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Guest Commencement Speaker: Dr. Manivong Ratts

March 13, 2018

  • Manivong J. Ratts, Ph.D., L.M.H.C., N.C.C.
    Manivong J. Ratts, Ph.D., L.M.H.C., N.C.C.

Manivong J. Ratts is professor of counseling at Seattle University and chair of the Department of Leadership and Professional Studies (AEDT, Counseling, EDLR, SDA, and TESOL).

Dr. Ratts received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Oregon State University (OSU). He holds an associate’s degree from Yakima Valley Community College, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Washington University, and a master’s degree in counseling from OSU. He is a licensed mental health counselor (L.M.H.C.) and past President of Counselors for Social Justice, a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA) 

His research is in the area of multiculturalism and social justice. He is one of the nation’s leading scholars in the area of social justice counseling. He coined the term “social justice counseling” and argued that social justice is a “fifth force” among counseling paradigms, following the psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and multicultural traditions.

Recently, he chaired a committee which developed Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC) for the counseling profession with Drs. Anneliese Singh, Sylvia Nassar-McMillan, Kent Butler, and Rafe McCullough. The MSJCC serve as a guide to help counseling professionals develop multicultural and social justice competence. The competencies have been adopted by the American Counseling Association (ACA), the leading organization for professional counselors and they are used in counselor training programs across the country.

Dr. Ratts has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Counseling and Development and the Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology. He has published in various peer reviewed journals on social justice counseling and is lead author of the following books Counseling for Multiculturalism and Social Justice: Integration, Theory, and Application (2014) with Dr. Paul B. Pedersen and ACA Advocacy Competencies: A Social Justice Framework for Counselors (2010) with Dr. Judy Lewis and Dr. Rebecca Toporek. He has produced two video series through Alexander Street Press titled Four Approaches to Counseling One Client: Medical, Intrapsychic, Multicultural, and Social Justice Counseling Paradigms (2011) and Five forces of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Psychoanalytic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Existential-Humanistic, Multicultural, and Social Justice (2013). He is also founder of Seattle University Counselors for Social Justice, an advocacy organization that addresses issues of equity impacting individuals, communities, and schools.

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