2017 Tillman Scholar

Elizabeth Burgin

Military Spouse
University of North Texas
Ph.D., Counseling

“I want to be an advocate for wellness and mental health for service members and their families.”

Inspired by the selflessness of the Army communities she and her husband have called home, Elizabeth is committed to honoring the service and sacrifice of those in uniform and their families. The mental health challenges facing the soldiers and families in her own life led Elizabeth to pursue a career in counseling. Elizabeth has experienced firsthand the difficulty of finding and fostering community amid frequent transitions and her husband’s combat deployments to Afghanistan. In the tradition of so many military families seeking to make the most of every place they call home, Elizabeth has sought to build community by volunteering in Family Readiness Groups for her husband’s units, as well as establishing therapeutic groups and programs for children and families in community agencies and on military installations.

As a doctoral student, Elizabeth leads research and writing efforts to develop counselor-specific competencies for military mental health care and military-focused adaptations to evidence-based treatments, with a focus on play therapy.  Elizabeth has been honored to speak at national and local conferences to better inform counselors about ethical and practical considerations for working with the military population. She is preparing for a career counseling military families  and training fellow counselors to meet the complex, evolving needs of those who serve. She is committed to using her position as a professional counselor to advocate for the military community to receive ethical, efficacious mental health care, commensurate with the sacrifices they and their families make.