Dr. Michael Garrett, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Clinical and Professional Studies at the University of West Georgia, and is a certified school counselor. He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education and a M.Ed. in Counseling and Development from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a B.A. in Psychology from North Carolina State University.
Dr. Garrett’s central research focus has emphasized exploring the relationship between cultural values, acculturation, and wellness with implications for developmental, culturally-based therapeutic interventions; strength-based work to improve wellness and resilience of children, adolescents, and adults in families, schools, and communities; better understanding bicultural competence and cultural identity development; prevention of school dropout and school academic among at-risk youth; and spiritual issues in counseling. As author and coauthor of more than 80 professional publications, Dr. Michael Garrett has delved into topics like multiculturalism and social justice, group work, wellness and spirituality, school counseling, working with youth, and counseling Native Americans.
Dr. Garrett has also authored the books, Walking on the Wind: Cherokee Teachings for Harmony and Balance (1998), Native American Faith in America (2003, 1st ed., and 2012, 2nd ed.), and Counseling and Diversity: Counseling Native Americans (2011); coauthored the books, Medicine of the Cherokee: The Way of Right Relationship (1996), Cherokee Full Circle: A Practical Guide to Ceremonies and Traditions (2002), and Counseling and Diversity (2012); and edited the book, Youth and Adversity: Psychology and Influences of Child and Adolescent Resilience and Coping (2014). As a Native person who grew up on the reservation in western North Carolina where he still has strong family and community ties, Dr. Garrett’s experience with Native people, both professionally and personally, lends a unique perspective and expertise with Native American issues and concerns.
Having worked as a school counselor at the middle and high school levels, as a college student personnel worker with Native American and other minority students in the university setting, as an individual and group therapist in a family services agency setting, and as a project director in an urban Native American center serving the local Native community, Dr. Michael Garrett has sought to advance professional understanding of working with diverse populations across therapeutic and educational settings and integrating indigenous healing practices as a way of bridging the cultural gap.