“[My education] enhanced my ability to hold my own when discussing mental health concerns at my work.”
Assists High-risk Male Felons in a 90-Day Treatment Program
Amanda McCullar is a registered psychotherapist and works as a mental health clinician at an inpatient cognitive behavioral program in Denver, Colorado. She serves male felons at a community corrections facility—men who are the highest risk to reoffend have been referred to a 90-day treatment program before reentering the community. In the program, McCullar works with them in both group and individual settings to correct antisocial thoughts and behaviors and address any responsivity factors such as mental health and trauma.
Prior to attending Argosy University, Denver, McCullar earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from DeSales University in Pennsylvania. She moved to Denver and began working toward a Master of Arts in general psychology at the University of the Rockies. “My education from Argosy University, Denver greatly impacted my personal growth and career development,” she said. “It enhanced my ability to hold my own when discussing mental health concerns at my work—I am better able to advocate for my clients' mental health needs.”
McCullar added that while attending University of the Rockies, she worked with at-risk adolescent females. “In 2016, I started working as a case manager with female felons at a community corrections facility. I was then promoted twice within the company.” She hopes to work for the FBI or a similar agency in the future and knew that a specialized degree was key to achieving that goal. She completed a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from Argosy University, Denver in 2017.
“I chose Argosy University because it offered flexibility, which was crucial when balancing work, school and my personal life. I still hope to go back for a PsyD.,” she mentioned. McCullar enjoyed the blended learning environment—and said that learning online was challenging and fast-paced. “Argosy staff further supported my independence. I was often encouraged to complete my work in my own style and grow as a writer.”
She explained that the Forensic Psychology program at Argosy helped her to understand assessments and counseling techniques specifically for substance abuse. This was especially beneficial because many of the clients she sees abuse alcohol or drugs.
Today, McCullar is honored to provide therapeutic services that help what she calls “a forgotten population.” She is also working toward becoming a licensed professional counselor. McCullar recommended that current students take in all of the knowledge that they can while still in school. “Immerse yourself in the classroom environment. And establish relationships with your fellow peers and professors.”
As she grows within the profession, McCullar has taken opportunities to build relationships with her clients. “Within the last couple of months, we started to offer in-house volunteer work for our clients. I have had the opportunity to work alongside my clients during these projects,” she stated. One of the first projects involved providing heat relief for the homeless in Denver.
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