Alwin Wagener

Alwin Wagener

Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program,
Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling

School of Psychology and Counseling



  • Counseling Skills and Practice
  • Fundamentals of Supervision in Counseling
  • Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • Practicum
  • Internship


  • Understanding and Addressing Dreams and Nightmares in Counseling
  • The Relationship of Dreams and Nightmares to Trauma
  • Using Metaphor in Counseling
  • Supervision approaches in counseling education
  • Counseling Pedagogy


  • PHD, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Counseling and Counselor Education
  • MS, Western Carolina University- Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Philosophy

Academic Profile

Alwin E. Wagener, PhD, LPC, NCC is a passionate counselor educator. He is from the mountains of Western North Carolina but relocated here in the Fall of 2019 to take the Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling faculty position. Prior to joining the FDU faculty, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at UNC-Greensboro, which is also where he received his Doctoral degree in Counseling and Counselor Education. His primary research interest focuses on clients’ inner experiences, specifically their dreams and nightmares. This focus involves understanding the relationship of dreams and nightmares to trauma, as well as how counselors can work with clients’ dreams and nightmares to support psychological healing. Recently, his work on dreams led to the publication of an article proposing a theory of dreaming, The Embodied Cognition Theory of Dreaming, which he believes will serve to ground dreamwork practices in counseling and support the development of new counseling interventions involving dreams.  In addition to his primary research focus, he also seeks to better understand the role and uses of metaphor in counseling along with ways to improve supervision in counselor education through creative approaches.

In the classroom, Alwin believes in the importance of bringing the individual experiences and interests of students into the room, so that engagement with course materials is better integrated into the perspectives and needs of students. Counseling requires communication skills, foundational mental health knowledge, and a high degree of self-awareness, so his classes create dynamic interactions with course materials, fostering growth in all three of those areas. Alwin finds it exciting and rewarding to watch the transformation of students from the beginning of the program to the point at which they graduate and leave to practice counseling professionally, and he deeply appreciates being a part of that process.

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