Sonstegard plans to earn her License in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and Professional Clinical Counseling License in Minnesota and work with the substance use treatment population.
“Once I have a more solid professional foundation, I would love to pursue more education to incorporate therapeutic applications of music in my practice,” she said.
Sonstegard has a bachelor's in psychology and studies in therapeutic applications of music from UW-Eau Claire.
How well has UW-Stout prepared you to work in your field and why?
UW-Stout’s clinical mental health counseling program offers a hands-on approach that prepared me and my peers for the counseling field. The professors not only educate students but offer valuable resources and materials and countless opportunities to apply the materials and concepts we learn.
By actually applying and practicing what I learned in the classroom, I believe I was better prepared to enter the counseling field when I started my practicum last fall.
Practicing my counseling skills also meant practicing with my peers in and out of the classroom. I am fortunate for the countless experiences I had to get to know my cohort better, and I believe that I am graduating with valuable friendships to rely on.
How did you overcome the challenges you faced in earning your degree?
The most challenging thing I faced in my graduate school experience was doubt in myself and my abilities. I knew I was passionate to work in the mental health counseling field but, just like most of us, there is always some part of me that attempts to convince me I am not smart enough, skilled enough, or worthy enough to do my job to the best of my abilities. These doubts became stronger when I began my practicum and still challenge me today.