THE degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counselling Psychology was conferred last Saturday on Ms.Donnalin Cleopatra Laura Constantine of Entrepot Castries, by the University of Memphis, Tennessee.
Dr. Constantine was the only international graduate student in her class.
In 2010 Dr. Constantine was awarded the Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship from the U.S government. She has since spent the past five years at the University of Memphis.
One of the conditions of this scholarship is the requirement of the student to return to their home country to provide a minimum of two years of service. However, before returning home Dr. Constantine will be completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the student counselling centre at the University of Texas at Dallas. During that time she will be providing services to college students including, individual, couple and group therapy. She will also be developing specialized skills and interventions in trauma intervention.
Her dissertation entitled “The moderating impact of giftedness on the relationship between existential anxiety, authenticity and depression,” helps mark a milestone in her professional trajectory in counselling.
Dr. Constantine has always had a keen interest in human behaviour, psychology and counselling. In her professional development she started out with a B.Sc. in Social Work, then obtained a M.Sc. in Counselling and now a Ph. D in Counselling Psychology.
“I have always had a passion for counselling and a gift for listening and understanding others, hence, this is more than a professional accomplishment but further development in my vocation,” she responds in question to why she has chosen this particular field of study.
On returning to St. Lucia she hopes to eventually transition into private practice and to provide therapeutic services in the form of consultation and therapy (individual, couple, and group therapy) without discrimination for socio-economic status, religion, sexual orientation, gender and age.
“I would also like to engage in community outreach to help increase public awareness by providing information to help diminish some of the stigma around about mental health and illness. I hope to use my skills in trauma intervention to assist and advocate for persons dealing with sexual, developmental and complex trauma,” she said.