Eman Tadros: Distinguished Young Woman Honoree

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Eman Tadros: Distinguished Young Woman Honoree

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Eman Tadros is fulfilling her passion and purpose by embracing three careers at once. As a researcher, therapist, and professor, Eman aspires to a full-time post as a professor – researching her passions under grants she obtains, teaching courses, and doing independent therapy and supervision. Eman describes her leadership style with three words: advocate, supportive, and motivated.

Tadros is well on her way of accomplishing her goals already. Currently an adjunct professor both at Cleveland State University (CSU) and at Middlesex County College and as of January 2019, she is independently licensed to provide marriage and family therapy. Also in January 2019, Tadros started seeing clients at Healing Pathways in Rocky River. She became a supervisor in August and is working towards another license for supervision. Initially receiving a license to practice in Ohio in 2017, she completed her doctoral practicum at St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital of Summa Health System in Akron.

On her path to becoming a full-time professor, she anticipates obtaining her doctorate in about one year from the University of Akron in Counseling Education and Supervision in Marriage and Family Therapy. Eman enjoyed her community college experience at Middlesex before graduating from Northeastern University with her bachelor’s and then Seton Hall for graduate school and is she thrilled to be teaching current Middlesex students through online classes. As an adjunct at CSU, she has taught family counseling, group counseling, counseling children and adolescents, and in 2019 she is teaching research methods and psychology.

“I am teaching people how to do what I love, teaching family counseling or anything that helps clinicians grow… I teach what I love. I always hated when professors assigned projects I had no passion for it. I let people follow their interest.” Empowering students in this way has expanded her career, publishing with her students on subjects that are not her professional focus, like eating disorders.

Eman did her practicum and internship for her master’s degree in incarcerated facilities in Newark, New Jersey, including one halfway house. She provided marriage and family therapy to offenders from many systems: county, state and federal. Eman was hired the last year of her academic program as the family services coordinator at two facilities in their network and planned family nights, fatherhood groups, individual and family/couple therapy.
“My first research publication was about a father and son who did so much work to change their entire family.” One of her greatest professional accomplishments was having this work published in 2018 as her first peer-reviewed journal article, “Structural Family Therapy With Incarcerated Families” in Family Journal.

Her New Jersey practicum lessons motivate her research, earning her praise from her peers. The Indiana Association for Marriage Family Therapy (INAMFT) awarded her 2nd place for her research paper on that father and son and two first place awards for her research on incarcerated mother/daughter relationships. She also retained the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Minority Youth Fellowship for her two-year career at Seton Hall.

An article currently under review at Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice she co-authored explores the racial disparity there and finds all too often researchers have not taken a diversity lens to their work. With her current dissertation focusing on co-parenting impacted by incarceration, and given diverse, overlapping identities in incarcerated individuals and the population writ large, she asks: “How can we not?”

“You can’t study incarcerated populations without studying disparity in diversity.” Intersecting identities such as race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and gender identity, are not appropriately addressed by therapists, according to her research.

Presenting on this topic to her peers has proven daunting and met with resistance. She finds herself constantly needing to explain, “If we aren’t willing to discuss topics that are difficult in therapy, how can we expect our clients– who are experiencing racism or sexual problems?”

Not everyone in her field has been receptive to Eman’s focus on diversity. At a California professional conference, an older male therapist became irate and rude during her presentation, interrupting to express distrust in her presentation of the topic, specifically as a young woman, questioning all of her references despite her credentials. When put on the spot, he claimed he could remain ignorant because he never sees clients that are different from him, which Tadros highly doubts is the case. In another workshop a frustrated woman got out of her seat to ask, “What does multiculturalism have to do with this therapy?”

She advocates counselors to take a “curious stance” to their clients’ cultural and religious beliefs, which is to “take an inquisitive approach and trying to learn and understand rather than cast judgement on them” or act out microaggressions.

Tadros finds an appropriate approach for counselors working in a multi-heritage context as learning an individual or family unit’s rules, roles, and boundaries. “Meeting them where they are at in a sense of you are the person who is helping them. You are not creating their rules; you are working with theirs. You are listening to them and joining their family in their framework to help them instead of telling them what to do.”

Close to the YWCA’s work to end youth homelessness, Tadros has learned that identifying as a foster child or foster care alumni is a unique condition to be sensitive to beyond poverty or racial/ethnic culture. Working on a joint paper under review at The Family Journal, she studied her co-author’s dissertation on foster care alumni. Alumni experience a lot of attachment issues in the future, becoming overprotective of their own children in fear of what they experienced and report having wanted someone to be on their side in their youth instead of professionals just listening to what the adults in their lives were saying.

Research is advocacy for Tadros. She knows someone important might read her work and then it might impact policy. “It’s about who is in power and who can make changes. I have some power and I am going to use it,” by choosing to study intersectionality, even when it is awkward and provocative to her peers. “These difficult dialogues are vital to the self-exploration process and the effect of not having these conversations can be much worse.”
Becoming a professor at the young age of 23 and counseling additionally, was not without few bumps. She has been confused for a student many times. At a high school she was doing therapy at, she was refused access to her office because of the misperception of her age. Some students have demanded to know her age and some couples question her expertise since she does not wear a ring.

“I am not going to tell them how to be married; they are the experts. I am going to hear what they want to do.”
She relishes her work as a therapist. “I love the parent/child dynamic because it is very complicated even though it is difficult. I love working with couples. It is really about that they have love between them and I’m just pulling it out and showing them. They are there for a reason. It doesn’t matter if they love me or hate me. Even if they are laughing on the way home about how crazy their therapist is.”

Eman practices what she teaches about self-care. She always designs a surprise self-care day for her CSU students think is an online assignment to replace a class. Eman did a study abroad and lived in France for 5 weeks and now her self-care routine involves travel. Although her curriculum vitae is full of travel for conferences, she is sure to schedule non-work related travel. After 4.5 years, she returned to Paris to ring in 2019 abroad in her favorite city.