Liz Hooghkirk

M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy

Why did you choose SOLES? 

I heard about SOLES from a teaching assistant while I was an undergraduate student attending the University of California, Santa Barbara. My teaching assistant was a licensed MFT and I asked her for recommendations for MFT programs. She told me that USD had a great reputation and that she had heard wonderful things about the faculty.

When I attended the Open House at USD, I was first struck by the beauty of the campus. After attending the breakout session lead by the director of the program, Dr. Edwards, I was impressed by how approachable and welcoming he was. I was also excited to learn that the MFT program has both national and state accreditation. In addition, I learned that the program helps place their students in a limited number of practicum sites; each site has been approved by the faculty as high quality practicum placements for students. After attending the interview, I knew that USD was the right fit for my graduate studies. The faculty demonstrated their commitment to student learning during the interview.

Tell us about your practicum through SOLES.

Through SOLES, I am completing my MFT Practicum at Providence Community Services, Kickstart. Kickstart is a prevention and early intervention program for people between the ages of 10 and 25 who are showing prodromal signs of psychosis. At my practicum site, I provide my clients with both individual and family therapy. I also co-facilitate a multi-family group twice a month. In addition, I received training for the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndrome and am certified to administer the assessment on my own. My first year of classes in the MFT program truly prepared me to begin seeing clients this year. In addition, the professors have provided excellent support and supervision regarding my cases.

Have you completed an international experience?

Last year, I went to Ireland for 10 days with approximately twenty students from my cohort and two professors from my program. During our international experience, we met with faculty and students at the University College Dublin in the Systemic Psychotherapy department. The University College Dublin professors presented on their research and theories. We were able to discuss and explore the similarities and differences in the mental health profession in the United States and Ireland. In addition to the exchange with UCD, our professors arranged two day trips to different regions of Ireland; we took a guided tour to Belfast and Newgrange. We were also given ample free time to tour Dublin with our classmates. We explored museums, pubs, and parks.

This is an archived student profile, which was written by Liz in the 2012-2013 academic year. Liz, who was a SOLES Student Ambassador, graduated from the program in 2013. Congratulations, Liz!