Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization, 2012
"I formed my own company, Family Harmony, which specializes in traumatic stress and am now self-employed full-time."
Dr. LaMarr D. Edgerson lives in Albuquerque, NM and holds a Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization, with a special focus on Trauma, from University of the Rockies. For three years, he drove the 700 miles to Colorado Springs, CO one weekend per month (and sometimes two weekends) to attend class with many others from around the country. We last spoke to him while he was still enrolled in his program.
“I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio listening to my grandfather's words of wisdom,” said LaMarr. “He stressed the importance of higher education, and he wanted a doctor in the family. As a result, he introduced me to quite a few successful men with higher education. I realized early in life that there were only a few options if I wanted to get out of the stressful streets of Cleveland. All of those options included an education.”
LaMarr spent the next twenty years in the United States Air Force and completed several degrees - an Associate's in Dental Science, an Associate's in Social Psychology, and a Bachelor's in Social Psychology. “I was the first in my family to earn a college degree,” he told us proudly.
After retiring from the Air Force, he earned a Master of Arts in Psychology with a focus on Marriage and Family Therapy. “I worked in the field for a while and began to build a name for myself, but I wasn't satisfied. I wanted to help veterans who were struggling with post-traumatic stress. In order to do so, I realized I needed more specialized knowledge. I wanted to be an expert. And I never forgot my grandfather's dream.”
He began researching doctoral programs, and found University of the Rockies. “After speaking with a number of people, I finally met a student from Albuquerque. She told me about the great faculty, and I was sold. This is the reason I chose to drive 700 miles as opposed to the 15 minutes to University of New Mexico. I have not had any regrets.”
While pursuing his degree, LaMarr was very active in various associations on the local and national levels, including serving as the President and Chair of Professional Development of the New Mexico Mental Health Counselors Association, a member of the New Mexico Counseling Association, and a member on the policy and legislative committee of their national organization, the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). LaMarr is also a member of the DSM V Task Force for both the AMHCA and the American Counselors Association (ACA). In this role, he offers input from a counselor’s perspective on the making of the new and critical psychiatric diagnostic and statistic manual (DSM V) and makes presentations at these associations’ national conferences.
In addition, LaMarr has worked at Forensic Behavior Health with felons and police officers, and also at First Nations, a small community health clinic that specializes in caring for Native Americans. But when we last spoke to him, LaMarr was trying out entrepreneurship. “I formed my own company, Family Harmony, which specializes in traumatic stress, and am now self-employed full-time. I have one assistant and one contractor who works for me. We work with children, adults, couples, and families. Along with state insurance entities, I contract with the Albuquerque public school system as a therapist.
Lamarr told us that after graduating, he planned to complete a post doctorate and then prepare for the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP). “I have also been considering going for the ABPP (American Board of Professional Psychology) in a few years, which is the highest level of certification a psychologist can achieve,” he said, “My long-term goal is to open a Wellness Center that focuses on traumatic stress. My new company is the second phase of that project. Once I finish the program, I will have the training and credentials I need to make my dream a success.”