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Lisa Forbes

Assistant Clinical Professor, Counseling Program / Human Development and Family Relations Program


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My story:

I believe that life has a way of coming full circle. This has been true in many aspects of my life but clearly in my educational and professional journeys. I began my undergraduate studies intending to pursue a career in elementary education because I love children and I knew I wanted to make an impact on peoples’ lives. But as I was exposed to the field of elementary education, I felt as though something was missing. Not knowing what else to do, I remained in this major throughout all four years of my undergraduate work. It wasn’t until one of my last classes, in my last semester of my senior year, when I realized my true calling and passion in life. The class I took was an abnormal psychology and the instructor was a mental health counselor. The way she talked about her clients and role as a counselor captivated my attention and I knew that counseling was the way I was intended to help people.

After I graduated with my bachelor’s in child and adolescent development, I immediately applied for a master’s in counseling. As a counselor-in-training, I was like a sponge soaking up every bit of information, guidance and advice I could find. I absolutely enjoy counseling and I am continuously humbled and honored to assist clients’ lives in such a professionally intimate way. Later, a mentor nudged me in the direction of a doctoral degree and it was during that time when I discovered that I still had a passion to teach but just not at the elementary school level. With my doctorate in counselor education and supervision, I enjoy being a professor of counseling and human development because this position allows me to combine two fields I love.

My students at University of Colorado Denver:

I enjoy playing a role in the educational journey of each student I encounter; however, I am most fulfilled when I watch my students grow not only as students but as humans. I believe higher education, specifically counseling master’s programs, can be so transformational that people change at the core of their being. As a professor, my goal is to assist this development by providing a safe, genuine yet challenging learning environment so students feel open to challenge, and possibly change, their view of themselves, others and the world.

Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:

  • Group Counseling – COUN 5110
  • Family Therapy Theory – COUN 5150
  • Practicum in Counseling – COUN 5910
  • Helping Profession Skills – HDFR 5090
  • Love, Couples & Family – HDFR 3400

My research interests:

  • Impaired (problematic) counselors
  • Development of expertise - deliberate practice in counseling, teaching and supervision
  • The supervisory relationship
  • Motherhood and career

My hobbies:

I enjoy spending time with friends and family, being active outdoors, and being crafty. I have two children who keep me laughing and on my toes. With them around, there is never a dull moment. I like to think I am still an athlete so I also play indoor soccer and run in races. One day, I hope to do more traveling but the thought of traveling with two young kids sounds more like torture than fun!

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