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Mervin R. Smucker, Ph.D., is an Experienced Psychologist

Mervin Smucker. Millersville University

After graduating from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Mervin Smucker began to work on his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University. A public institution located in southeastern Pennsylvania, Millersville University operates within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Millersville University currently enrolls some 9,300 students and employs a faculty of more than 450 full-time and part-time students. Founded in 1855 as Lancaster County Normal School, Millersville University initially set out to train teachers. After changing its name to Millersville State Normal School in 1859, the school became known as Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

Millersville University undergraduates, who comprise more than 80 percent of the total student body, enjoy access to many educational opportunities. Due to Millersville University’s history as a teachers’ college, the School of Education plays a prominent role in undergraduate academic life. The curriculum at the School of Education remains divided into six departments: Educational Foundations, Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Wellness and Sport Sciences, Industry and Technology, and Psychology. The School of Education also offers students a number of extracurricular opportunities, including student teaching and certification.

The International Studies program at Millersville University allows students to gain a global perspective and prepares them for a wide variety of careers. Graduates of the International Studies program serve in many different fields, including law, journalism, business, government, and teaching. Many students at Millersville University choose to study abroad at some point in their educational career, traveling to locations such as Puerto Rico, Spain, South Africa, China, and Chile. By encouraging students to extend their education beyond the borders of the United States, Millersville University aims to provide students with an unparalleled cultural education that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

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Mervin Smucker. Wounds, Scars, and Schemas

Stories may build up around our wounds like scar tissue. This is true of both physical and emotional wounds. When children experience rejection or abandonment by a key caregiver in childhood, it may produce an “abandonment” schema that will later prevent them as adults from fully trusting or loving another person for fear that they will be abandoned. In such an underlying schema, feelings of love and trust may be associated with abandonment, based on selective experiences. Children raised in a verbally abusive environment where they are repeatedly shamed, told they are worthless, or subjected to a dysfunctional environment in which they absorb messages of worthlessness and inferiority, are at risk for developing schemas of  “worthlessness”, “incompetence, inherent unlovability. Interestingly, some individuals growing up in such environments are nonetheless able to develop stories of resilience that enable them to escape from the prevailing narratives of the invalidating environments in which they were raised.

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Proposed therapy algorithm for trauma sufferers (Mervin Smucker 2015)

Contending that no empirically-supported CBT treatment is appropriate for all types of traumas and trauma characteristics, Smucker and colleagues (2003) advanced an individualized trauma algorithm treatment model that offers therapists empirically-based guidelines for determining which specific interventions are best suited for a particular individual’s trauma characteristics and symptoms.  As part of their model, an initial assessment is conducted of the individual’s specific trauma characteristics, from which a determination is made whether therapy should begin with stabilization or trauma-processing interventions.  A further component of their trauma assessment focuses on identifying an individual’s predominant trauma-related emotion(s), which, in turn, influences which specific trauma-processing interventions are implemented.  The authors propose that when fear is the predominant emotion and avoidance the primary coping strategy, exposure (imaginal and/or in vivo exposure) may be indicated, whereas when non-fear emotions are predominant, therapy may begin with cognitive restructuring interventions.

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A Psychodynamic Approach to Trauma and PTSD – Mervin Smucker (2015)

The central focus of psychodynamic therapy with trauma and PTSD is to reconcile the traumatic event(s) and to complete information processing of the trauma in a supportive environment. Horowitz (1979, 1986) developed a brief psychodynamic therapy directed at the discontinuation of traumatic symptomatology and not at achieving personality change. He theorized that when overcontrol (e.g., avoidance behaviours, denial, emotional numbness) becomes overwhelming, undercontrol (intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares) results as a failed defensive mechanism. In short, until traumatized individuals develop some insight into the conscious and unconscious meaning of their precipitating symptoms, high emotional intensity associated with their traumatic memory registry will likely continue to repeat itself.

Dr. Mervin Smucker is an international trauma consultant and author of numerous articles and books on trauma and cognitive-behavioural therapy interventions.

