Texas Tech University

CFAS Faculty Awarded Texas Tech Alumni Association Excellence Grant

CFAS Faculty Drs. Brown, Cravens, and Springer CMFT TTUAssistant Professor Cameron Brown, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Jaclyn Cravens, Ph.D., LMFT-A, and Associate Professor of Practice Nicole Springer, Ph.D., LMFT, were recently awarded the Texas Tech Alumni Association Excellence Grant for their 2018-2019 program, Family Therapy Clinic Innovations in Therapeutic Service and Training.

The purpose of the Excellence Grant is to encourage faculty and staff members in their efforts to improve access to educational opportunities for Texas Tech University students. Applicants will be assisted with the development of such initiatives that encourage education innovation that extends the mission of the Texas Tech Alumni Association.

Drs. Brown, Cravens, and Springer will work towards supporting the Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy (CMFT) faculty in offering Texas Tech University (TTU) students a unique and valuable experience, serving a diverse population of clients through clinical services that enhance their clinic skillset.

"The CMFT program will be one of a limited number of programs in the nation that offers teletherapy clinical training opportunities," Dr. Cravens said. "A teletherapy program will bridge the gap in access to mental health services, bearing TTU's banner across the state of Texas."

The team of three is ready to tackle the challenge. Dr. Brown currently teaches the Issues in Professional Development course, which focuses on ethics in clinical practice. His guidance will serve the team well, having experience on additional grants and in the classroom application.

Dr. Cravens is experienced in providing training and continuing education for the use of teletherapy. She is passionate about creating new opportunities for students in the College of Human Sciences.

Dr. Springer serves as the Clinic Director of the Family Therapy Clinic (FTC) on campus. Her work is critical to the team's ability to integrate teletherapy services in addition to the clinical services already offered through FTC.

Community, Family, and Addiction Sciences (CFAS) chairperson Sterling Shumway, Ph.D., LMFT, commends his faculty for their achievement.

"In addition to providing affordable therapy in the TTU CMFT clinic and training the next generation of therapists, they are highly involved in community projects associated with Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Center, Center for Early Head Start, and a new pediatric PTSD prevention project," Dr. Shumway said. "They are the future of the CFAS department and are leading the way in key areas like community engagement, service, and the procurement of funding for these innovative programs."

A second initiative is focused on furthering research opportunities that advance the understanding of the effectiveness of teletherapy services.

"The CMFT program will be able to begin data collection to determine the impact teletherapy has on relational cases, as the existing literature mostly focuses on answering whether teletherapy is an effective therapeutic treatment for individual clients as opposed to couples and families," Dr. Cravens said.

Dr. Cravens explains that the grant funding will largely allow Texas Tech to reach the underserved community when many cannot access this care due to a number of factors such as living in an area where a mental health provider is lacking, difficulty to commute to the clinic, barriers associated with a stigma of mental health services, and struggling with the cost of services.

"The integration of teletherapy services to the TTU Family Therapy Clinic is an innovative way to support both educational opportunities for our CMFT graduate students and to provide access to services to those in Texas who would not otherwise have access to a mental health professional."