MA Counseling, specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Las Vegas, NV
When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?I began September 2014 and will be graduating in May 2017.
What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?
I plan on working with children and adolescents with severe mental illnesses from underserved communities in clinical community settings. I truly enjoy working with this population because they are highly overlooked, who need a lot of support and guidance and face multiple psychosocial factors. However, providing services to them can dramatically change their mental health and outcome.
How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?
As I was choosing and sifting through potential programs, I chose the Counseling program in SOLES, because of their dedication to provide a well-rounded education program that will give you the tools and experience necessary to succeed. They focus on diversity and social justice which I believe to be essential in in our careers. The CMHC prepares you for licensure and is CACREP accredited, which has definitely been helpful.
Tell us about any internships, graduate assistantships, student teaching, practicum or fieldwork you have done through SOLES. Where did you work, what did you do, and how did it impact you?
I am currently placed at Maria Sardinas Wellness and Recovery Center, which is a Community Research Foundation clinic, for my practicum. It is a bilingual (Spanish and English) community clinic for individuals with acute severe mental health illnesses. I am just finishing up my first practicum semester. So far, it was been a great experience, providing me with an abundance of practical and clinical knowledge. I have learned so much already how it is to be in a community agency environment, chronic diagnoses and county wide policies and documentation.
Have you completed an international experience? What did you do?
I have been able to complete two international experiences. I first traveled abroad to Bali, Indonesia, where I studied Advanced Diagnosis and Treatment Planning and participated in a cultural emersion program. It was a wonderful and enriching experience to be able to learn about such an interesting topic in a very culturally diverse environment. I have also studied in Sweden and Finland where I took a Risk Assessment course, and had the opportunity to visit mental health facilities in various different cities, allowing me to learn about different countries’ mental health care systems.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?
Allow yourself the opportunity to gain a well-rounded graduate experience. Graduate school can be more than just attending classes! Get involved in research, graduate council and associations, volunteer, attend graduate events. This will allow you to mingle with other graduate students outside your program. Getting involved is not only a good way to meet new people but also a way to become very familiar about the school, its different programs, and it will open your door for various opportunities.