National award earned by UNT counseling faculty member

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 15:32

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Janice Holden, chair of the Department of Counseling and Higher Education in the University of North Texas College of Education, earned the Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Award for a Humanitarian and Caring Person from the American Counseling Association for her contributions to the field.

Holden was selected to receive the award to recognize her concern for the welfare of others and her passion to fight injustice. The award honors an ACA member who gives to others without fanfare or expectation of reward other than the personal satisfaction of seeing other people made happier. The award includes an honorarium of $1,000.

Holden's primary professional interest is the transpersonal perspective in counseling – "transpersonal" referring to experiences that involve transcendence of the usual personal limits of space and time. Her primary scholarly focus has been near-death experiences, and her primary advocacy focus has been the appropriate treatment in counseling of people who have had transpersonal experiences. Holden is currently the editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies and served on the board of the International Association for Near-Death Studies for six years.

Holden began her career as a counselor educator when she became an assistant professor at UNT in 1988. She has remained ever since on the faculty of UNT's nationally recognized Counseling Program. In 2009, Holden became the chair of the UNT Department of Counseling and Higher Education.

Kara Holt, an alumna of the doctoral counseling program at UNT, earned the ACA Best Practice Award for her dissertation research and resulting article in Journal of Counseling and Development. This award recognizes research projects that further the evidence-base for counseling practice.

Holt's dissertation focuses on how Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT), a type of therapy that fosters secure child-parent relationships, can have a beneficial effect on adopted children's behavioral problems and parental empathy.

Holt earned her doctoral degree from UNT, and, in addition to her position at UNT, she is currently an assistant professor and play therapy program director at the University of Wyoming.

The awards will be presented at the 2015 ACA Annual Conference and Expo, which is being held March 12-15 in Orlando.

About the American Counseling Association

The American Counseling Association (ACA) is the world's largest association representing professional counselors in various practice settings. From webinars, publications and journals to conference education sessions and legislative action alerts, ACA serves nearly 55,000 members through powerful, credible content and support. Visit ACA's website for more information.

About UNT's College of Education

UNT's College of Education prepares students to contribute to the advancement of education, health and human development. Founded in 1890 as a teacher's training college, UNT now enrolls more than 4,000 students in the College of Education, which consists of four departments -- counseling and higher education; educational psychology; kinesiology, health promotion and recreation; and teacher education and administration. UNT's College of Education certifies about 1,000 teachers a year -- making it one of the largest producers of new teachers in the north Texas region. Students are also prepared for careers as researchers, counselors, leaders, physical activity and health promotion specialists, child development and family studies specialists and more.

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