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Branch Committee

Branch Committee:   Seeks and considers petitions for the formation of new national, state, or regional branches of IARTC; makes recommendations to the IARTC Board for formation and/or dissolutions of national, state, or regional branches; promotes cooperation and communication among branches and IARTC; assists branches in coordinating efforts among each other and with IARTC; reviews status of state, national, or regional branches on 5-year intervals. 

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Sophie Lake Oswin, PHD, ACS, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH

Dr. Sophie Lake Oswin is a Licensed Professional Counselor and owner of a private practice: Journey to Equanimity Counseling and Consulting, LLC in Atlanta, GA. She is a National Certified Counselor, Approved Clinical Supervisor, and Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider. Dr. Oswin received her PhD from Walden University in Counselor Education and Supervision in 2023. She provides individual counseling for adults as well as ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for those in recovery from trauma, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Dr. Sophie is passionate about training the next generation of counselors through mentorship, education, advocacy, and research. Her current research efforts are focused on psychedelic assisted psychotherapies for trauma and depression, suicide prevention training of master’s level counselors, the role of AI/VR/AR in the treatment of mental health problems, and professional ethics in counseling. Previous to her work in private practice, she worked in a crisis stabilization unit treating clients with chronic and severe mental disorders.

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Sithandazile Hope Msimanga, Ph. D.

I am a Counsellor Educator and Supervisor having graduated with a doctoral degree from the Executive Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES) in 2008 at the Duquesne University in Pittsburgh PA. Following this qualification, I worked for three years as a student Counsellor at the University of Botswana (UB) Careers and Counseling Centre. I offered counselling services to student with varied life concerns as well as paying special attention to those struggling with mental illnesses. I worked as well with immediate family caregivers to these students to support them in their caregiving endeavours. 
In 2011, I moved to teaching in Counselling at the Department of Educational Foundations in UB until I retired in 2018. I taught courses in counselling for both undergraduate and graduate students and offered clinical supervision during their practicum and internship field experiences. I have had an opportunity and a scholarship from the UB to undertake a sabbatical leave at the Indiana University in Bloomington where I benchmarked on the current student clinical supervision approaches from June – Dec 2017. These insights continue to guide our clinical supervision endeavours back here in Botswana after completing my sabbatical leave.
I hold a Master’s degree in Psychiatric/Mental Nursing from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane Australia attained in the year 2000. Prior to this qualification, I worked with students with personal life concerns as well as problems with mental ill-health struggling from the year 1994. I provided emotional support, and psycho education to family care givers on the disease process and importance of medication compliance for their mentally ill relative. 
I am a Nurse Educator following my first degree in Nursing Education at the University of Botswana from 1983-1986. I taught in Foundations of Nursing as well as psychiatric/mental health from the years 1986-1994.  As a Registered nurse, I worked shortly in Athlone (general) Hospital in medical wards providing general care; and maternity wards assisting pregnant mothers during delivery as well as educating them on the care of their new-born babies from 1977-1978. 
I worked in the Lobatse Mental Hospital from 1978-1994 offering general care and activities of daily living to the mentally ill, led group psychotherapy for both patients and caregivers; followed up patients in the most remote places of Botswana to refill medications, review progress as well as support and offer psycho education to family caregivers. 
Outside the academic circles I served as the President of the Botswana Counselling Association (BCA) in the years 2010-2012, and hosted the first International Counselling Conference in Botswana. I have presented papers in conferences locally, regionally and internationally on issues of counselling, counselor supervision and the traditional approaches to care in grief, trauma and bereavement in Botswana. 
I have worked as a volunteered for over 15 years with the Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) which then focussed on youth sexual and reproductive health from 2002-2016. BOFWA is an affiliate of the International Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Other organizations that I offered services as a volunteer are the Botswana Red Cross briefly and the Humana People to People (HPP) organisation for over 14 years (2002-2016). HPP is an organisation that teaches and supports people of Botswana to know their HIV status and on the need to take and comply with Anti Retro Viral (ARV) therapy. I have also volunteered at the International conference on HIV & AIDS in Durban South Africa in 2016. As a doctoral student I volunteered at the Association for Counselor Educators and supervisors (ACES) in Pittsburgh in 2006, and also for the ACA conference in 2007.
Currently, I am the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Just Hope Foundation-Counseling and Consultancy Trust (JHFCCT), a Non-Governmental Organization offering counselling in grief and trauma for widows, widowers, and the young people in Botswana. The JHFCCT has been recognised and funded by the Government of Botswana through the National Aids and Health Promotion Agency (NAHPA) for all its work for over ten years offering service to people of Botswana on pro bono terms when they could pay for such services. The JHFCCT is currently offering services to underserved populations in Maun and surrounding areas facilitated by this funding. 
I am currently teaching in counselling at the University of Botswana on a post - retirement contract until September 2024. 

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