I knew nothing about Trevecca when I traveled from my home in Washington State to visit a friend in Nashville. That weekend, during Sunday services at a nondenominational church, the minister mentioned Trevecca in his sermon, and I decided to check out that school. I liked what I learned, and I applied to and was accepted into Trevecca’s Graduate Counseling Program.
Early in the program our professors asked us to begin our preparation for careers in counseling by examining our own internal landscapes—our families of origin, histories, traumas, and our wounded-ness—so that we could be prepared to help others navigate their own internal landscapes. For all of us, that early experience in self-reflection was a fundamental part of our preparation to become counselors.
But our professors went further. They modeled and demonstrated that process in their own lives. They opened themselves to us and exhibited authenticity in their interactions with us. In them, we could see what we should become. They communicated their commitment to excellence in the profession and taught us that our goal was not financial rewards—but excellence in the profession. Furthermore, they gave my classmates and me encouragement, the confidence to launch, and the assurance of their support.
Those lessons guided classmate Jennifer Gillett and me in the nonprofit agency we opened immediately after graduating. The Refuge Center* is a faith-based nonprofit counseling center, which exemplifies what we learned at Trevecca; it pairs excellence with accessibility, breaks down barriers, and provides a place where a whole family can receive services.
Amy Alexander, LMFT ’05 Executive Director
The Refuge Center, Franklin, Tennessee
*By its fifth year, the Center had grown 1,000% and now has two locations. In 2012 it provided 8,000 counseling sessions for 1,000 individuals, and the Center for Nonprofit Management named it one of three finalists in its Salute to Excellence in the “Compassionate Care for Staff and Clients” category.