Meet Emily J. Donoghue, MSE

Emily Donaghue

Emily J. Donoghue, MSE

Hometown: Octavia, Nebraska


I received my bachelor’s degree from Wayne State College with a major in psychology, and a minor in sociology. I attended graduate school at Wayne State College as well, and graduated with a Master of Science in Education (MSE) in Counselor Education/Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

How did you become interested in counseling?

Psychology had always been an interest of mine, although I hadn’t thought of it as a career path until I was several years out of high school. I became employed at a long- term, co-occurring treatment facility, and it was at that time that I developed a passion for working with those suffering from severe mental illnesses and substance use disorders. It was then that I decided to help people in a different way than I currently was. After support and encouragement from my remarkable co-workers, I decided to pursue a degree in the counseling field.

Tell us about your current internship.

I had the privilege of working in various rural communities throughout my internship. I was able to work under both a LIMHP, and several psychologists. I had never worked with children/families in my career up to that point, so the entire process was a new learning experience in which I gained invaluable knowledge. I can safely say that I received excellent training in this area, and feel much more comfortable working with this population in the future. My supervisors were supportive, and encouraged me to be a part of the process, which enhanced learning.

Emily participated 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?

I enjoyed building relationships with children and families the most. The idea of working with this population was foreign to me in the past, and getting to build a rapport with clients at this level was an amazing experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began this internship. Connecting with clients, hearing their stories, and being able to help them has been instrumental with enhancing my skillset and confidence level.

How has this experience helped prepare you for your career?

This experience has helped me feel capable and ready to work with children and families in the future. I had only worked with adults in a variety of settings in the past, although I did notice that many of the techniques and interventions that used with children and families could be modified to work with numerous populations.

What are your career aspirations?

I plan to work in the counseling field for a few years, and eventually go back to school to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I also aspire be an advocate and destigmatize mental illness so it is more easily accessible and accepted in society to seek help in the future.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy going to concerts, reading non-fiction books, watching documentaries, and spending time with friends and family relaxing. I am beyond excited to travel more in the future and learn about different cultures.

Emily will be starting a new job in October at Siouxland Mental Health Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

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.

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