Catherine Jones-Hazledine, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist and Owner,
Western Nebraska Behavioral Health in Rushville, Neb.
Goes by: Dr. Cate
What is your current profession and how long have you been working in
I’m a clinical psychologist in rural practice. I’ve been at my current location in the Panhandle
for 14 years.
How did you become interested in your profession?
I was originally going to be an archaeologist/anthropologist. I studied at the University of
Chicago, focusing my first year on Egyptology -a long time love of mine. What I learned
through that year, however, is that an Egyptologist spends most of their time either in a library
translating obscure texts, or (if they’re very lucky) out in the field digging things up. Neither
of these appealed to me, because I realized that what I really liked about ancient history was
the people - their lives, motivations, etc. Once I realized that it was a pretty natural shift to
What do you enjoy most about your work?
In keeping with what drew me to the field to begin with, it’s the people. I love working with
and being able to help so many different kinds of people. I always tell my students that it’s an
incredible honor to be invited into people’s lives at some very intense points, in order to
partner with them to make things better.
What advice would you give students and trainees to inspire them to work
in this field?
I tell students that this is a meaningful and satisfying career, where one can really make a
difference in other people’s lives. It’s never boring, but it also has flexibility to allow people to
have both satisfying career and a full personal life.
What kind of impact do you hope to have on students and trainees in this
field and how will you encourage them to stay in Nebraska?
I want to be someone who can be a support and a mentor to rural students as they are
examining their career options. It’s a difficult time of life, deciding what to do with your
future, and having trusted adults to process those decisions with can be important. For a long
time students in our most rural areas have tended to leave after graduating from high school
because there weren’t opportunities or careers available, so my goal is to make sure the
students know about these opportunities. If they know what is possible, many of them will
tend to naturally gravitate back home because that’s where their roots and their connections
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love spending time with my husband and my three children. I do yoga and exercise regularly
for self-care. I also really enjoy re-doing and upcycling old vintage furniture. It’s very
satisfying to work for a few hours and see an item completely reinvented. We are currently
working in our clinic on renovating an old church built in 1885 to be the future home of our
community education and outreach projects. Her name is Gladys. :-)
Anything else you would like to share?
Our state is very lucky to have the workforce development efforts of BHECN and UNMC at
large, partnering across the state to improve services for individuals and place young people in
much-needed and personally satisfying careers.
Dr. Cate is the founder of Farm Camp an annual week-long summer program designed to give rural students the opportunity to connect with mentors working in behavioral health careers in rural communities. Currently, in its 6th year, the camp’s continued success lies in the passion the Farm Camp Leadership Team has for the work. Read more about Farm Camp here.