MFP Mentorship Propelled Dr. Moore to Achieve More!

Darren D. Moore, Ph.D., MSMFT, LMFT, former MFP Doctoral Fellow (2009-2010), is an Associate Professor and the Program Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Masters program at Touro University Worldwide, in Los Alamitos, California. He was a recipient of the MFP Doctoral Fellowship while completing coursework for his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech University. Dr. Moore is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Georgia, and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Dr. Moore completed his Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy at Valdosta State University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies at the University of Minnesota.

The MFP program played an integral role in Dr. Moore’s education and career path. The MFP Mentorship program helped Dr. Moore develop relationships with MFTs making his transition into the field of marriage and family therapy easier. Dr. Moore’s mentors, Ken Hardy (former MFP Program Director) and Adisa Ajamu (former MFP Program Manager), well-known scholars in the fields of Marriage and Family Therapy and Psychology, helped him to develop a self-identity as a budding therapist. Dr. Moore noted that identifying with his mentors, African-American males, was very meaningful, as he was often the only one or one of very few African-American male students in his MFT training programs.Dr. Moore received advice on how to manage work/life balance, career planning in MFT, and was able to network with other doctoral students who had a passion for substance abuse and/or mental health treatment for minority populations. The MFP program helped Dr. Moore developed life-long relationships with other doctoral scholars who are now in the field serving in in direct clinical treatment, policy, academia.

Dr. Moore also noted that being a recipient of additional training in Substance Abuse and Mental Health treatment, specifically among minority populations, helped set the stage for his research interests, developed research, and clinical practice and treatment. Dr. Moore participated in MFP trainings, including Think Tanks, which involved research from scholars and practitioners who were involved in the field through public policy, direct clinical work, and research.

After participating in the MFP program, Dr. Moore focused on completing his clinical internship and his dissertation. Upon graduation in 2012, Dr. Moore remained in academia as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Community Placement Coordinator, and as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the Mercer Medicine clinical practice. While at Mercer University, Dr. Moore taught a variety of courses in the MFT curriculum, systems healthcare and clinical skills to students and medical students.

After leaving Mercer, Dr. Moore transitioned from the rural south to the urban city of San Francisco to teach for two years in the MFT program at Alliant International University. In the role of Site Program Director for the San Francisco campus, Dr. Moore played a significant role in developing and directing Alliant University’s online MFT program. Recently, Dr. Moore has accepted an academic appointment at Touro University Worldwide.

Dr. Moore’s passion to drive change is met with his practice goals to help people who are often overlooked. Dr. Moore has worked with individuals, couples, groups, and families who have suffered from substance abuse and addictions. In particular, he has worked in outpatient home-based programs with youth and their families, including youth with substance abuse issues as well as with parents who have substance abuse issues. Dr. Moore has also worked with adults who have presented with addictions within an outpatient clinic and has addressed substance abuse within the context of couple and family relationships. Dr. Moore has seen the real-life change that can occur when a client acknowledges his/her problems and becomes invested in change. Dr. Moore has measured his achievement through direct client feedback as well as through the utilization of outcome based clinical instruments. Dr. Moore attributes his success with clients to the training, education, and skillsets acquired from the MFP that were provided during his fellowship cohort.

Dr. Moore has also contributed to the field through his advancements/achievements in his role in academia. Dr. Moore has taught addictions education for the last seven years where he has assisted in developing and revising the curriculum covered, to include an emphasis on evidence-based practices for addictions treatment, SAMHSA training models, and diversity and minority mental health. This includes training adaptable to in-person formats as well as online/distance-based education in MFT. Likewise, in Dr. Moore’s transition from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor and Program Director, Dr. Moore has been able to continue emphasizing substance abuse and minority mental health at the program level, in addition to the supervision he has done with students, individuals seeking licensure, and individuals seeking AAMFT approved supervisor status.

Dr. Moore’s influence for leadership and leadership development has been regarded as a global reach for future leaders. As an African-American male professor in the field of MFT, Dr. Moore has often been approached by students, both domestic and internationally, who are interested in gaining mentorship and career advice. Informally, Dr. Moore has worked with students pursing graduate degrees in MFT (including dissertation students), medical students who were being trained in Family Systems, and post-graduate students pursuing their license.

Dr. Moore has also mentored undergraduate students who were considering a career in MFT. Formally, Dr. Moore has mentored students serving in the role of: Chair of the Minority Affairs Committee for the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Program Director at various MFT programs, MFP Mentor, and AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Dr. Moore has continued to be an involved MFP Alumni serving in a variety of ways. Since 2012, Dr. Moore served as a mentor for doctoral students. His service as a mentor allowed him the opportunity to provide support for Fellows in the areas of student life, dissertation writing and preparation, and career planning. After serving as an MFP Mentor, he transitioned to serve on the MFP Advisory Committee. After a few years, on the committee, he committed to serving as the Advisory Committee Chair position.

Presently, Dr. Moore is at an academic position at Touro University Worldwide. He continues to serve as MFP Advisory Committee Chair helping to assist the MFP staff. Dr. Moore continues to impact the lives of students, faculty, clients, and allied health members of who he encounters. Dr. Moore has earnest dedication to continue helping to further the mission of the MFP program.