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Rebecca Dougherty

M.Ed. in Military and Veterans Counseling

Becca Dougherty
School Psychology and Counselor Education

  • 2023, William & Mary, Master of Education, Military and Veterans Counseling
  • 2021, Virginia Commonwealth University, Bachelor of Science, Psychology with a minor in Sociology 

What kind of educational and professional experiences did you have prior to beginning this degree?
While pursuing my Bachelors degree, I was an integral intern on two research teams, the Social Psychology and Neuroscience Lab (SPAN) and the Child and Family Perseverance Lab (CHAMP) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Additionally, I was an intern at the VCU's Health Sciences Academy providing services to high schoolers interested in pursuing health related careers. These experiences allowed me to define my leadership capabilities and establish research interests that influence my clinical perspective.

As a student pursuing a master's degree in Military and Veterans Counseling, why did you choose this field?
I thrive in human interaction and have always been interested in neuroscience, psychology, the helping profession, and the mental health profession. I selected this field because I wanted to approach mental health from a strengths-based, holistic perspective that has a foundation in wellness. More specifically, I wanted to serve the military population in a different capacity than I was used to. As a member of this community, I saw the lack of mental health providers and the implications of that. With this in mind, I wanted to put myself in a position that could provide mental health support to service members and their families. That influenced me into pursuing this work and motivates me to continue this work.

What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
After graduation, I hope to be pursuing my LPC while in residency at a site that can elevate my clinical identity. Additionally, I will be pursuing my certification in EMDR, play therapy, and neurofeedback. Then, in 10-15 years, I hope to have completed my Ph.D. and be in a role to provide leadership and supervision to developing clinicians. Furthermore, I hope to educate, train, and supervise clinicians that will contribute to serving the military and veteran population in various capacities.

Why did you choose William & Mary and specifically your degree program? What sets this degree program apart from those offered at other colleges?
William & Mary was the only program I applied to due to the specialty program that it offered: the Military and Veteran Counseling track. I have always been particularly interested in providing mental health services to military-connected personnel, including veterans, spouses, and dependents. With this in mind, this program provided the opportunity for me to channel my professional desires because of this one-of-a-kind track.

What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
An influential moment for me in this program was when I began my practicum experience. Being able to actually put into action all the clinical interventions and techniques we learned in the previous semester was truly memorable and continues to impact how I navigate my coursework.

Learn more

Military & Veterans Counseling