Tamara Traeder



Graduating Year:  2008

Before Dominican: BA in Economics, University of Missouri; Juris Doctorate, University of Virginia

Currently: Internship at Hospice of Petaluma

Highlight: "I felt intellectually stimulated and excited about doing counseling work every step of the way in this program."

Why Dominican?

I chose Dominican’s counseling psychology program because it offered a variety of theoretical orientations and because its faculty members were working professionals with practical experience.

I also valued what I call the "personal factor." As I was considering various programs, I paid close attention to the interactions I had with each university’s faculty and staff members. It turned out that every interaction and experience I had at Dominican was positive and respectful.

Finally, I liked the flexibility in the class schedule and the beautiful campus. I could really see myself learning here.

Intellectually stimulating

I felt intellectually stimulated and excited about doing counseling work every step of the way in this program. I felt supported by the program and experienced a great deal of personal growth. I can remember sitting in class and "having the light go on" about an issue that I had been personally struggling with for a long time.

Invaluable hands-on experience

My field placement/traineeship was spent at Dominican's Counseling Services, which served students, staff and faculty. The experience resembled that of a private practice, and I worked with clients of a wide variety of ages and with a broad range of backgrounds and challenges.

After graduation, I interned with the San Rafael Police Department's Youth Services Bureau, which included working with adolescents and their families and also working in a local high school and middle school.

I also just finished a year-long internship at Hospice of Petaluma. That experience included working with adolescents, adults and couples who had experienced a loss and possibly other complicated issues. Around the same time I led a middle-school group of children who had experienced parent loss. Needless to say, I have not had trouble finding internships during the program and after.

All of these internships provided two essential experiences—working with a broad variety of clients and interacting with other professionals, both supervisors and other interns. I felt I gained both invaluable hands-on experience as well as created my own trusted professional network that I will continue to look to for support and consultation.

Theories come to life

The faculty's professional experience is one of the primary reasons I chose the program. I found it extremely helpful to have instructors who could not only talk about a theory, but also illustrate its execution in reality. While they were all careful to protect clients' confidentiality and anonymity, their examples helped theories come to life. It was also extremely helpful to ask instructors about dilemmas or questions I had when working with my own clients in my traineeship.

Dominican helped me reach my goals

I am a person in mid-life, who had worked in two other professions before entering the program. I entered the Dominican program with the intention of becoming a therapist, with the long-term goal of having my own practice. Throughout the program I have received encouragement and support in multiple ways from Dominican faculty as well as friends and colleagues I have met in the program. I can say that Dominican has helped me reach my goal in a big way!

Read other Alumni Experiences »