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Department of Social Work

College of Arts & Sciences

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Profile image of Debbie Thibeault

Deborah  Thibeault 

Clinical Assistant Professor
Social Work
423-439-3004 /
Campus Center Building, Room 313C

Deborah (Debi) Thibeault joined ETSU in August 2015. Debi shares her time between the Department of Social Work and ETSU Pediatrics providing integrated care and supervising both BSW and MSW interns. She has been in the Social Work field for over twenty years. When she began working in the field she simultaneously attended University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut for her Bachelors in Social Work, then an advanced standing program with Springfield College in Massachusetts to obtain her Masters in Social Work. Her beginning experiences working with the homeless population, people with HIV/AIDS, and youth included case management, program coordination, grant writing and directing a non-profit. Shortly after obtaining her MSW she relocated to Western North Carolina and began clinical work in Community Mental Health. After obtaining her LCSW she also opened a private practice working primarily with children overcoming trauma. When she arrived in North Carolina she also began teaching at Asheville-Buncombe Community Technical College and Warren Wilson College. She comes with experience teaching Cultural Diversity, Practice with Individual and Organizations, History of Social Welfare, and Human Behavior and the Social Environment.
“My teaching philosophy is heavily influenced by my spiritual path. As humans walking this earth mother it is my belief that we already have inherent wisdom. My teachers provide me with learning experiences that, when I listen and remain open, simply remind me of what I forgot about and help me understand the connection to those memories a little better. I see it as my job to deliver that to students by furnishing learning experiences and opportunities to gain knowledge, practice skills, and internalize information in order to reconnect with their inherent wisdom versus reciting mere facts. While guiding future social workers I believe it is important to focus on increasing their wisdom and sense of self which empowers them and builds the confidence they need going into the field. I see my role as being one to instill in students the importance of being sensitive to others while having ability to have dialogue about challenging topics and help them build trust in their ability to explore the world.”

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