“I knew I needed my master’s degree if I was going to grow my talk show,” says Diane Moore, former host of a call-in radio show called “Parent Talk.” As a registered counselor, not a licensed counselor, she had reached her peak in the foothills even though she knew she was gifted and willing to scale mountains. She needed credibility and next-level training.
The course she initially charted to grow her radio show found a new trajectory at Multnomah; the equipping and motivation she received there pushed her to pursue a full-time private practice.
“I actually heard about Multnomah’s Master of Arts in Counseling program being formed two years before it was available,” she says. “So I waited for it. I searched all of my other options, and this was the best.”
Why the best? For Diane, the practical, one-class-per-week format combined with a stellar faculty set Multnomah apart. “The diversity is awesome,” she says. “All the counselors are very different, and the strength of the learning atmosphere comes from who our professors are in those classrooms and beyond.”
Finding inspiration in education
“I remember Dr. Steve Stephens coming into class after working at his full-time practice,” Diane says. “He had just finished real-world counseling all day long, and then he came in to teach us, and he loved it. He loved being there with us.
“And then there was Dr. Jim Velez,” she recalls with a grin. “He was a tough professor, but he brought the softer side of counseling, the grieving side, teaching us how to feel our clients and take a bird’s-eye view of the situation. What an amazing man.
“One day he wanted to teach us about truly listening to our clients, so he took a warm can of pop and shook it up in the front of class. Then he sat it down on the front table and said, ‘This can is your client; tell me everything you know about that can.’ And then he left the room.
“When he returned, we talked about the pressure that people feel, that sense of being stuck, needing to help relieve the pressure or needing someone to help them open up. ‘Stuff needs to come out before it can go in,’ he said. ‘Each of your clients is a warm, shaken can of pop.’ I will never forget that.”
As an older student well into her career and married with kids, Diane lived off campus and didn’t spend much time at Multnomah outside the classroom. Nevertheless, she grew to care deeply for her classmates. “At the end of my studies, the students said that they really loved me and that I was a huge help to them,” she says. “I felt so close to them.”
Creating an environment for healing
Diane’s training qualified her to advance professionally, gearing her up for further training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trauma therapy. “Prior to this program, I couldn’t enroll in EMDR training, much less counsel trauma victims,” she says. Multnomah moved her from a registered-level counselor into the life of a licensed counselor. Her sphere of influence transformed quickly, and her practice exploded.
“If you want to get good grades in your classes at Multnomah, you have to be able to demonstrate how your conclusions bounce against the Word of God,” she says. “This makes Multnomah so unique.” Deep saturation in the Scriptures changes everything, and Diane says it has prepared her for truthful counseling.
“My theory is that we cannot cure or help or heal anyone,” she says. “We can only create the environment for healing, and that environment is truth.”
Following God’s plan every day
Over the years, Diane was encouraged by well-meaning mentors and guides to establish a 10-year plan. But such an approach never sat well with her.
“Rather than a 10-year plan, I talk with God every day,” she says. “I tell him, ‘I have this dream!’ And if he opens the door, I walk through it. If not, I don’t. If I had a 10-year plan, I don’t think I would walk with him. I’d be caught up in my own strategy for arriving at my goal. This way, it’s a journey. I know I’m exactly where I need to be.”