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Teresa M. Christensen, assistant professor of counseling in Old Dominion University's Darden College of Education, won the 2006 Best Group Research Article from the American Counseling Association's Association for Specialists in Group Work. It is the second time she has been awarded the distinction.

Christensen received the award for the article, "Facilitation of reminiscence groups: Perceptions of group leaders," which appeared in the Journal for Specialists in Group Work in March 2006. The article, for which Christensen was lead author, presents results of a two-year qualitative study where graduate counseling students facilitated reminiscence groups with elderly residents of an assisted-living facility. In the study, the students provided their perceptions of the process, which was life-altering for many of them, according to Christensen.

In 2001, Christensen won the award for her article "A qualitative investigation of the process of group supervision with group counselors," which appeared in the Journal for Specialists in Group Work.

Christensen, who also has a clinical practice in Virginia Beach, joined the Old Dominion faculty in 2006. Previously, she served as associate professor of counselor education and director of school counseling for the Charter School Initiative at the University of New Orleans. Additionally, she has nearly 15 years of experience as a counselor in group homes, schools and private practice.

At Old Dominion, Christensen is developing a registered play therapy training program and serves a the play therapy director and consultant at the university's Child Study Center.

Active in the community, she frequently gives lectures and seminars on topics such as coping strategies for school counselors and teachers, helping children cope with divorce, parenting involvement in school success, and parenting to stop the cycle of community violence. Christensen was co-writer and consultant for "It shouldn't hurt to be a child," an educational video on child abuse reporting procedures.

Christensen is a member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Specialists in Group Work, Chi Sigma Iota, Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Virginia Association for Counselor Education & Supervision, American School Counseling Association, Virginia School Counseling Association and Association for Play Therapy.

She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Adams State College, and a master's degree in mental health and school counseling and a Ph.D. in counselor education and counseling from Idaho State University.

This article was posted on: April 25, 2007

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