Dr. Mervin Smucker: Underlying Cognitive Processes of Imagery Rescripting

Best known for his development of imagery rescripting, a clinically proven treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder, Dr. Mervin R. Smucker has focused his career on developing and refining this system. He has traveled the world training practitioners in this method, while writing and publishing extensively on the topic.

Centered on transforming maladaptive schemas, imagery rescripting actively alters the mental response to a damaging memory. For many who suffer from PTSD, these memories both encourage and are affected by a sense of victimization. These individuals may feel that they are inherently worthless or bad, or that they are helpless and vulnerable in the face of the world. These schemas are so ingrained that they form the basis for the person’s response not only to the memories of the event but to stimuli in the present.

For this reason, imagery rescripting seeks to change this schema and replace it with one in which the person is able to cope. The treating professional begins by calling up memories of the event, which is then relived in the therapeutic environment. However, images are also introduced in which the person responds constructively to the event. This reprograms the original maladaptive schemas and replaces them with a sense of self-worth and capability.

“Imagery Rescripting and Reprocessing Therapy and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” by Dr. Mervin Smucker

An innovative form of treatment, Imagery Rescripting and Reprocessing Therapy, or IRRT, uses imagery-focused interventions to relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The genesis of the method comes from the belief that much of the reaction to a traumatic event occurs through sensations and images rather than words. Therefore, treating PTSD solely through language becomes difficult.

Through IRRT, clients simultaneously undergo imaginal reliving, which reactivates the traumatic memory, and imaginal imagery, which uses coping imagery to alter the traumatic memory. During this process, patients change the negative experience into a positive one that re-imagines them as empowered individuals rather than victims. Successful IRRT sessions transform how people react to the event and eliminate related feelings such as powerlessness, culpability, and incompetence.

About the Author:

An international trainer, consultant, and lecturer, Dr. Mervin R. Smucker hosts cognitive behavioral therapy trauma workshops and seminars across the world. The creator of IRRT, Dr. Mervin Smucker wrote about its benefits in caring for people with PTSD in 2012.

Mervin Smucker’s Chess Tips for Beginners

Mervin Smucker is an internationally known psychologist and one of the many millions of people all over the world who plays chess as a hobby. Compared to most board games, chess offers an exceptional depth of strategy, with thousands of entire books having been written on the subject. For novice players, it can all seem a bit overwhelming. Mervin R. Smucker provides some general tips sure to help hone any new player’s game.

1. Play as much as possible. The advice might seem like a no-brainer, but with the wealth of chess-related materials available, including puzzles, books, records of famous games, it is easy to forget that the best way to get better at chess is to simply play chess whenever the opportunity presents itself. Look critically at finished games players in order to understand what worked and what did not.

2. Start with a broad overview. As a player’s skill begins to come into focus through playing dozens of games and trying to learn from past mistakes, a book or two on the subject of chess becomes a logical next step. Rather than examining any particular aspect of the game, start with a general overview that can impart a better sense of the flow of the game as a whole.

3. Cultivate strong thinking. Making a cursory examination of the game board and following up with the first move that looks good may be tempting. However, an initially obvious move may not seem so advantageous a few turns later as the board develops. New players especially should not be afraid to take a lot of time considering each move. Thinking deeply and clearly about the game at hand, sustaining focus on the game, and visualizing possible outcomes are vital abilities that can be strengthened with practice.

4. Play lots of computer chess. It can be particularly instructive to play against a highly skilled computer. Although you will likely never win when playing against the computer, you can learn a lot about the strategies of various openings and then transfer what you learn from the computer to games played with humans.

5. Analyze chess games played by experts: analyze the strategies used, including a close-up look at the moves and counter-moves of each player.

Millersville University’s Graduate Clinical Psychology Program

Dr. Mervin R. Smucker earned a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University in Pennsylvania. He then completed a Doctor of Philosophy in the same discipline at Penn State’s University Park campus.
Millersville University offers two tracks for graduate study of psychology: clinical and school. In each case, students earn a Master of Science upon completion of the program. The department awards a certification in school counseling for students working on a Master of Education.

