Dr. Gafford received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver following an MA in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education from the University of Colorado at Denver and a BA from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. After graduation, she took a “temporary” position as a staff psychologist for the Denver Sheriff Department. Almost nine years later, she was the Director of Correctional Behavioral Health for the Sheriff Department, overseeing all mental health services for incarcerated men and women in the Denver jails. She is a licensed psychologist, and one of her current responsibilities is as the training director for the Clinical Mental Health track for the Master’s program in Counseling. Her clinical interests include supervision, group therapy, psychotherapy processes and suicidality.
Services to the Community:
- Appointed as Commissioner to the Crime Prevention and Control Commission by the Mayor of Denver
- Co-chair of Behavioral Health Subcommittee for the Crime Prevention and Control Commission
- Community Advisory Board member for Adult Drug Court
Education in the context of graduate school requires a holistic approach. Inside the classroom, I believe it is important for students to have the opportunity to discuss their successes and failures. I encourage my students to have courage while in graduate school and to take chances while finding their own style as clinicians. Discomfort and uncertainty are excellent places for growth. Leadership includes both a willingness to make decisions as well as the willingness to allow individuals to discover their own strengths, whether faculty or students. Learning happens different ways for different people, and it is my responsibility to create opportunities for everyone to have experiences that challenge them and make them stronger, both professionally and personally.
I believe that as educators and practitioners in Counseling Psychology, we are responsible for the development of our students as future clinicians. It is critical to find a balance between support and constructive feedback. Because the work is not separate from the individual, I believe it is important for me to challenge students to look at themselves, their motivations, and their biases that impact the work they do. I am a big believer in the importance of being accountable and holding others accountable. I encourage students to be thoughtful about the interventions they choose, to consider the impact they have on their clients, and to consider the process of the therapeutic relationship. In the end, they should be able to defend any clinical decision they make as confident practitioners.
- CNP 4795 Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
- CNP 4794 Trauma Informed Counseling
- CNP 4743 Fieldwork in Counseling
- CNP 4720 Group Counseling Theory
- CNP 4743 Advanced Practicum II
- CNP 4641 Adolescent Development
Article about Dr. Gafford's research featured in the Denver Post
Poster presented at the 2018 APA Convention in San Francisco, CA.
Jennifer Gafford, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Training Director for the Master’s Clinical Mental Health track
Morgridge College of Education
1999 East Evans Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80208