13:34 PM

Grad is Making Connections and Helping Others Succeed

By Dan Sheridan

“Working with patients, connecting with them, and seeing them succeed,” is the best part of Lisa Crouse’s job.

Lisa, a U.S. Navy veteran, is now a Mental Health Therapist at Heartland Family Service in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Founded in 1875, the organization currently serves over 50,000 people through its mission to “strengthen individuals and families…through education, counseling, and support services.” In her role, Lisa is serving those in her community with substance abuse and mental health issues and is helping to shape their futures for the better.

Lisa, after working hard both online and on campus, earned her Master of Science in Clinical Counseling degree, at Bellevue University in 2015. Bellevue’s program is accredited by CACREP, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. CACREP accreditation provides recognition that the content and quality of the program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession. According to Lisa, the program, which is one of the few in the country that is fully online, resulted in a very practical degree which immediately translated into real life. “It was a pretty easy move,” says Lisa, “going from the classroom into the real world,” which is critical when working with people with serious needs.

Bellevue University’s experienced and passionate faculty are the heart and soul of the program. When asked if she liked her instructors, Lisa, without hesitation, replied “Oh yeah.” Dr. Jon Kayne especially, stood out to her.

“Dr. Kayne’s knowledge base, his recall, and his experiences make him special. He has mentored me since graduation and helped connect me with the Nebraska Critical Incident Stress Management team and the South Metro Tactical Negotiation Unit.”

Bellevue University faculty go the extra mile, working with students post-graduation, they transition from teachers to mentors. Lisa says Dr. Kayne instilled in her a very important virtue that is essential in her line of work.

“The stories he would tell us about his experiences,” recalls Lisa, “taught him the importance of having patience and to wait things out, an essential lesson which he greatly emphasized. This wisdom he gained, no doubt, from his law enforcement and military background.”

Dr. Kayne, in addition to being a Professor of Clinical Counseling and Psychology, works in psychotherapy and social work assisting veterans and first responders. His vast and unique experiences have enabled him to see how various disorders manifest themselves, to discern their subtleties, and apply the best treatment options.

According to Lisa, Bellevue University instructors aren’t espousing dry theory; they live what they teach, successfully apply it to life, and pass these living principles on to students, like Lisa, who in turn change hearts and lives.

She encourages prospective students who are thinking about pursuing a CACREP-accredited Master of Science in Clinical Counseling degree to consider Bellevue University’s program.

“The program is flexible and the quality of the instructors is great. I’m still in touch with Dr. Kayne. I work with several other Bellevue grads at Heartland and they all have contact with him, they stay connected and they’re great resources.”

What should a student expect from this course? “Lots of reading,” says Lisa. “Make sure you have time to sit down and read to process through everything. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, they are more than happy to answer them.”

You can find out more about what Lisa is doing at http://heartlandfamilyservice.org/

You can find out more about Bellevue University’s Master of Science in Clinical Counseling program here: http://www.bellevue.edu/degrees/master/clinical-counseling-ms/