13:50 PM

Alumna Giving People the Tools to Get Unstuck from Grief

Erica Fulton, M.A., MDiv. is no stranger to grief and loss. She was still in her 20s, and an undergraduate at University of St. Thomas-Houston, when her husband died suddenly from heart-and-lung-related causes. Devastated and despairing, the young widow also felt anger—with God. But with the compassionate support and foundation in faith that she received from her UST family Fulton rose up again. Today at 43, she is an experienced trauma, grief and loss therapist who gives people the tools to get unstuck and move forward.

After earning her B.A. in theology in 2012 at UST, the determined native Houstonian completed two master’s degrees in counseling and divinity from the Houston Graduate School of Theology.

Currently, she is working on her doctorate in professional counseling psychology there.

Fulton, also an ordained minister, said, “When you’re dealing with grief, every event is different.”

The therapist, who has worked in multiple types of counseling, from hospital chaplain to certified chemical dependency counselor, knows loss all too well. From 2011 to2020, she lost her grandfather, grandmother, mother, and she suffered a silent heart attack, which caused her to fall and fracture an ankle.

“What I’ve been through helps me to have a lot of empathy,” she said. “It helps me to sit with people in their pain. I listen and facilitate storytelling, which can reveal unresolved business. That takes skill. It’s important to be able to sit with someone and not re-traumatize them at the same time.”

Fulton speaks about her work as if it is her mission. Through her blog, thecalmcorner.org, she shares what she has learned about different counseling topics. A recent example is a post called “The Hidden Gift of Grief.”

Her next goals are to finish her doctorate and create grief training for pastors, chaplains and churches.

In the meantime, Fulton returns to UST when she can. “I felt a sense of community at UST. Everyone knew my face, and I really felt at home. Even after I graduated, I still went to that library and took advantage of my gym membership. It still feels like I’m going back home.”