Many Phillips alumni enjoy the respect and admiration of their peers as professors, practitioners and community leaders. Dr. Randall W. Phillips (’81 & ’15) takes great pride in being a member of the distinguished alums of the California Family Study Center & Phillips Graduate University (CalFam/PGU).
Dr. Phillips credits his graduate work at CalFam with providing a foundation for launching his career as a psychotherapist and professor. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, Phillips started a master’s in clinical psychology at Murray State University. Soon after starting the graduate program, his uncle, Clinton E. Phillips, PhD., told him about CalFam’s new and exciting program in marriage, family and child counseling. Randy, as he is known to his friends and family, enrolled in the CalFam program and attended summer intensives in Los Angeles. Later he moved his family to California to participate fulltime in the master’s program. Following the completion of the master’s, and several years of practice and teaching counseling graduate students, he was admitted to the Rehabilitation Institute at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (SIU-C).
Armed with his understanding of family systems and its therapeutic applications, Phillips brought this perspective to his doctoral studies in Illinois. His doctoral study at SIU-C culminated with a dissertation that analyzed data from St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, titled: Symptom Distress in Pediatric Oncology Patients.
Phillips career has included working at mental health centers, hospitals, universities and private practice in Tennessee. It is worth noting that when he began his career licensure did not exist in Tennessee. Today he is licensed as an LMFT, duly elected AAMFT Clinical Fellow and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. He was appointed by the Governor of Tennessee to the Board of Professional Counselors, Marital and Family Therapists and Clinical Pastoral Therapists.
His contribution to the MFT profession includes holding offices in the Tennessee Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (TNAMFT), including President. Twice TNAMFT recognized Phillips for his service to the profession. He was presented with the Distinguished Service to the Division and with the Lifetime Achievement Award. During his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Phillips Graduate University, the school achieved reaffirmation of accreditation. For his contributions to the field of Marital and Family Therapy and Phillips Graduate University the Board of Trustees conferred the Doctor of Humane letters.
Phillips is proud to count Dr. Randall Phillips as a member of our prestigious alumni. We look forward to his continued leadership to bring our school into its next chapter and to his contributions to the field.