Alexandria Bechtle, Head Site Supervisor, Cooper YMCA
Hometown: Lincoln, Neb.
I attended Hastings College on an athletic and academic scholarship to play soccer. I graduated from Hastings in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Currently, I am attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney to complete my Master of Science in Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I am working toward being dually licensed when I graduate in December. Upon graduating, I will be a provisionally licensed mental health practitioner and licensed drug and alcohol counselor.
How did you become interested in counseling?
I became interested in the mental health field by personal experience. Due to medical reasons, I was no longer able to play soccer. After playing for 17 years, I felt like I had lost my identity. Thanks to several friends and professionals in the medical field, I was able to pull myself through this difficult time. These individuals have inspired me to share my story and help others who have been through similar situations.
Tell us about your current internship:
I am starting my second semester with Encompass Care under the supervision of Dr. Carrie Semke. At Encompass Care we primarily see children and adolescents. Most clients I have interacted with at the clinic have had a diagnosis of Autism, ADHA, depression, or anxiety. The therapy sessions are usually CBT-based and either include the child or adolescent independently, or accompanied by a guardian. We focus on building skills through parent training, behavior management, and maintaining other therapeutic goals.
Alexandria is participating in the Health Resources and Services Administration Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (HRSA-BHWET) internship program. She was placed in her internship program by BHECN.
What have you enjoyed most about your internship?
The part I enjoy the most about my internship is the hands on experience. Every day I have the opportunity to work with individuals and their families with a goal to improve their quality of life. Not only does this experience help me gather a better understanding of how the therapeutic process works, but the environment at this clinic in particular has been a tremendous learning experience with very skilled mentors.
How has this experience helped prepare you for your career?
Since I have completed over 150 hours at Encompass Care, this experience has helped me prepare for numerous situations I will face when I will be working independently. These situations include, communicating with parents without breaking the clients’ confidentiality, referring out when needed, and utilizing appropriate treatment methods.
What are your career aspirations?
When I graduate, I would like to continue working with children and adolescents. I would like to stay in a private practice setting and specialize in addictions and pain management. I also have an interest in working with athletes.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
During my free time, I enjoy being outdoors. Being at the lake or attending a sporting event, especially baseball, are a couple of my favorite outdoor activities. I also spend most of my free time with family and friends.
BHECN’s Ambassador Program creates a pipeline of Nebraska students interested in behavioral health beginning as early as their high school years. It follows students from high school and college, through professional school and on to careers in behavioral health.