Psychology Events & News

MS Clinical Counseling Psychology Program is Approved Play Therapy Training Institute

The MS Clinical Counseling Psychology Program was certified as an Approved Play Therapy Center on December 9, 2019. This adjunct training branch of the psychology department has the new title, Brenau University Play Therapy Training Institute. The Brenau University Play Therapy Training Institute will provide master’s level students and individuals who already have a master’s degree in the mental health field the opportunity to attain further specialization in play therapy. Center Director Dr. Lucinda Grapenthin said, “The institute will provide instruction and supervised clinical experience for enrollees who wish to enhance their clinical skills working with children and caretakers.” The institute will work toward the advancement of play therapy through research endeavors and will host workshops available to the Brenau University community as well as to mental health professionals in the surrounding area.

15th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Breakfast & Briefing

Solicitor General of Hall County Stephanie Woodard, event speaker Janet Paulsen, Brenau Psychology Department Chair Dr. Julie Battle, Director of Gateway Domestic Violence Center Jessica Butler

The 15th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Breakfast & Briefing was held on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, at the Brenau Downtown Center. This year, the briefing featured domestic violence survivor Janet Paulsen.

Janet Paulsen was an ordinary suburban mom in November 2015. She was the executive vice president of the Acworth Baseball Association, supporting her athletic and active 13-year-old twin boys. She and her husband of 15 years owned a mortgage servicing business. She was in the best shape of her life, having just trained for and completed a grueling Savage Race with obstacle course. The Volunteer of the Year Award, given by the Georgia Parks and Recreation Association, had just been minted with her name as its recipient.  A graduate of the University of Georgia, Ms. Paulsen also had an 18-year career in the shopping center industry managing and marketing regional malls and outlet centers on behalf of the developers.

Unfortunately, Janet was also living a different life behind closed doors. She was living with an abusive, alcoholic husband — a living nightmare sleeping beside her every night.  On November 5, 2015, her then husband attempted to kill her by shooting her six times leaving her right leg paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury.  She survived after multiple surgeries and physical therapy and chooses to live her life to the fullest by taking care of her boys, participating in sports such as scuba diving and water skiing, and being a voice for others living in similar situations. In sharing her story, she empowers other survivors and victims by providing valuable insight into her experience of navigating through an imperfect system. This information helps to shed light on existing gaps and will provide professionals who serve victims with ideas of how to make improvements that could help save lives.

The event, presented each October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month by the Hall County Domestic Violence Task Force, was sponsored by Gateway Domestic Violence Center, Brenau University, Hall County Solicitor’s Office, NGMC Trauma & Acute Care Surgery, and McDonald’s.


Play Therapy Room Added to BCCPS at Norcross Campus

The Psychology Department celebrated the grand opening of its play therapy room at the Brenau Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (BCCPS) on the Norcross campus on Friday, April 18, 2019.

Gary Bauman, Josh Hall and Lucinda Grapenthin, as well as the Master of Science in Clinical Counseling graduate students, were on hand to formally cut the red ribbon celebrating the new addition. This specially designed room incorporates a center for expressive arts therapy and a space for non-directed play therapy. The room is equipped with therapeutic toys, dolls and activities to help serve the young clients. A two-way mirror allows for clinical supervision and observations while student clinicians are working with children and families. A Play Therapy Specialization is offered to the graduate students while they are pursuing their counseling degree.

Psychology Department’s Fourth Annual Get PsychED! Event a Success

On Friday, February 8, 2019, approximately 230 students from local high schools visited Brenau University for a special screening of Three Identical Strangers.  The documentary examines a set of identical triplets who were separated at birth and how their lives were affected by the undisclosed scientific experiment on “nature vs. nurture” that led to their separation.

After the movie, the students participated in a variety of activities that demonstrate various psychology-related concepts including a drunk goggles obstacle course, virtual dementia tour, simple tasks while wearing inversion goggles, a neuroscience demonstration of brain motor commands, the “rubber hand” illusion, and the hearing voices experience.

The event stems from ideas generated by the Brenau Psychology Club led by Dr. Perry Daughtry. The successful implementation of Get PsychED! can only be done through the efforts of the Brenau Admissions Department, with active involvement from the Psychology faculty, students in the Clinical Counseling Master’s program, and the members of the Psychology Club.

In past years, the department has screened the films The Stanford Prison Experiment and Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story.

Students Inducted into Psi Chi International Honor Society

The Psychology Department inducted twenty-two graduate and undergraduate students into the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at the Downtown Center. Psi Chi was​ ​founded in 1920 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of psychology​. The society is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology one of their main interests and who meet the qualifications for class standing and academic achievement. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association.

​Dr. Julie Battle, Prof. Margie Gill, CCP grad students Vanessa Senior and Caterina De Fazio, and Prof. Perry Daughtry

​Dr. Julie Battle, Prof. Margie Gill, CCP grad students Vanessa Senior and Caterina De Fazio, and Prof. Perry Daughtry at the Psi Chi Induction


Clinical Counseling Program Graduate Student Helps Coordinate Women’s Wellness Workshops with Refugee Women’s Network

Masters in Clinical Counseling graduate student Tanya Acosta assisted the Refugee Women’s Network in Decatur with their Women’s Wellness Workshops in summer, 2017, as part of the hours needed to complete her Culture and Diversity specialization under Dr. Maria Zayas’ mentorship. The collective vision behind the workshops was to establish a place of social support and psycho-education for the women. According to Tanya, “In that space, each woman grows in her understanding and awareness of the many facets of acculturation stress. Having individual experiences seen and heard by one another seeks to provide a sense of normalcy and group identity.” Each workshop ended with the participation in an evidence-based practice that was known to mitigate the effects of stress.

The Refugee Women’s Network is a nonprofit organization serving refugees resettled in the state of Georgia. It’s mission is to inspire and equip refugee and immigrant women to become leaders in their homes, businesses, and communities.

Refugee Women's Network planting workshop participants

Refugee Women’s Network workshop participants

Fefugee Women's Network planting workshop participants

CCP grad student, Tanya Acosta (front row, second from right), and Refugee Women’s Network participants and staff

Re-Accreditation for the Master of Science in Clinical Counseling Psychology Program

The Psychology Department announces that the Master of Science in Clinical Counseling Psychology program has been fully re-accredited for the period of February, 2017, through February, 2027, by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC).

Brenau Granted 1st Georgia Chapter of Gerontology Academic Honor Society

Brenau University is the first university in Georgia to be granted a chapter of the National Gerontology Academic Honor and Professional Society of Sigma Phi Omega.

2019-2020 SAO Officers – Gainesville

President:  Savannah Partee
Vice President:  Matthew Robb
Secretary:  Kadie Graham
Treasurer:  Holly White

2019-2020 SAO Officers – Norcross

President:  Lakeiya McLean
Vice President:  Lekeisha Jones
Secretary:  Alexa Thayer
Treasurer:  Alberto Castillo

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