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Spotlight on Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology – Argosy University, Dallas


The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology degree program at Argosy University, Dallas offers a variety of experiences beyond just getting your education. We have an official mascot – Underdog. Why - because in our field we often support those who have very unique needs and are often seen as the expected loser in a legal issue. We wear the cape with pride.

This program teaches more than just the behavior expected of criminals. We teach why those behaviors may become criminal behaviors and we use a multidimensional approach to understanding forensic psychology. Here are a few of the important components of our program:

We offer a Field Placement to students who attend on campus in the blended format. We offer comprehensive Examination Preparation Workshops.

Our graduates work in a variety of fields including Juvenile and Adult Probation, local police departments, recovery agencies, court ordered treatment agencies, and the criminal justice field. Some of our graduates go on to doctoral programs.

Dr. Debbra Jennings is the Chair of the program and teaches several of the courses. She brings years of experience in evaluation and intervention, program development, and teaching. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychology-Law Division – Division 41 of the American Psychological Association, the Dallas Forensic Group, and the National Association of School Psychologists.

Come see what we are all about. Visit a class to experience the energy. Dr. Jennings can be reached through her email at

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Argosy University, 5001 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, Heritage Square, Dallas, TX 75244 © 2017 Argosy University. All rights reserved. Our email address is
See for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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4 most common issues addressed in couples counseling (and how to resolve them)

At any given moment, about half of the caseload in my counseling practice is comprised of couples seeking assistance in their marriages. It is no wonder this statistic may seem familiar, considering the divorce rate for first time marriages has hovered around the 50% mark over the past half century. As a matter of fact, by the end of the 20th century, 45% of marriages were predicted to end in divorce (Amato, 2010). Over the past 18 years of working with couples in therapy, I have discovered the marriage problems most couples struggle with have trended toward four common factors.
  1. Hearing to respond vs. listening to understand

This may appear to be simply concept, but one that I have observed rarely practiced among struggling couples. There have been times when I was able to see the difference with my own eyes. When one hears to respond, his or her eyes often drift away from the speaker, as if to begin formulating what next to say. On the other hand, when one listens to understand, eye contact is maintained, and sometimes, a response is unnecessary (other than validating what the speaker stated).

  1. Lack of empathy toward spouse

Empathy is simply the attempt to understand another’s point of view, from that other person’s life experience. Considering the possibility that couples experience life from differing statuses, i.e. gender, socioeconomic background, geography, etc., these differences are more likely than unlikely. The natural stance to take when engaging in a debate, is to insist on defending one’s own decisions from one’s own perspective. Healthy couples attempt to understand their partner’s argument from their partner’s perspective.

  1. Sweating the small stuff

The 1996 book “Don’t sweat the small stuff …. and it’s all small stuff” by author Richard Carlson provided insight into one of the areas of conflict that affects many couples. I respectfully disagree with the second half of the title of the book. There certainly are big, core issues that couples often debate over. These core issues are either very apparent early on in a relationship, or better yet, couples actually discuss their core priorities, i.e. faith, family, career, child rearing, finances, etc. When a couple argues vehemently over an issue that is not a core priority, then they are sweating the small stuff. As a simplified solution, overtly discuss the actual topic of argument early in the debate. If the topic does not fit in one of the core priority categories, the couple could decide to not allow a ‘small stuff’ topic becomes a big argument.

  1. Uncoordinated shift in priorities

Speaking of priorities, over a human’s lifespan, his or her priorities take several developmental paradigm shifts. For example, typically young children prioritize their need for parental support, then this transitions to peer support when we experience adolescence. This social priority takes on another typical shift to a significant other, when we enter young adulthood. Individuals within a marriage experience similar personal shifts in priorities throughout their adult lives. A couple’s core priorities may be similarly aligned in the beginning stages of their marriage. Then, later in life, one individual may push a particular priority further down the list, while the other spouse increases that priority’s position. For example, both parties within a romantic relationship may place a premium on physical intimacy early on in the relationship. Often times, one individual either maintains or increases this area of priority, while the other decreases. There is not an easy solution to this uncoordinated shift, other than having open communication about these shifting needs.

This is not an exhaustive list, but instead, a synthesis of themes observed by this author. Some may be able to apply these suggestions and experience immediate improvement in their marriages. For others whose conflicts require more intense intervention, there is still good news. Couples therapy appears to render positive results. According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, over 98% of couple’s surveyed reported receiving good family therapy, 97% reported receiving the help they needed, and 93% reported having received more effective strategies for dealing with their marital problems. A qualified mental health professional is often able to effectively conceptualize a couple’s needs and offer suggestions for better relations.

Written by Michael J. Maxwell, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, CSC | Associate Professor | Argosy University, Dallas


Amato, P. R. (2010), Research on Divorce: Continuing Trends and New Developments. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 650–666.

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapist (2017). Retrieved from

Carlson, R. (1996). Don’t sweat the small stuff …. And it’s all small stuff. New York: Hachette Books

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Grow Academically in the Heart of the South—Dallas, Texas


Argosy University, Dallas allows students to earn a degree while experiencing the charm and atmosphere that the Lone Star State is known for. The school is located in the inner-ring Dallas suburb of Farmer’s Branch, which boasts over 3,00 companies and 250 corporate headquarters.

Argosy University, Dallas offers subjects ranging from Business Administration to Public Health, Information Technology, Nursing, Histotechnology, Criminal Justice, and Educational Administration. The school offers doctoral degrees, master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and associate’s degrees. Many programs have flexible learning formats that allow students to fit an education into their busy work and life schedules.

Once admitted to the university, students have access to the school’s library, which contains resources that support campus programs while encouraging life-long learning. The library maintains a specialized collection of books, scholarly journals, audiovisuals, reference materials, dissertations, and theses—reference materials that assist students at all levels of their education to grow academically and professionally. The library is also accessible online.

The professional instructors in Dallas encourage students to achieve their school and career goals. Students benefit from hands-on learning, internship opportunities, and group projects that prepares them for a career after graduation.

Argosy University, Dallas is located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which offers a diverse range of cultural and recreational activities, including the Dallas Symphony, Mesquite Rodeo, Six Flags, Lone Star Park, and concerts in the West End. Sports fans enjoy following the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, and FC Dallas. There are so many things to do in Dallas, so students will never be bored!

Affectionately known as “Big D”, Dallas is the ninth largest city in the United States. It’s a city that enjoys sharing its personal warmth with all who visit, live, and work there. The city of Dallas encompasses 384 square miles of rolling prairie, with native pecan, cottonwood, and oak trees located along the Trinity River. Large regional employers and companies in Dallas include AT&T, Dean Foods, Texas Instruments, Southwest Airlines, Atmos Energy, and Holly Frontier Corporation. Dallas is also home to the Arts District, where the Dallas Museum of Art, Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center, The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and The Dallas Children’s Theater.

Starting your educational experience—or building upon it—can be a valuable and rewarding experience. So take a look at all of the degrees that Argosy University, Dallas has to offer. Then click through on the links to learn more about the programs and how they can help you to achieve your educational and career goals. If you’d like to talk to an admissions representative, call (855) 435-5334 or visit our admissions webpage. You can also stop by the school. Our address is 5001 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, Heritage Square, Farmers Branch, TX 75244.

Doctoral Degrees

Master's Degrees

Bachelor's Degrees

Associate's Degrees

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Argosy University, 5001 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, Heritage Square, Dallas, TX 75244 © 2017 Argosy University. All rights reserved. Our email address is

See for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • 2018

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