to be.
Tell us about your experience in the TXWES counseling program.
I greatly enjoyed my experience in the Texas Wesleyan counseling program. To use y’all’s words, smaller is smarter, especially for a counseling program. Getting to know my professors and colleges in such an intimate manner has positively impacted how I do therapy. I was educated as a person, not just a number. I am not sure I would have experienced such individualized support at a larger institution.
Talk about a professor that had an impact on you.
Dr. Sparks is the professor who has had (and continues to have) the most impact on my development as a therapist. She has mastered the art of being fully present, personable and professionally poised. She strikes a lovely balance between providing a strong sense of support and giving space for me to discover my own answers and learn from my mistakes. As a person who learns best by experience, I appreciate and admire teachers who can provide this type of learning environment. I am honored she has agreed to be my supervisor so I can continue to learn from her post-graduation. I also hope to follow her example and create a similar learning environment for my clients.
Why did you start the TXWES Counseling Alumni Network?
When I started the program, I was grateful to be chosen as a scholarship recipients and knew I wanted to give back in a way that would support other students. For a few years, I have listened to colleagues describe their experience of post-graduation and pre-licensure as a type of lonely limbo. When I graduated, I had similar feelings. My earlier desire to give back to the program was rekindled and began to take shape as a counseling alumni network. I hope even after we are seasoned therapists, we can continue to form a strong RAMily of TXWES counselors who support each other with consultation groups, socials and occasional CEU opportunities.
Any advice for people who are looking to become a counselor?
Becoming a counselor will change you for the better. Allow the growth to unfold and enjoy the process; it’s never-ending. Continually engage in self-growth so that you can be an authentic guide to those who come to you for help with the growth process.