Judith A. Provost

BIOGRAPHY

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Judith Alice Provost came to Rollins College in 1976 as a part-time counselor who focused on preventive programs.  Within a year, she became the director of the growing counseling program.  She is also an author, researcher, and therapist who prefers group driven sessions.

Provost grew up in the factory region of Connecticut where girls were expected to be a teacher, nurse, or airline stewardess.  She was the first member of her family to complete college.  Provost earned a B.S. from the University of Connecticut before attending the University of California where she received an M.N. (in psychiatric nursing).  At the time, it was as close to the psychology she loved as she expected to get.  After moving to Florida and beginning her work at Rollins, Provost also attended the University of Florida for her doctorate.   In addition to her work with the counseling center at Rollins, Provost also ran a part-time private practice.

When she first came to Rollins, Provost was a part-time counselor.  But as the volume of counseling increased and after receiving a positive reception, the position became full time. In 1987, the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association named her Outstanding Counselor of the Year.  She designed and implemented programs to address eating disorders, binge drinking, sex, and self-esteem for college students.  Eventually, she joined the faculty, teaching courses such as multicultural and group counseling.  

Her publications include:  The Freshman Year- Stress or Success: a college guide, Procrastination: Using Psychological Type Concepts to Help Students, a column in the Bulletin of Psychological Type and "Eating Disorders in College Students," a chapter in Volume 7 of Psychiatric Medicine from 1989.

Away from the classroom and the counselor's chair, Provost likes to stay active.  She enjoys playing tennis, kayaking, and traveling abroad. 

 

 


So what's your first impression of the school?

  • "...what I found out was the person I would be replacing, had pretty much stayed in her office.  If somebody was really in bad shape that student would be referred to the office, a more of a medical model.  And the model that I had been trained in was much more of a well-being, preventive outreach program and that seemed like what the people I interviewed with were interested in..."









  • "...I went to the dean and said, look this is the volume [of counseling] and I think we really need this to be a full-time job.  And there was no question in their minds.  And it was also a time when the attrition rate was fairly high and I argued that if you provide enough support services and help students who are confused and struggle with the things that are going on, kind of eliminate the static, that they might function better..."


     






  • "...I am very student centered and facilitative, so thatís where I discovered that counseling and teaching are not too different, the way I do it, which is sort of to midwife the individual to discover their own abilities and strengths empower them to feel like theyíre active learners and that they have the ability to master things..."





     

 

 

  • "...I proposed to him that we administer the indicator to all entering freshmen and that Iíd track them for a four-year period to see if there were certain personality profiles that thrived here and others that had more difficulty and what some of those difficulties were and do qualitative research..."







 

 

 

  • "...I felt very ambivalent when I went over to teaching full-time and leaving the counseling center because I loved doing therapy with this age group, because theyíre not so grooved into coping strategies yet that you canít help them find better, healthier ways of coping..."






 

 

 


 

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So when you first started as a part-time counselor, then a couple years later you become director of the program?


Tell me about some of your different teaching approaches.


Provost Discusses the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator


Ok, but just give me your impression of the student body over your thirty years of your counseling career.