Mason Professor Emerita of Counseling and Development Dies

Posted: January 24, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Linda Seligman, professor emerita of counseling and development in the College of Education and Human Development at Mason, passed away on Dec. 24, 2007, at the age of 63 from a recent recurrence of cancer. Seligman retired in 2002 after 25 years of state service.

As a 13-year breast cancer survivor, Seligman was director of the Center for Counseling and Consultation, a private practice with locations in Fairfax, Va., and Bethesda, Md. She specialized in helping her clients cope with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

A widely recognized lecturer on cancer diagnosis and treatment planning, Seligman served as director of the Community Agency Counseling Program at Mason. She was also a faculty associate at Johns Hopkins University and a faculty member at Walden University.

Diana Gibb, a licensed professional counselor and long-time work associate of Seligman told the American Counseling Association that “it was a great pleasure to work with Linda for 25 years, first as a doctoral student, then as a colleague in the GMU counseling program and, finally, as her officemate in our private practice office. She was the consummate professional in every way and an invaluable mentor to me and to others.”

Seligman was experienced in a variety of clinical settings including psychiatric hospitals, college counseling centers, community mental health centers, substance abuse treatment programs, foster care and corrections.

She authored 15 books often used in the counseling profession, including “Selecting Effective Treatments,” “Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy” and “Promoting a Fighting Spirit: Psychotherapy for Cancer Patients, Survivors and Their Families.”

The American Mental Health Counselors Association named Seligman the Counselor Educator of the Year for 2007 and the Researcher of the Year in 1990.

Seligman is survived by her husband, Robert Zeskind, and stepdaughter, Rachel. A memorial service was held Jan. 19 at the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, Md.

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