Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Dr. Marvarene Oliver

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Dr. Marvarene Oliver
National Counseling Leader

As a nationally-recognized leader in her field, Dr. Marvarene Oliver is shaping the next generation of influential counselors and counselor educators who will go on to provide services to clients and fill faculty positions in Counselor Education across the nation.

Oliver, who is President-Elect of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), is contributing to the fast-growing Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology at the Island University.

The Associate Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology strives to provide her students every opportunity to succeed. 

“I want students to leave the department feeling skilled and capable of going out into the workforce,” said Oliver. “The students are so curious and want to learn, and I love working with all that energy.”

Oliver engages students in hands-on learning. Students participate in active projects in the community relative to the field, work with case studies, and prepare proposals for state and national level presentations. Oliver also conducts mock counseling sessions for her students, because it benefits them to see someone do the work and be able to ask questions immediately following the session instead of relying solely on watching videos of experts.

She has coordinated the Practicum/Internship since 2004, ensuring students have appropriate placements and supervision in mental health services agencies that deal with issues of clinical mental health, substance abuse, and marriage, couple, and family counseling as well as in Coastal Bend schools. She is currently the Faculty Coordinator for the Counseling and Training Clinic, which provides counseling services to individuals, couples, and families in the Coastal Bend community.

Recently, she retired from private clinical practice after 33 years.  Oliver currently teaches master’s and doctoral courses, including Consultation Theory and Professional Advocacy, Qualitative Research, Internship, and Psychodiagnosis and Treatment Strategies.

Her research is focused on ethical and professional issues in counselor education and practice, supervision, pedagogy in counselor education and training, and bridging research and practice. She is presently working on two research projects: measuring working alliance in group supervision and a qualitative examination of psychodrama methods in group supervision.

“It is important to provide information and strategies for supervisors to utilize, “said Oliver. “Those in the clinical area of counseling must have reliable resources that help them continue to enhance both supervision and counseling skills.”


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