Clinical Mental Health faculty and graduate students present at regional institute day

Photo: Alyssa Raiche-Salek (left) and Tashi Hawks, both currently enrolled in Concordia-Chicago’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, joined Concordia-Chicago faculty member Dr. Daniel Bishop in presenting "Fido at School (Therapy Dogs)" at the DuPage Countywide Counselor Institute Day for Student Support Personnel. The event was held on March 1, 2019 at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.


Three Concordia-Chicago faculty members presented at breakout sessions during the DuPage Countywide Counselor Institute Day for Student Support Personnel, held on March 1, 2019 at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. The professional development conference attracted school student support personnel from many communities across the state of Illinois.

Daniel Bishop, PsyD, associate professor of psychology, presented Fido at School (Therapy Dogs). Bishop’s paper examined the growing trend toward using therapy dogs in the classroom, a development that has generated significant conversation among educators, administrators, parents and mental health professionals. “Given the increasing use of therapy dogs in classroom settings,” explained Dr. Bishop, “it’s important for student support personnel to understand how furry creatures are used in the classroom, as well as the benefits and challenges of their presence.” Dr. Bishop was assisted in his presentation by Alyssa Raiche-Salek and Tashi Hawks, both of whom are currently enrolled in the Lake County cohort of Concordia-Chicago’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s program.

Dr. Bishop also presented two sessions on the topic of Adolescent Use of Pornography, assisted by Alyssa Raiche-Salek. Bishop and Raiche-Salek explored how the decreasing stigmatization of pornography and its ready accessibility through technology have caused a staggering upsurge in its consumption. “Research is just starting to identify the consequences of regular porn use on adolescents and adults,” observed Dr. Bishop. “That research indicates that adolescent exposure to pornography may affect not only their sexuality, but also their emotional regulation and sociability. 

Dr. Naveeda Athar, EdD, associate professor of counselor education, presented a session titled Executive Functioning Deficits in Students with ADHD to a packed room of 57 attendees. Given that ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders of childhood, school personnel face daily challenges when accommodating this special-needs population. Dr. Athar said, “This presentation will help school counselors understand the core of this diagnosis and how school personnel can make best use of their time in responding to students with ADHD.”

Dr. Athar’s second session explored the topic, How Family Violence Affects Academics. “Family violence impacts more than 10 million children each year in theUnited States,” reported Dr. Athar. “Children at variousdevelopmental stages react differently to family violence, based on their own physical and emotional abilities.” Dr. Athar’s presentation focused on the symptoms of suspected abuse and its long-term effects on academic performance.

Jodie Dewey, PhD, associate professor of sociology, presented a session titled De-Essentializing Gender in the Classroom: Improving Student Educational, Relational and Interpersonal Success. Based on her twelve years of empirical and theoretical research, Dr. Dewey provided a sociological analysis of how observable gender inequities are tied to early messages about gender that set boys and girls on different pathways. “By recognizing and altering gendered messages,” Dr. Dewey posits, “educators and counselors have a lot of power to alter future gender gaps.”

For more information about the conference, visit

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