Current Assignment in the College of Education and Human Sciences:
I also teach classes and supervise students within the Marriage and Family Therapy (M.S.) and Medical Family Therapy (Ph.D.) programs. I conduct research, contribute to the scholarly literature, and engage in outreach activities in the areas of couple therapy, collaborative care, and rural mental health care.
I am particularly interested in increasing access to high quality mental health care, especially among vulnerable and underserved populations. I am currently involved in projects that designed to do that by marshalling local resources to better meet the mental health care needs of communities and delivering high quality mental health care services through videoconferencing.
I have been a faculty member at University of Nebraska-Lincoln since 1998. I moved to Nebraska from San Diego, California where I was teaching at the University of San Diego and working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in a primary care medical clinic. It was there that I developed an interest and expertise in collaborative healthcare and Medical Family Therapy. At Nebraska, I have been able to apply collaborative care principles to work in rural medical settings and I’ve been able to do this through the innovative use of videoconferencing as a primary treatment delivery medium. This work has increased access to mental health care for underserved rural residents.
This blending of interests and the innovative use of technology has been exciting for me as I see the impact that this work has on rural communities and on students. People who would not have had access to mental health care, now have access to culturally sensitive, state-of-the-art treatment. We appear to be having a positive impact on community members’ perceptions of mental health problems and mental healthcare, in that the negative attributions associated with these appear to be decreasing. My students are having rich experiential learning opportunities working with rural patients and care providers, thereby increasing their appreciation of the care culture in rural communities. They are also having one-of-a-kind opportunities to be trained in the use of videoconferencing and other technologies in delivering mental health care to underserved populations.