Q & A with Shontay Brown

School Counseling Alumna 

 

How have you applied theory to practice, and what does that mean to your development as a professional in counseling?

As a professional school counselor, I have learned to integrate various elements of different theories to my practice. Because students’ needs are so diverse, I prefer not to rely on one specific approach or theory. Early on, I thought of myself as a solution-focused, strengths-based counselor but in practice I find myself blending psychoanalytical, cognitive and behavioral methods when working with students and families. Developmentally, I think it makes me more versatile and when it comes to addressing the needs of students, I have a toolbox of different strategies instead of one fixed technique.

What inspired you to pursue a degree at The University of Redlands?

I actually earned both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Redlands. I transferred from the Cal State system during my undergrad because I was a young mother and I worked full-time so it is pretty fair to say I was a “non-traditional” student. The small class sizes, the 13:1 student-faculty ratio, the convenience of evening classes in the liberal arts program, and the program’s reputation for academic excellence, were some of the reasons I chose to study at the University of Redlands. When I decided to continue my education and start graduate school, Redlands was the most obvious choice. By then I was confident that I would receive a high quality education.

What does educational justice mean to you?

To me, educational justice means to equalize opportunity in education for all. It endeavors to implement practical solutions aimed at closing the opportunity gap in our schools, which is a big part of my responsibility as a school counselor.

What identities have you embraced since you became a counselor?

Some identities that immediately come to mind are: advocate, coordinator, leader, liaison, consultant and mediator. These are all hats that I’ve worn and identities I’ve come to embrace since becoming a school counselor.

What do diverse perspectives in your field mean to you?

To me, diverse perspectives means diversity in intuition, problem solving, and predicting future possibilities. Diverse perspectives lead to innovation and better ways of doing things. In the counseling field, diverse perspectives improve collaboration and is the quintessential function of multidisciplinary teams.