My name is Dr. Nari Jeter. My path to becoming a marriage and family therapist (MFT) and settling in Tallahassee was unplanned and surprised even me. However, as I look back upon my life, I realize that many of my own personal, educational, and family experiences were preparation for my passion and success as a marriage and family therapist.
I was born in Seoul, South Korea to my Korean mother and Italian-American, Army serviceman father. I grew up in western Pennsylvania, loving the change in seasons (including snow), Italian and Polish food, and all things Pittsburgh sports-related. I attended Grove City College in Grove City Pennsylvania on a pre-medicine track. However, on a summer medical missions trip to Kenya, I began to realize that I had a strong desire to talk with and understand people on an emotional, psychological, and spiritual level, more so than having an interest in the field of medicine.
When I returned home for my senior year of college, I no longer intended to go medical school. In 2002, I graduated with a Molecular Biology degree and six Psychology classes on my transcript, so I decided to apply to graduate schools in counseling. I stumbled upon a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After reading about the philosophy of the marriage and family therapy field, I was intrigued. Through my own experiences of family divorces and remarriages, I recognized the need and importance of a field of study that focused intently on marriage and family relationships. One year into my program at Drexel, I realized that I had found my passion and needed to learn more. This lead me to apply to doctoral programs in marriage and family therapy, this time away from the snow and cold of Pennsylvania. In 2004, I found my way to Tallahassee, Florida, to attend Florida State University in the doctoral program in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Looking back at these events, I never would have imagined that my education and geographic location would change so drastically…and more was to come. Less than one year into my residence in Tallahassee, I met my husband and (step)children. I earned my doctoral degree in 2009, after 10 years of continuous post-highschool education. Now, over a decade after moving to Florida, I am still happily married, have two additional children, and I consider Tallahassee my home. I have grown to love sweet tea, grits, and winding canopy roads. I am proud to be a Seminole, and continue to teach classes in the Family and Child Sciences Department at FSU. For me, my faith in God and my family give me strength and are my greatest joys in life. However, I also enjoy any type of shopping, exercising, cooking, and finding little “projects” to do around my house. I feel energized when I get to spend time with great friends, having good conversation and food. I really enjoy what I consider are the simple things of life.