Meet our new mental health counselors

Catherine Brockette, Licensed Professional Counselor. Photo courtesy of UD Counseling.

The spring semester is in full swing, and the Counseling Department at The University of Dallas is bustling with new staff members eager to contribute to the well-being of students. Although seeking help may seem daunting, the counseling center is staffed with compassionate individuals dedicated to addressing students’ needs.

A recent addition to the counseling team is case manager Anna Sales, who brings over 20 years of experience in administration, education and social services. Hailing from Alberta, Canada, Sales is committed to bridging the gap between counselors and students, ensuring appropriate support for individual struggles.

Newly licensed counselor, Catherine Brockette, a California native with a background in forensic psychology, is determined to reach as many students as possible this semester. In her free time, Brockette directs musicals and indulges in theater. “For my self-care tips, I always go to the basics: sleep, food and exercise. Also, personally for me, the biggest stress reliever would be laughter. It is the best way to take care of yourself,” she said.

Clinical intern, Matthew Terra, inspired by his experience as a FOCUS Catholic missionary, transitioned from a bachelor’s degree in chemistry to professional counseling. Reflecting on his experience, Terra shares, “After receiving my bachelor’s in chemistry, I became a fulltime Catholic missionary from 2016-2018. During that time, I discerned out of missionary work; I felt a yearning and a desire to serve the greater community in a different way. It drew me towards more professional counseling and the mental sphere.”

Another clinical intern, Phu Nguyen, discovered her interest in counseling through the popular show “Criminal Minds.” Excited about learning and meeting people from diverse backgrounds, she encourages healthy outlets like journaling and joining clubs for students to express their authentic selves. Nguyen finds solace in practicing archery as her preferred method of de-stressing. Reflecting on her role in the department, she says, “I think it’s going to be learning and meeting people from all walks of life. Everyone is here to learn and improve counseling skills.”

Susan Ghalibaf, Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Photo courtesy of UD

Tommy Nelson, a licensed associate in the department, developed an interest in psychology while studying Montessori education with his wife. His favorite part of the job is working with students and witnessing their success. As he aims to achieve full licensure this semester, Nelson emphasizes the importance of seeking counseling for healing and wholeness, challenging the stigma around mental health. “You don’t have to struggle alone,” Nelson shared. “You are made for a relationship, and there’s something beautiful about entering into a particular relationship of counseling where the primary goal is your healing and wholeness.”

The counseling department at UD is poised to make a positive impact this semester, breaking down barriers to mental health support and providing a diverse range of professionals who are ready to guide students on their academic and personal journeys.


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