Each student decides how many credits to pursue toward an M.S. in Clinical Psychology. Those who plan to enter a Doctoral program, following their Master’s level work, need only finish 42 credits; those seeking to become professional counselors and enter the workforce are encouraged to earn 60 credits. All students studying the clinical discipline must complete three core classes: psychopathology, research design and statistical analysis, and child development in the family system. To become eligible for a degree, students must meet several criteria, including achieving a 3.0 GPA in core courses, passing three core competency exams, and receiving favorable ratings from the graduate committee.

In addition to attending classes, all students in the clinical psychology program at Millersville must complete 600 hours of fieldwork. While most states require this workload of candidates seeking licensure, the University’s faculty insists that students not seeking licensure also complete this training. Taking place in the spring, the hands-on experience may not occur at a student’s current place of employment. Degree candidates can begin looking for a site in the fall, when the University provides a list of resources. Upon completion of the practicum, students earn six credits toward their diplomas.

The department encourages graduates to keep indefinitely the records of their coursework, including syllabi. In some cases, licensing agencies will ask for additional information regarding an applicant’s training.

Antioch College

Before launching his career as a clinical psychologist and researcher, Mervin R. Smucker received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Foreign Languages from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Established in 1852 by the Christian Connection, a religious movement in the United States during the 1800s, Antioch College opened its doors in 1853. Antioch College, the primary institution within the Antioch University system, remains known for providing students with written evaluations instead of traditional letter grades.

During its early years, Antioch College instructed students in traditional subjects such as history, philosophy, mathematics, Latin, and Greek. Students also earned the opportunity to choose among electives in modern languages, botany, art, and pedagogy. Horace Mann, the first president of Antioch College, delivered a commencement speech in 1859 that included the current motto of the school: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

Today, the curriculum at Antioch College has expanded to include a wide array of fields and a special emphasis on interdisciplinary study. Divided into four areas of concentration–arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences—the academics at Antioch College focus on providing students with a well-rounded liberal arts education. Antioch College also offers a number of global seminars designed to introduce students to global issues that extend beyond the reach of the classroom. The seminars, which often feature notable guest speakers and visitors, help students discover their passions and prepare them for their lives as global citizens.

Students at Antioch College also benefit from a co-op work program, which requires them to work in full-time positions every other term and collect college credit. In the past, students have held positions within a wide variety of organizations, including nonprofit organizations, hospitals, museums, and government agencies. Through its co-op work program, Antioch College hopes to provide students with a diverse range of experiences in both academic and professional settings. By leaving campus and working with real-world organizations, students mature and develop valuable leadership and problem-solving skills, as well as a clearer picture of their goals.

Milwaukee Magazine

In 1994 and 2001, Mervin R. Smucker gained recognition as one of the top psychologists, according to a peer review in Milwaukee Magazine. Headquartered in the Historic Third Ward district of downtown Milwaukee, the magazine boasts a readership of more than 200,000 and refers to itself as “Southeastern Wisconsin’s most authoritative source for events and dining.” Printed once a month by Quad/Graphics, Milwaukee Magazine belongs to the City and Regional Magazine Association.

The dining section of Milwaukee Magazine offers comprehensive reviews of restaurants in the Milwaukee area and tip on where to find the best daily discounts. Visitors to the website enjoy access to the Milwaukee Magazine restaurant finder, which sorts restaurants by cuisine, location, or other keywords. Milwaukee Magazine also publishes an Events section, which provides detailed calendars and descriptions of events occurring in the area. The Events section contains a wide variety of entertainment destinations, including theater, music, and art.

In addition to the dining and events sections, Milwaukee Magazine features columns that tackle a host of distinctive subjects. Murphy’s Law, a column by staff writer Bruce Murphy, recently reported on the state of Wisconsin’s response to environmental violations. Another column from Erik Gunn, titled Pressroom Buzz, recently dealt with issues ranging from the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in 2003 to Green Bay Packers fullback John Kuhn.

To learn more about Milwaukee Magazine or to fill out a subscription, visit the website at