Theology and Psychology at Work

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Since earning his master’s in counseling, Matthew Reese G’12 has gone on to serve people facing difficult mental health challenges. He spent five years in the mental health department of the Camden County Department of Corrections, which began his work in forensic psychology. This eventually led to him working in the Graterford and Phoenix State Correctional Institutions for the psychology department of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

Today, Matthew (who is now a doctor of psychology) holds a position in the psychology department at the Regional Forensic Psychiatric Center at Norristown State Hospital, where he works with court-committed patients from correctional facilities in the surrounding area. This role allows him to work with patients in a variety of statuses from incompetent to stand trial to not guilty by reasons of insanity.

Working in forensic psychology has given Matthew the opportunity to parse out the complex theological and biblical anthropology of counseling he learned in Cairn’s program—a practice he credits to counseling professor Dr. Jeff Black. “Don’t neglect your call to honor God with your mind through study and learning,” Matthew says, “however, your growth in Christ . . . will allow you to move mountains in the lives of others in ways that traditional psychological and psychiatric treatment never will.”