Joanne Munro, PsyD., LMFT
I am absolutely honored to be teaching in the graduate counseling department. I have been teaching for the Human Services department for 12 years delivering courses on theories of counseling, child abuse, dual diagnosis, homelessness, and practicum courses. I am a 1990 graduate of this program and have been licensed as a clinician since 1995 conducting individual, couples, and group therapy with a variety of populations. My clinical work has been with families dealing with sexual abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse and poverty. I have also worked with perpetrators of abuse as an area of specialty with the goal of ending this cycle. I was the clinical supervisor for Orange County Child Welfare supervising hundreds of LCSW and LMFT interns for twenty-five years. I am familiar with the BBS regulations for licensure and enjoy helping students find direction in their career paths.
Over the last 30 years, my professional career has been in the field of child welfare. This has allowed me to be involved in issues of social justice and actively address problems such as debilitating poverty, systemic racism, accessing health care and the need for affordable housing. As a deputy director of the agency, workforce development, trauma informed practice and addressing disproportionality were some of my passions. One procedure we implemented with staff was strength-based practice whereby employees were matched with jobs and assignments based on their strengths. Within a year, follow up research was conducted and revealed an increase in employee work engagement and job satisfaction. (Gallup's Q12 Employee Engagement Survey).
I was also involved in reducing the disparities of BIPOC families within the child welfare system. As co-chair of the Eliminating Disproportionality and Disparity (ERDD) committee, we implemented practices which reduced over representation of BIPOC children in the OC foster care system. Since Orange County began tracking disproportionality there was a reduction in the proportion of Black children in foster care, from 7.0% to 3.6%. These practices which address implicit bias in decision making continue and overrepresentation of BIPOC children continues to decline.
In addition to my teaching career, I am also a professional trainer for Child Welfare supervisors and managers through the Academy for Professional Excellence /SDSU. I have been training Child Welfare leaders for almost 23 years and am honored and humbled to be part of their professional journeys. I also serve as an Expert Witness in Child Abuse Cases in court litigation for various counties in Southern California to include Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego.
In terms of my teaching philosophy, I aspire to create a safe space for learning where students think critically about themselves and the world around them. How is the material they are learning relevant and applicable to their lives? I also acknowledge my own privilege as a white, cisgendered, heterosexually defined woman and recognize that we have all been shaped by a different mix of cultural and social influences. In the classroom, I hope to honor those cultural and social influences and allow for safe exploration of different perspectives. My goal as an educator is to help students tap into their own unique strengths and identify their passions. The classroom environment should be fun and relaxed where students feel free to explore, have missteps and increase their skill and knowledge as budding clinicians. I enjoy learning along with them and watching them increase their level of self-awareness as I tend to fall in love with my students every semester.
On a personal note, I am a transplanted New Yorker and have been blissfully married to my best friend for over thirty years. I love dancing, reading, yoga, and taking long walks. I take self-care quite seriously and believe in advocating for your health through integrative mind body medicine. We have one amazing adult son who was born at home! We enjoy movies, Saturday date nights and visiting Scottsdale when we can. I am truly lucky to be healthy and able to work in a profession I am so passionate about.