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Michael Horst

DEPARTMENT: MA in Counseling

POSITION: Instructor

LOCATION: Main Campus, Harrisonburg | SB 104

PHONE: (540) 432-4244


Michael Horst earned a BS in Psychology and MA in Counseling from Eastern Mennonite University and he is currently a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) in Counselor Education and Supervision at James Madison University. Michael has held many roles at EMU: student, window-washer, custodian, apartment manager, counselor, and instructor.
In his work as a counselor, he has had the opportunity to work with children, adolescents, college students, adults, and elders in a variety of settings, including college counseling centers, community agencies/free clinics, retirement centers, and a partial hospitalization program. Michael’s clinical work is influenced by existential, contemplative, and psychodynamic/psychoanalytic perspectives. He continues to attempt to find a home for his love of philosophy in counseling, counselor education, and supervision. Michael has also had the privilege of exploring his passion for counselor education through teaching counseling and psychology courses at EMU and JMU. He has taught in EMU’s MA in Counseling department in various capacities since 2014. His research interests include contemplative practices and therapeutic relationships, counselor formation, the intersections of the humanities and philosophy with psychotherapy, inquiries into Psychoanalysis, and much more. He and his wife live in Harrisonburg with their son. Michael enjoys reading, backpacking, and spending time with his family.


James Madison University: Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision (ABD) in progress
Eastern Mennonite University: Master of Arts in Counseling
Eastern Mennonite University: Bachelor of Science – Psychology


Horst, M. L. (2016). Apples and Existentialism. Central Valley Counselors Association.

Horst, M. L. (2015). Lessons in mindfulness from Thich Nhat Hahn: Would you like to supersize that?. Central Valley Counselors Association.

Horst, M. L. (2015). Food and cultural identity. Central Valley Counselors Association.

Hammond, C. & Horst, M. L. (in progress). Meditation and mindfulness as an augmentation to therapy: A qualitative analysis of psychotherapist experiences. Manuscript in preparation.

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

Koser, N., Horst, M. L., & Nafziger, S. (2016). On Transference. Virginia Counselors Association.

Horst, M. L. & Nafziger, S. (2015). Being more than one story: Contemplative psychotherapy and counselor formation. Virginia Counselors Association.

Horst, M. L., Metz, A., & Bukowski, M. (2015). Mindfulness outside the box: Nature connection as a tool for counselor self-care. Virginia Counselors Association.

Hammond, C. & Horst, M. L. (2015). Mindfulness on and off the cushion: How meditation and mindfulness affect the therapeutic relationship. Virginia Counselors Association.

Echterling, L., Stewart, A., Cowan, E., Horst, M., George, S. (2015). Thriving together: Strengthening attachments that enrich our growth as counselors. Virginia Counselors Association.

Koser, N., Horst, M. L., & Nafziger, S. (2015). Interpretation and Its Fates: Culture and Clinic. Harrisonburg Center for Psychoanalysis. Presented at Eastern Mennonite University.

Horst, M. L. (2014, April). An investigation of student attitudes towards campus counseling services. Poster presented at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Horst, M. L. (2011, April). The effect of mindfulness based stress reduction on a test of basic mathematics. Poster presented at the Virginia Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Norfolk, VA.

Fisher, R., Horst, M. L., Miller, B. J., & Horst, S. J. (2011, October). To serve and lead: Operationally defining servant leadership. Presentation at the Northeastern Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Rocky Hill, Connecticut.