Allison Reynolds '22
Primary Therapist at Genesee Mental Health
Allison Reynolds was drawn to the mental health field because of her positive experiences with the profession. Reynolds described her therapist as a ray of light, and she hopes to use the tools she has developed in the mental health counseling program to do the same for others.
She credits her sense of readiness to the level of professional preparation included as part of the curriculum. “An internship in a professional mental health counseling practice is required at Fisher, and this prepared me the most for my career,” she explained. “The internship experience helped me decide what I liked and did not like about counseling, and which path would make the most sense for me upon graduation.”
Reynolds recommends the program to anyone with a passion for counseling and helping others. “Students are expected to practice being clients and counselors with each other, and also participate as a client in a group, along with self-reflection papers to write about personal experiences as the client or counselor,” she said. “As we discovered our own sense of self, we learned what type of counselor we could become.”
Robert Tinney '22
Mental Health Counselor
After many years in his corporate career as a contract management director, Robert Tinney wanted to transition into a second career as a mental health counselor. He enrolled in Fisher’s graduate program to prepare for what he called his “third half of life.”
Now, he works at a community-based behavioral health agency. “It is truly an honor and a privilege to create a safe space to connect with the client and facilitate the healing process,” explained Tinney.
He believes Fisher’s emphasis on self-reflection teaches future counselors to pay attention to their personal feelings and emotions when working with clients. “The program offers opportunities to practice and apply real counseling skills by working with other members of the cohort, and the emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence was also extremely helpful.”
To prepare counselors for their critical role, Fisher’s program includes an internship. For Tinney, this experience proved crucial. “The internship experience is where I really learned what it means to be a mental health counselor—where the rubber meets the road. It also played a significant role in me getting hired after graduation, at the very same clinic,” he said.
Tinney encourages others to consider Fisher’s mental health counseling program. “In my opinion, this is the best program in the Rochester area for mental health counseling. Fisher’s supportive faculty, coupled with the program’s rigor and academic excellence, combine to make the program extraordinary.”
Oumou Wague '22
Primary Therapist at Rochester Regional Health
Oumou Wague grew up noticing a lack of mental health support in her hometown and the lack of availability of counselors of color. She decided to study mental health with hopes to do her part in removing the stigma that so often surrounds the topic. “I am so glad that I decided to pursue the field, and I'm very excited about the work that I have already done,” said Wague.
She works at Rochester Regional Health as a primary therapist, and she believes Fisher’s mental health counseling program helped her build the skills necessary to be a successful counselor. “The hands-on approach and real-time practice sessions, along with the internship helped prepare me for much more than I had in mind. I constantly find myself thinking back to reviews and critiques received throughout the program when reflecting or seeking guidance on specific cases,” explained Wague.
Fisher’s program focuses on developing personal qualities and characteristics necessary to become an outstanding professional mental health counselor, and Wague highly recommends the program for doing just that. “The support I got from professors was amazing and I was able to be myself and grow as a person in a way I could not have imagined.”