George J. Ramos, Jr., the August MFP Fellow, is a Ph.D. candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision in his third year of the doctoral program at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. He is a National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) MFP Fellow who has been a practicing counselor for more than a decade. He entered the MFP at the beginning of his doctoral work and says it has made a huge difference in his growth as a scholar and practitioner. “The financial support is fine,” he said, “But what makes the difference is the mentorship relationships and the colleagues you get to know in the program.”
He believes his doctoral training will enhance his ability to expand his practice, which offers home-based services. (Yes, a counselor who does home visits!) Much of his work is with immigrants—some with difficulty accessing counseling services or those who would benefit from receiving treatment in the home. Some have transportation difficulties. “I work with undocumented immigrants and their families by providing mental health evaluations to support their petitions to stay in the United States,” he said. In July 2018, he conducted a webinar on Immigration Hardship Evaluations for NBCC. The title of his dissertation is “The Impact Of Counselor Self-Efficacy on One’s Ability to Provide In-Home Mental Health Services.”
Ramos decided to become a counselor after seeing the effects of poverty while growing up on the lower East Side of Manhattan. The social ills were many—drug addiction, violence, lack of social services, and people with emotional and mental health problems. He said there were insufficient service providers, and few were professionals of color. He decided to pursue a career in the helping professions and has been providing services to his community for years. He is able to continue his practice while taking online doctoral courses.
In addition to his studies and practice, Ramos is a Mental Health Consultant for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and a professional trainer for the Action for Child Protection Network, where he trains child welfare workers regarding safety and risk and interviewing techniques. An adjunct professor of Counseling at Mercy College and Nyack College, he is currently conducting research on Latino substance abuse and interventions with the research group, Best Practice Trainer Inc., of which he is the president.
Ramos considers himself to be a fortunate man. He is married to his high school sweetheart Anandy Germosen, who is pursuing a career in law, and Ramos says she is an invaluable partner in his practice. They are doing research on evidence-based practice in the Latino community and plan to submit a manuscript for publication this fall.