Student Representative Position
Nominee: Theresa Jubenville
My name is Theresa Jubenville, and I am a second year PhD student in the Counselling Psychology program at the University of Calgary. My experience serving in leadership roles, along with a commitment to furthering the field of Counselling Psychology make me a strong candidate for the position of student representative for the Counselling Psychology Section of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).
During the past academic year, I served as the PhD Counselling Psychology student representative at the University of Calgary. While in this role, I have honoured and represented the student voice, advocating for changes to benefit the student body and voicing student concerns at monthly faculty meetings. The dedication, perseverance, and passion I brought to representing student expression paid off. Specifically, I created an online communication platform for all Counselling Psychology students at the University of Calgary, implemented a feedback system to follow up with student concerns, and worked to establish a clear role description for the student representative. My time in this role has shown me the power of the student voice, and I believe that this collective voice can create meaningful change. As such, I am passionate about ensuring that the student voice is well articulated within the CPA, providing students accessible avenues of communication and involvement. If elected into the role of student representative for the Counselling Psychology Section of CPA, I will strive to use the communication tools already in place to garner student input, as well as work in collaboration with the Student Section of the CPA to understand and address issues important to the students of the CPA.
This past year I also served as the campus representative in Educational Psychology for the Student Section of the CPA. With an enthusiasm to promote the strength and vibrancy of the discipline of Counselling Psychology, I second authored a presentation with Julie Cohen that will be distributed across Canada to distinguish the identity of Counselling Psychology for prospective graduate students. Continuing with the work that the current CPA Counselling Psychology Executive initiated, I will strive to continue to distinguish and promote Counselling Psychology identity across Canada. I believe it is important to educate future graduate students about the presence of Counselling Psychology and the unique training that one receives in this stream of psychology.
Beyond advancing this knowledge to prospective students, I have come to see a need to expand knowledge of the discipline of Counselling Psychology to professionals. As I will be entering into the AAPIC internship process rather shortly, the shortage of internship sites that accept Counselling Psychology students is a significant concern for a student like myself looking to obtain an AAPIC placement, but should also raise concern among professionals within our discipline. If elected as the student representative for the Section of Counselling Psychology within CPA, one of the initiatives I would endeavor to pursue is an evaluation of APPIC sites regarding their perceptions of Counsellling Psychology and the skills and training of Counselling Psychology students. As I have always found value in blending both research and practice, understanding internship site perceptions of Counselling Psychology may delineate what steps may be taken to describe how we as a profession may better advance Counselling Psychology and promote our value at a systemic level.
My clinical training at numerous practicum sites has led to a recognition and appreciation of the value of inter-professional collaboration. With a desire to bring this inter-professional collaboration into the academic setting, I worked with colleagues in both Clinical Psychology and School Psychology programs at the University of Calgary to initiate a monthly professional development seminar, inviting guest psychologists to present on various areas of practice. This proved to be an excellent opportunity for students to network across disciplines and learn from one another. I believe that this type of collaboration is a stepping-stone towards bridging the divisiveness between the various streams of psychology, helping to bring awareness to the strengths and value that Counselling Psychology can offer to internship sites, and society as a whole.
In addition to acting in leadership roles, I am also a research assistant on a provincial research project that is investigating the transitional and employment experiences of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This work closely aligns with my doctoral research, which focuses on improving understanding of and access to mental health services for adults with ASD. Viewing research as a powerful tool for implementing social change, I am motivated to bring more attention to developmental disorders within Counselling Psychology, an area that is currently underdeveloped.
When I’m not busy with leadership or research roles, I enjoy teaching fitness classes at my local gym, being outdoors with my dog, and traveling the world. It would be a great honour to be elected into the role of student representative for the Counselling Section of CPA. I would not take this responsibility lightly, and would work hard to show my commitment to the students and to the profession of Counselling Psychology.