Faculty as Culture influencers

Culture Influencer: John Spoede

In November, Dr. John T. Spoede, Jr., LPC-S, LCDC, NCC, CSC (director, Center for Research and Doctoral Studies and assistant professor of Education) served as the senator for the Fort Bend Counseling Association at the Texas Counseling Association’s Professional Growth Conference in Dallas, Texas. During the Senate meeting, representatives from all the Texas Counseling Association Chapters and Divisions discussed business and voted on action items for the organization.

Additionally, Spoede presented a session entitled, “Addiction: Drug Trends, the Brain, and Differential Diagnosis.” In the session, participants learned about addiction as it is presented in the DSM-V. Specifically, participants learned about current drug trends (and understand the effects of these drugs on the body, including signs and symptoms of use); how addiction effects the brain; how and when to make a differential diagnosis and identify common co-occurring diagnosis; how to identify when to refer and to what type of treatment or intervention services may be beneficial. In the presentation, current research was reviewed, various brain models and brain scans were discussed, and potential treatment options were offered.

Finally, Dr. Spoede was honored at the annual Texas Counseling Association awards ceremony, where he received the Distinguished Service Award for his work as co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Texas Counseling Association. He served at the Strategic Planning co-chair for two years, and was an integral part in leading the collection and interpretations of data, the process and development of, and the presentation of the finalized new Texas Counseling Association Strategic plan. The plan was adopted during the senate meeting in June 2018. The adopted plan will guide the organization for the next three to five years as decisions are made about prioritizing action items.

On the night of February 13, 2019, Dr. John T. Spoede, Jr., LPC-S, LCDC, NCC, CSC (Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, National Credentialed Counselor, Certified School Counselor and the director, Center for Research and Doctoral Studies and Assistant Professor of Education), was an invited speaker to the South Main Baptist Church parent group. Each week, the parents hear from experts in various fields and the speakers address various topics and the integration of faith.

Spoede presented to the parents about mental health. Specific topics covered included anxiety, depression, suicide ideation and self-injurious behaviors (SIB, which may also be referred to as cutting). There were parents in the room with children from infants through high school students and beyond. Spoede referred to several studies related to these topics and provided parents with a Christian integrated approach on possible ways to parent all children, even those exhibiting mental health issues. He also fielded practical discussions and answered questions about specific concerns raised by the group of parents from South Main Baptist Church.

On February 16, 2019, Dr. John T. Spoede, Jr., LPC-S, LCDC, NCC, CSC (Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, National Credentialed Counselor, Certified School Counselor and the director, Center for Research and Doctoral Studies and assistant professor of Education) was an invited panelist at The Opioid Addiction Crisis: Creating and Effective Church and Community Collaboration and Resolution Strategy at Houston Baptist University.

This event was hosted by Houston Baptist University’s Global Center for Mental Healthcare and Ministry, and featured other expert panelists. This event was designed for Christian ministry leaders, mental health providers, concerned family members, community leaders and more. The attendees learned how to identify an opioid addiction, support family members, begin and strengthen local programs, and advocate for pain management as an alternative to opioid prescriptions.

Other expert panelists included: Shannon Royce, Esq. (the director of the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), Ben O’Dell (the program specialist at the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), Heidi J. Carroll (DEA Houston Diversion), Jessica Yeager (PRS/ ICRC, PM/ PRC, program coordinator with the Houston Recovery Center and the UTHealth HEROES program), and Don Hall (LCDC, Substance Abuse Counselor at SEARCH). During his time, Dr. Spoede discussed the triangulation of his experience in the public K-12 school setting, his more than 20 years of ministry experiences, and his work at the university level as it related to the opioid addiction crisis.

On February 18, 2019, Dr. John T. Spoede, Jr., LPC-S, LCDC, NCC, CSC (Licensed Professional Counselor- Supervisor, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, National Credentialed Counselor, Certified School Counselor and the director, Center for Research and Doctoral Studies, and assistant professor of Education) and Angela W. Spoede, J.D. (a BoardCertified Civil Appellate Attorney in the state of Texas) were invited to present to the school counselors in Katy ISD for a professional development day. There sessions were entitled, “Secondary School Counselors and the Court Room” and “Elementary School Counselors in the Court Room.

The session covered a wide variety of topics. First, an overview of the state court system was presented. Next an overview of the federal court system was discussed. Additionally, the differences between civil and criminal law suits and court actions were discussed. Then, a discussion about the interaction of school counselors and the court room was facilitated. The session goals were to educate school counselors on the legal system and legal terms. Additionally, school counselors were educated about the times when their job might intersect with the legal system. Another goal was that school counselors would understand their ethical obligations related to the legal system and confidentiality. Finally, practical and actionable steps were discussed on how to handle legal situations, respond to subpoenas, respond to record requests, handle critical incidents (including CPS reports), understand the times when obtaining advice from attorneys would be helpful, and how to document the ethical decisionmaking model when deciding how to proceed with issues related to the legal system and the court room.

Finally, John Spoede and Angela Spoede facilitated a questionandanswer session in which school counselors shared about their concerns and general experiences working with students, and times when their jobs intersected with the legal system.

On February 21, 2019, Dr. John T. Spoede, Jr., LPC-S, LCDC, NCC, CSC (Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, National Credentialed Counselor, Certified School Counselor and the director, Center for Research and Doctoral Studies and assistant professor of Education) and Angela W. Spoede, J.D. (a Board Certified Civil Appellate Attorney in the state of Texas) were accepted and presented at the fourth annual Law and Ethics in Counseling Conference 2019. The conference was held from February 19-22, 2019 at the University of Holy Cross in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Their session was titled, “The Court System and Mental Health: What Mental Health Clinicians Need to Know.” The session covered a wide variety of topics. First, an overview of the state court system was presented. Next, an overview of the federal court system was discussed. Additionally, the differences between civil and criminal lawsuits and court actions were discussed. Then a discussion about the interaction of mental health professionals and their potential areas of interaction with the legal system was discussed. The session goals were to educate mental health professionals on the legal system and legal terms. Additionally, counselors were educated about the times when their job might intersect with the legal system. Another goal was that mental health professionals would understand their ethical obligations related to the legal system, and confidentiality/privilege, and be able to choose an appropriate plan of action in the future. Finally, practical and actionable steps were presented about how to handle legal situations, respond to subpoenas, respond to record requests, handle critical incidents (including CPS reports), understand the times when obtaining advice from an attorney would be helpful, and how to document the ethical decisionmaking model when deciding how to proceed with issues related to the legal system and the court room. Finally, John Spoede and Angela Spoede facilitated a questionandanswer session in which students, mental health professionals and university faculty shared about their concerns and general experiences working with clients and times when their jobs intersected with the legal system.

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