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Pulse - Fall 2022 Get to Know... Chris Owens, MA, LPC, CCTP, C-DBT, Member of MINT Associate Director, Division of Behavioral Healthcare Education

What is your official title at Drexel?

I just became associate director of the Division of Behavioral Healthcare Education [BHE]. Previously I was manager of technology and online education in the division.

Have you ever wished you could make up a more accurate title for yourself? If so, what would it be?

A good alternate title would be “Whatever Is Needed.” I’m a licensed counselor and I was brought on board to teach continuing education, but in our group, whatever need is out there, someone has to do it. That’s how I got into the technology and online education piece. Everyone in BHE could honestly have “Whatever Is Needed” as an alternate title.

Chris Owens, MA, LPC, CCTP, C-DBT, Member of MINT Associate Director, Division of Behavioral Healthcare Education

Explain what you do in under 50 words.

BHE provides continuing education to mental health professionals across the commonwealth. I teach all sorts of mental health topics to folks who need CE credit to maintain licensure. I try to make it fun, rather than just reading them PowerPoint slides. I want to creatively engage people in continuing education.

Who do you interact with most on a daily basis?

Primarily I interact with the BHE team. When I’m teaching, obviously I have lots of contact with health care providers. I also work with people across the university, in particular the IT folks who support our technology needs. They have been just amazing.

What is your typical day like?

There isn’t really a typical day for me or anyone in BHE. I often describe my job as: I read, I write and I talk. Sometimes I do those things as part of creating, improving or delivering a course. Sometimes I’m responding to emails or attending Zoom meetings. Sometimes I’m setting up some sort of technology to aid in the delivery of educational materials or to support our team. Every day’s a little bit different.

How do you see your work fitting into the big picture of the missions of the College?

What we do at BHE is different from anything else that goes on in the College. But we do a lot of outreach in Pennsylvania to communicate messages of growth and recovery, and overcoming challenges and obstacles. We try to do that in a positive, fun and creative way.

Chris Owens, MA, LPC, CCTP, C-DBT

What are your favorite and least favorite tasks?

My favorite moments involve standing in front of a room full of people and talking to them. When I teach, I get to take complex clinical concepts and translate them into digestible information, bringing them to life through storytelling and humor. It is hard to think of a least favorite task — I have a wonderful job. But traveling can be hard. Being away from home, sometimes for as long as a week, is a downside, even when I am attending conferences where I am eager to reconnect with colleagues who I only see once a year.

What is your educational and previous work background? How did those prepare you for what you do now?

I have a master’s in community counseling from Ball State University. I am also a licensed professional counselor with certifications as a clinical trauma professional and in dialectical behavior therapy. Before coming to Drexel, I did clinical work with families, children and adolescents, and I did a lot of work on drug and alcohol treatment. I always knew I wanted to teach, but I needed to have the clinical background to provide meaningful trainings to other providers. I also had a background in improv, standup comedy and talk radio, and teaching is a type of performance, so that has served me well.

When you were working on site, did you bring your own lunch or eat out?

More often than not, I would bring my own lunch. I lost a lot of weight a few years ago, and prior to that I was eating out a lot. The cafeteria food at Friends Hospital, where our office is housed, is unusually excellent for hospital food!

What’s one unusual or unexpected item in your home work space or your office?

I have a large framed Dr. Who poster that is painted in an impressionistic style and shows the Tardis exploding, surrounded by swirls of light. I also have a poster that shows the characters from Pixar’s “Inside Out” — the emotions are represented inside a silhouette of the main character’s head. The text says “Every Day Is Full of Emotions.”

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