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Isabel C. Farrell


Counselor Education

Isabel is currently seeking her PhD in Counselor Education. Originally from Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela, she received her BA in psychology and MS in counseling psychology from Northeastern State University and came to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2015. We asked her to reflect on some of her past and current experiences. Read her responses below.


2016 National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program (NBCC MFP)
Award ceremony May 24th, 2016

Recipients must demonstrate knowledge of and experience with racially and ethnically diverse populations, and commit to providing mental health and/or substance abuse and addictions counseling services to underserved minority populations through direct practice or the training of direct practitioners.

The NBCC MFP helps ensure that the behavioral health needs of all Americans are met, regardless of language or culture, thereby reducing health disparities and improving overall community health and well-being. The NBCC MFP strengthens the infrastructure that engages diverse individuals in counseling and increases the number of professional counselors providing effective, culturally competent services to underserved populations.


Conference Presentations:

  • The Four Women Project: On Becoming a Counselor Educator (February 27, 2016)
    Co-presenter, Smokey Mountain Counseling Association Annual Conference
  • An Ethical and Multicultural Discussion about Immigrant Clients (February 27, 2016)
    Chair, Smokey Mountain Counseling Association Annual Conference


  • Graduate Student Liaison (February, 2016 – Present)
    Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association, Knoxville, TN

Accepted Proposals

  • An Ethical and Multicultural Discussion about Immigration Clients (March 31 – April 1, 2016)
    Presentation at the 10th Annual Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association (TLPCA) Conference
  • Treatment and Prevalence of Substance Abuse with Co-Occurring Eating Disorders (July 14-16, 2016)
    Poster Presentation at the 2016 American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) Annual Conference
  • Our Lives Are Stories: Healing Through Creative Expression (July 14-16, 2016)
    Poster Presentation at the 2016 American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) Annual Conference

Refer to Curriculum Vita for more details


Current Occupations

Graduate Research Assistant
Working under assistant professor, Laura S. Wheat, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Special focus on grief and loss experiences of LGBTQ+ self-identified individuals, grief and loss among graduate students and peer bereavement.

Co-Instructor of COUN 545: Critical Issues in Counseling Lifespan Development
Working under associate professor, Casey A. Barrio Minton, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Addressing themes and issues affecting clients’ development with relevance to counselor interventions, including family and personality development, crises and trauma, addiction and addictive behaviors.


Personal Interests

I grew up in Venezuela, I moved to the US when I was seventeen-years-old to pursue a career in counseling and reunite with my mother who moved to the US when I was thirteen-years-old. I come from a big family of three brothers, one niece (two others on the way) and five step siblings. I am newlywed to a wonderful husband named Patrick, we have been married for almost a year and we have an adorable dog named Ares.

My hobbies include biking, running and baking. My biggest passion is traveling, I have been to twenty-two countries and five continents. One of my goals is to visit all the new seven world wonders (five done, two to go!).

Future/Vocational Goals

My goal for the future is to be a counselor educator that provides appropriate multicultural training to my future students. Diversity is a complex subject that cannot be covered in one multicultural class. I wish to bring cultural awareness to each class I teach by incorporating exposure to diverse populations. I aspire to continue serving the Hispanic community throughout my doctoral journey and beyond. Bringing awareness to our society about the effects of immigration and the struggles many immigrants face. Also, I want to better understand the grief and loss many immigrants face while transitioning to a new culture. My goal is to shine a light on the population’s struggles and pain, and help to combat the racism, discrimination, and neglect Latino(a)s daily face.

What sold you on this program?

The faculty! I still remember after the interview I was at the airport waiting for my flight back to Oklahoma. I remember calling my dad and telling him “I feel like I am meant to be here.” The faculty makes you feel special, appreciated, and at home. I never feel unsupported by them and they see more in me than I see in myself.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program/department?

Make the most of it and don’t be afraid to try things out. Fellowships, presentations, manuscripts, anything is possible. You will be supported and encouraged to just try! Let someone else say yes or no to you, and don’t limit yourself because you are capable of incredible things.