Wednesday, May 30, 2007


One of the most surprising lessons the students learned was that smoking is not a stress reliever.

SANTA ANA, CALIF. – Although she is several hundred miles away from Southern California, Adielle Carrington is using the skills she learned as a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Argosy University/Orange County. Carrington is currently interning at Fresno City College where she is teaching a Smoking Cessation course offering students tips on how to quit lighting up.

She graduated from Argosy University on May 18. Carrington, a former Santa Monica resident, is a nurse who has worked at USC, UCLA and in Intensive Care Units in Southern California.

Dr. Jeb Egbert, Argosy University/Orange County campus president, said the university’s flexible programs, including online, evening and weekend courses, are perfect for working adults looking to change or advance their careers. “With her years of medical experience and her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, I am sure Adielle will make a great psychologist,” he said.

“This is mainly a psycho-educational class designed to assist in developing knowledge and techniques in reducing or stopping smoking,” Carrington said. “The class also provides supportive learning and group therapy for individuals who want to alter their behavior. The techniques used in the course are based on cognitive behavioral principles and therapy.”

The class is part of a research project started in 2004. Carrington said the project is funded by a Fresno City College alumnus who died of emphysema and willed $400,000 to study the most effective method of quitting smoking. Participants in the research project are divided into four groups, one control group, who try to quit smoking with no assistance; a group that uses the nicotine patch; a group that use the patch and group therapy; and a group that uses therapy but no patch.

Carrington said the course addresses topics such as stages of changes, behavioral principles for self-directed change, alternative coping skills and the pros and cons of smoking behavior.

“Students learn how to use a smoking monitor to identify thoughts and feelings associated with smoking behavior,” she said. “They also learn how to better manage thoughts, feelings, behaviors and emotional states that lead to smoking.”

One of the most surprising lessons the students learned was that smoking is not a stress reliever. Carrington said the course showed them smoking actually increases stress levels because smokers face criticism from their peers, spend money on the costly habit and it also has a negative effect on their appearance.

The 18-week course attracted people from all walks of life, some who have been smoking for more than 30 years. “The age for students taking the course is 28-52,” Carrington said. The course has shown signs of success. “In the Spring class all six students quit, but two went back to smoking,” Carrington said. However the smokers who returned to the habit reduced their consumption from 10 cigarettes per day to two-three per week, she said.

Carrington said working with the Smoking Cessation class was both a learning experience for her and the students. “I realized this course is very needed,” she said. “It could be an amazing asset to the community.”

The students learned a lot about themselves and the complexities of smoking. Carrington said the course includes research from the medical, psychological and biological fields, to show how smoking is both a physical and psychological problem. “The students learned that it takes up to seven times to succeed when quitting smoking,” Carrington said.

After her internship is completed, Carrington plans to return to the Los Angeles/Orange County area and begin her post-doctorate training. “I plan to have my license in Clinical Psychology next year, and I will be looking to combine my medical background experience and psychology,” she said. “I believe that mental health should be part of our total health plan.”

For more information go to or call (714) 338-6200.


Argosy University/Orange County campus is one of 18 Argosy University ( locations in 12 states. Argosy University offers doctoral and master's degree programs in clinical and counseling psychology, business and education. Argosy University also offers bachelor's degree completion programs in psychology and business, and associate's degree programs in various health sciences fields. Argosy University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (NCA) (30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602, (800) 621-7440,).

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