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Faculty Spotlight- Dr. Aaron Ceresnie

September 30, 2015

Dr. Ceresnie joins the MiSPP faculty as an adjunct professor in the Master’s program, teaching Research Foundations.

Where did you grow up?Ceresnie Aaron. PsyD, LP

I grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Where did you go to school for your undergraduate and graduate degrees?

I attended Michigan State University where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I moved to Chicago to attend graduate school at the Adler School of Professional Psychology (now Adler University) where I earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Doctorate of Clinical Psychology in 2014. I completed my pre-doctoral internship at the University of Michigan Counseling and Psychological Services and a post-doctoral fellowship at Eastern Michigan University Counseling and Psychological Services.

What or who influenced you to study psychology?

Although I majored in psychology at Michigan State, I did not decide to pursue psychology as a profession until a couple years after I graduated. I also had an anthropology minor, and was enthralled with the perspective on humanity it offered. It wasn’t until I had an experience volunteering for a crisis hotline in Kalamazoo when I realized that clinical practice was an integral part of my desire to continue with graduate studies. I have always been interested in learning about how cultural and social diversity influence people’s lives, and after time spent traveling and volunteering in different places, I became acutely aware of the importance that hope and community belonging play in people’s well-being and resilience. I was always a strong student and found graduate school a natural step forward in learning about the human experience and integrating my love of academics and working directly with the community.

In graduate school I spent time working in a variety of clinical settings including outpatient community mental health, primary care centers, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, private practice, and university counseling centers, all of which exposed me to a wide range of diagnostic and cultural diversity. I also had the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant for several classes at Adler University and immensely enjoyed connecting with students and helping them to become great clinicians and critical thinkers.

What led you to teach at MiSPP?

I moved back to Michigan to complete my pre-doctoral internship and intended to find fulfilling work in academic and clinical settings in my home state, where I found a wonderful opportunity with MiSPP as an adjunct professor this Fall of 2015.

What’s your favorite part of teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is the connections I have with students and the joy in seeing them learn and find passion in this exciting field.  

What are your research and/or clinical interests?  What are you most passionate about in your professional life?

My clinical and research interests include brief psychotherapy and providing psychological assessments, religious and spiritual development, and psychotherapy integration.

What is your favorite non-academic book and why?

My favorite non-academic book currently is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse because it is so beautifully written and I learn more about myself and the world every time I read it.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

One thing people may be surprised to learn about me is that I love to travel and cook and take every opportunity to do both, as they are wonderful opportunities to experience new cultures and delight the senses.

What sage advice would you like to share with students?

My advice to students is to try to take time to appreciate where you are in your life and this point in your education. Your graduate school years are an exciting time in your life’s journey and there is also a pull to be “finished” and move on to the next phase of your life. I think it’s important to not try to move too quickly, as each life stage offers unique challenges and benefits, and there are many great lessons to absorb as a student that will help you become a well-rounded professional.