Clinical services coordinator and licensed psychologist Ferdinand Arcinue in the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services knows there is much more to his job than asking students about their feelings. “A lot of times people don’t realize that university psychologists do more than counseling,” says the member of the campus since 2003. “Psychotherapy is part of our jobs, but we also do a lot of outreach and training workshops and we have a doctoral internship program. There are the traditional mental health things that we do like therapy but we also do a lot of other things that contribute to student success and student development.”
Arcinue and his colleagues also collaborate with a large amount of diversity programming. “Since joining the campus, the university’s Filipino students have been a focus for me,” he said. “Together with Student Life and Development, I have been the faculty advisor for the Filipino American Coalition as well as their cultural fraternity and sorority. My colleagues also do a lot of work with black and Latino students, women’s issues and LGBT students. Students need extra support and all of these programs help them get through college.”
As a clinical supervisor and seminar leader, Arcinue contributes to a doctoral internship program accredited by the American Psychological Association with the goal of training and educating doctoral-level psychologists. “Until recently, CSULB was the only CSU campus with an APA-accredited internship, while we’ve had an APA internship program since 1985,” he explains. “So it has been a big source of pride for us.”
Arcinue received his doctorate in counseling psychology from USC in 2002. He interned at USC and UC Irvine’s counseling centers and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Pasadena City College. “I’ve always been focused on college students,” he said. “What I liked most about Cal State Long Beach is that it is a public university and serves a greater good for society in terms of education and social change. Long Beach has a very diverse student population, students from all sorts of backgrounds. I find that really rewarding. At this stage in their lives, students are learning and growing, so it is a great age group to be working with.”
Research is also a part of Arcinue’s job. “CAPS psychologists are classified as faculty,” he said. “We do scholarly work like journal publications and book chapters and we often present at national conferences.” His most recent publication, on the use of support groups for minority students, is currently under review at the Journal of Counseling Psychology.
When he isn’t busy working, Arcinue enjoys cycling. “Tomorrow, I’m riding from El Dorado Park to Irvine and back,” he explains. “I’ve found that, if I run for two or three miles, it’s not very entertaining. But a bike can take me on a three-hour ride down the coast. It’s a great way to release stress and energy.” He also enjoys spending time with his wife Nicole and their labrador retriever Raisin.
When crises occur, Arcinue finds himself in the thick of things. “We work with students, staff and faculty on all sorts of emergencies,” he recalls. “It is very stressful, but I feel good when we can help people through those experiences.”
After 10 years at CSULB, Arcinue measures success one person at a time. “I know I’ve been successful when students come by the office or send me cards or notes telling me that they are graduating,” he says. “I’ve had many students tell me that they might not have graduated if they hadn’t gone to counseling. It’s times like that when I know, at an individual level, that I have been doing good work.”