Melanie Lowman worked her way through the graduate
program while teaching at an area middle school, coaching high school swimming and diving, driving the school bus part-time and juggling her responsibilities as a wife and mother.
Some nights she stayed up until 4 a.m. or pulled all-nighters to complete assignments. Some nights she had to walk away from a paper to spend quality time with her husband. Some nights she had to close her books and shut off the computer to be a mom to her kids, and some nights she had to take time away from her clients to simply take care of herself.
“God did indeed multiply my time,” she said. “He provided me with the clarity and strength to complete my assignments on time — well most of the time — and to begin the process of becoming the counselor He desires me to become.”
It has been 10 months since Melanie Lowman graduated from Huntington University’s Master in Counseling
program. She now works as a counselor full-time at the Bowen Center in Syracuse, and part-time at Wabash and Friends Counseling Center in Wabash.
“I now understand why our professors stressed the importance of self-care,” she said. “Working in community mental health, the pace is quite fast, which does not leave a lot of time for self-care. I am thankful for the mentoring our professors provided that has helped me to develop over the last few months a self-care plan that helps me take care of myself so I can help my clients.”
Lowman said she chose Huntington University’s graduate program for three reasons: affordability, undergraduate completion at the school and integration of faith and counseling.
“I wanted to attend a Christian university where I had the opportunity to learn how to integrate my faith into my counseling,” she said.
She said she puts what she has learned from the graduate program to use with various clients and situations.
“At Wabash Friends I provide counseling for children, adolescents, couples and adults and provide therapy for clients dealing with depression, anxiety, physical and sexual abuse and addictions,” she said. “At the Bowen Center I work in four schools in addition to seeing a few clients in the office and lead an occasional addictions group.”
Lowman said Huntington’s challenging classes provided her with the foundation she needed to be a successful post grad.
“I appreciate and consider it an honor to have had the opportunity to study at a university where class sizes were kept small and provided instruction that has provided me with the foundation I needed to develop my personal counseling style,” she said. “I appreciate how in every class my professors not only focused on our professional development, but also on our spiritual development. There was a lot of emphasis on developing our entire self — mind, body and spirit.”
She said she appreciates the theoretical and spiritual foundation she gained from class work.
“Every client comes to a session with a different set of life experiences,” she said. “What approach may work with one client may not be in the best interest of another.”
She specifically noted the importance classes placed on self-care.
“I think back to some of the John Townsend things we studied and am mindful of how in one of his videos he shared we were going to be ‘dangerous counselors’ if we did not have the experience of being a client. Taking the time to do my own work has helped to take my counseling to the next level,” she said.
She also said she is thankful for the relationships she developed while at HU.
“It has been rewarding to support and learn from each other as we are getting our practices started,” she said. “Keeping in touch with colleagues has been a huge source of encouragement as we have been able to share with each other our successes and failures as we are getting started.”
Ultimately, Lowman said she wants to be practicing where the Lord opens doors. Her goal is to one day be in private practice. She is currently working on her clinical post grad and supervision hours, preparing to take the licensure exam and has been accepted into Indiana Wesleyan University’s Addictions Program.
“What an honor it is to have the opportunity to work in a profession that facilities healing in a client’s life,” she said.