Dr. Thelma Duffey is Professor of Counseling and Department Chair at the University of Texas at San Antonio. As a longtime counselor and psychotherapist in San Antonio, Texas, she opened her practice in 1990 and has been serving individuals, couples, and families since that time. Working with people during periods of adjustment, transition, and loss, Dr. Duffey is keenly aware of how difficult it can be to feel “stuck” in an experience, and to leave painful or confusing memories and unrealized dreams behind. She works with couples who are committed to building and deepening their relationships, as well as people who are in the midst of a break-up. She is committed to helping people reconcile difficult life experiences and create new, more fulfilling ones. Her style is relational and practical.
Dr. Duffey is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Texas. She served as President of the American Counseling Association, and was founder of the Association for Creativity in Counseling, the 19th division within the ACA. Dr. Duffey also serves as Editor for the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health (JCMH), an international journal published by the Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. She has authored/edited/co-edited three books, Creative Interventions in Grief and Loss Therapy: When the Music Stops, a Dream Dies, published by The Haworth Press, Inc., Taylor & Francis, A Counselor's Guide to Working with Men, published by the American Counseling Association, and Child and Adolescent Counseling:
Dr. Duffey provided consultation services to the Newtown Resiliency and Recovery team following the tragic shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and she is leading an effort within the UTSA Department of Counseling, and in partnership with the Children's Bereavement Center of South Texas, to provide counseling services to the Sutherland Springs and surrounding communities at Paloma Place in Floresville, Texas. She is also working with the David's Legacy Foundation to create anti-bullying intervention, research, and advocacy services.
Dr. Duffey received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education degree from Trinity University and a Master of Arts degree and a Ph.D. from St. Mary’s University, where she was a Distinguished graduate. She began her work with children who were chronic and
terminally ill and their families, an experience that has been among her greatest teachers. Her time with the children, their siblings, and parents helped shape her perspective on life, loss, and the preservation of human dignity, and continues to influence her work to this day.
Much of her work involves helping people discover personal strengths and passions, and reconcile differences with people they love. Learning to communicate, negotiate, and broaden each person's world view are common goals in this work. Other times, this work involves coming to terms with losses, such as those that accompany relationship disruptions, addiction, miscarriage, and betrayal, for example. Dr. Duffey is a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in San Antonio. She is a Sustaining Member of the Junior League of San Antonio where she volunteered in area nursing homes, and participated at Christ Episcopal Church, San Antonio and All Saints’ Church, Washington, D.C. in various capacities. She also volunteered with the San Antonio Symphony League.
For more information, Dr. Duffey's curriculum vita is available online.