Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling
2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Educational Background & Credentials
- Ph.D. Indiana State University - 1994
- M.S. Chestnut Hill College - 1990
Counseling Psychology & Human Services
- B.A. Holy Family College - 1980
- Licensed Professional Counselor, Pennsylvania
- Licensed Professional Counselor, New Jersey
- Licensed Psychologist, Pennsylvania
- National Certified Counselor
My employment history has been an exciting journey. I was a full-time mother until my children were in their early teens, at which time I went to college and earned my Bachelor degree. After graduating, I worked 6 years in public relations and fundraising. My interest, however, changed and my career path shifted into higher education as assistant director of admissions. I worked in this position for 4 years, during which time I completed my Master degree. I left this position to enter a full-time counseling psychology doctoral program. My training included counseling at-risk students at an elementary school and college students at the College Counseling Center. My clinical training included a year-long internship at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Memphis, where I completed rotations in the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic, General Inpatient Psychiatry, Medical Psychology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chronic Pain Management Program, Medical Psychology in Geriatrics, and the Emergency Room at a local hospital. Upon earning my Ph.D. in 1994, I began teaching in the Counseling Services Program, The Department of Graduate Education and Human Services, at Rider University. Currently, I am a Professor and Coordinator of the Community Counseling Program. Teaching at Rider is very rewarding, because of the students and faculty. I love working here.
Teaching Philosophy and Courses Taught
My Teaching Philosophy:
As an educator, I share and implement the Department's developmental-reflective philosophy of teaching. Respecting individual differences, my students and I work collaboratively to identify areas of strengths and growth for student development. Practical knowledge from my clinical experiences and research findings are incorporated into lectures and class discussions, making the theoretical material more understandable. Lectures, journal writing, reflection, humor, interactive learning exercises, case studies, videos, and small group experiential activities facilitate student learning. At all times, ethical standards of the counseling profession guide my professional decisions and activities.
Courses Taught at Rider:
- Elementary School Counseling Practicum
- Secondary School Counseling Practicum
- Individual Counseling Practicum
- Internship in Counseling I & II
- Counseling Psychology Theories
- Counseling Techniques Lab
- Advanced Psychopathology
- Foundations of School Counseling
- Foundations of Community Counseling
- Holistic Wellness Counseling
Research Activites / Interests
My research interest is in Hope and Humans, from birth to death. The field of counseling has traditionally focused on necessary human strengths for normal growth and development. Hope is one of those necessary factors for a productive and quality existence. My research agenda is progressing and my research projects are in various stages. I have investigated hope in older women who are 70 years of age and older, college students, caregivers of HIV+ patients (funded by the Mid-State Health Advisory Corp./LAB IV), and children and their parents. I am the United States representative on an international research team investigating hope in counselors and counselors-in-training across cultures. My studies include investigating hope and humor in older adults and staff at an assisted living facility. My research projects have been funded by Rider University Summer Research Fellowships for 7 consecutive years. The findings from these studies are being developed into a large database that will provide information supporting appropriate counseling and guidance for instilling hope in all populations.
Scholarly Publications and Presentations
- Westburg, N. G. (1999). Hope and humor: Using the Hope Scale in outcome studies. Psychological Reports, 84, 1014-1020.
- Westburg, N. G., & Boyer, M. C. (1999). Assessing clients' level of hope: A preliminary study. Journal of College Counseling, 2, 25-32.
- Westburg, N. G. (1998/1999). Hope and healthy development: Developing hope during early childhood years. Children Our Concern, 23, 21-22.
- Westburg, N. G. (1998). Older women: Hope and approaches to life. Journal of Adult Developing and Aging: Theory and Research, [On-line], 1(1). Available: http://www.uncg.edu/ced/jada.
- Westburg, N. G. (1997). The importance of hope: implications for therapeutic interventions. Directions in Clinical & Counseling Psychology, 7(15), 1-15.
- Westburg, N. G. (1997). Anger: What counselors should know. New Jersey Journal of Professional Counseling, 55, 58-63.
- Westburg, N. G. (1999, March). Women's Hope: Dreams, Goals, and Decisions. Rider University's OWL Organization. Rider Unversity, Lawrenceville, NJ
- DeEsch, J. B., Westburg, N. G., & Murphy, J. P. (1998, April). Understanding and helping children with psychologicial disorders. NJACAC Mini-Institute, Mercer County Professional Counslors Association. Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ
- Westburg, N. G. (1998, February). Hope and Healing. Saint Francis Medical Center's Care Connection: Mind, Body, Spirit Wellness Series. Trenton, NJ.
- Westburg, N. G. & Guindon, M. H. (1996, August). Hope and Self-Esteem: Applications for practice, research, and education. 1996 American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada.
- Westburg, N. G. (1996, May). Older women's words of hope and wisdom. The 1996 International Counselling Congress, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
- Westburg, N. G. (1996, July 8). Co-host. In J. Joella (Producer), New Jersey Today radio program, Trenton, New Jersey.
Professional and Personal Interests
- President of New Jersey Mental Health Counselors Association (Webpage: angelfire.com/nj/counseling/njmhca.html)
- Member of the Community Service Board at Morris Hall, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
- Committees at Rider University:
Department of Graduate Education and Human Services Strategic Planning Committee
Department of Graduate Education and Human Services Marketing Committee
School of Education Academic Policy Committee
My interests include golfing, walking, and watching humorous movies. I love spending time with my family, especially with my new grandson Alexander.
Links of Interest
New Jersey Mental Health Counselors Association