Hello and thank you for including me in your requests for testimonials with regard to the University of Oklahoma's MHR degree.
There are two things that set me apart from many students in the MHR program. First of all, I entered as a non-traditional student; that is to say, I was forty three years old when I began my studies and forty five when, with a tremendous sense of accomplishment, pride, gratefulness, and humility I graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Secondly, while many fellow students went on to obtain licensure for counseling professions (such as the LPC, the MFT, etc.), I made a decision to pursue the counseling profession without these additional accreditations. If I were to offer advice to a student pursuing a Masters degree in Human Relations, I would advise them to consider the many career opportunities in the field of counseling which do not require licensure.
Upon graduation, I worked for seven years as a hospice and geriatric mental health specialist in Oklahoma; counseling the terminally ill, their families, and the employees who provided health care to the elderly. I went on to obtain the CAC II (a certification for Addictions Counseling) which allowed me to work as a therapist in an addictions recovery center in the state of Colorado. At the same time, I worked as a 'contract' mental health specialist for the state, which provided me opportunities to do counseling in the field of family reunification/family restoration. While living in Colorado, I also established a private counseling practice which proved to be successful and personally satisfying.
Upon returning to Oklahoma from Colorado so that I could be with my parents at the end of their lives, and so that I would be a 'hands-on' grandmommie to my children's children, I decided to end my counseling career. I entered the sixth decade of my life with a plan to fulfill more 'bucket-list' items, and that is what I have been doing over the past two and a half years: My first book, Saint Somebody, a humorous coming-of-age memoir was published in June of 2015 and has done well. My next book, In Her Own Native Tongue, is a book of poetry and prose. The publishing house that bought the rights to the book say that it will be in circulation around November of 2016.
I cannot put a specific 'value' on the MHR degree program because the experience of learning, interacting with fellow students who shared my career goals, the applying of skill and knowledge in the workplace, and the personal satisfaction that comes with devoting one's life to the service of others has no quantitative 'end point' for me. I will forever cherish my time at The University of Oklahoma, my time serving as a counselor/therapist, and my time (today) in enjoying the memories made in so noble a profession.
Teresa Prins - Wood
Posted on Wed, August 3, 2016
by Stacy Smith