Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Rachél Payne

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Rachél Payne

Helping Children Cope
Rachél Payne has a special gift which allows her to communicate with children and get inside their world. The counselor/youth specialist at the Women’s Shelter of South Texas, who earned her Master of Science in Counseling from the Island University in May, helps women, men, and children cope with domestic violence or sexual assault. She is currently developing a play therapy room designed to give kids a special place to work through their feelings. Earlier this year, Payne, who was active in the Chi Sigma Iota honor society, was selected as a recipient of the Association of Creativity in Counseling Graduate Student Award for incorporating expressive arts in counseling. In September, she will be presented her award at the ACC Creativity in Counseling Conference in Portland, Ore. Payne shared her love of creativity with families at the Garcia Center as a research assistant, counseling intern and an after school arts educator. She developed Que Pasa Open Mic and engaged students in the arts using visual art, drama, and literature.  She introduced a variety of creative interventions including journaling for self expression, therapeutic workshops to help grieving families and crafting art dolls. When emphasis is placed on creativity rather than the final outcome, Payne firmly believes that art is a process that can heal. At the Garcia Center, Payne says providing counseling to at-risk kids and their families has brought deeper meaning to her life. Recently, she was a keynote speaker for the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, teaching counselors how to integrate journaling for their clients and for self-care and wellness. This fall, entries from Payne on creative interventions will be featured in the college textbook “Integrating the Creative Arts into Theory-Based Counseling Practice” edited by Suzanne Degges-White and Nancy Davis.

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