Photo of Benjamin Kohls in a counseling session with a patient

Ben Kohls

Biography

I have worked as a clinical mental health counselor since 2007. After graduate school at MSU-Mankato, I began my career serving as a counselor for at-risk youth at a residential program in Florida. I also gained experience working in community mental health by serving as a home-based counselor in both Florida and South Dakota. I then went on pursue my PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of South Dakota. Throughout that time I continued clinical work, serving in outpatient, day treatment, and acute inpatient settings for Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls, SD. I taught as an adjunct professor of counseling at USD and SDSU. I returned to Mankato with my family in 2018. In addition to teaching at Bethany, I maintain my clinical work with clients and supervising clinicians in the field.

Education

  • Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision; The University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD. CACREP accredited. August 2010-May 2017. Dissertation: The Experience of Fatherhood with an Ill or Preterm Infant
  • M.S. Community Counseling; Minnesota State University Mankato, Mankato, MN. CACREP accredited. August 2005-June 2007. Alternate Plan Paper Title: Theories of Forgiveness-Based Interventions and Their Effectiveness in Promoting Recovery from Marital Infidelity
  • B.S. Staff Ministry; Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN. August 2000-June 2005

Academic Interests

I am passionate about counselor education and love to work with people at every stage of their development. From counselor-in-training to master clinician, I believe that learning is a life-long process and opportunities for growth are everywhere. I am also dedicated to the advancement of approaching helping from a Christian worldview and using evidence-based and faith-informed methods. My professional identity as a counselor educator is informed by my work as a clinical mental health counselor, researcher, public speaker, and clinical supervisor.

Licensure-Certifications-Memberships

  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Minnesota
  • Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health in South Dakota
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Florida
  • National Certified Counselor
  • Approved Clinical Supervisor
  • Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider
  • Member of the American Counseling Association and Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

Presentations

Kohls, B. S. (2020). Emotional Health and Resilience. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee. Presented virtually.

Kohls, B. S. (2020). Teacher and Student Mental Health in a Time Such As This. Minnesota Teacher Conference. Keynote and Breakout-Presented virtually.

Kohls, B. S. (2020). Compassion Fatigue Resilience. Great Plains Conference of Pastors. Presented virtually.

Kohls, B. S. (2020). Compassion Fatigue Resilience. Great Plains Conference of Pastors. Presented virtually.

Kohls, B.S. (2019). Mental Health Awareness. Martin Luther College Faculty and Staff In-service. New Ulm, MN

Mears, J. and Kohls, B. S. (2019). Integration of Theology and Counseling: Application of Objective Justification in Individual Counseling. Christian Family Solutions Counselor Retreat. Wisconsin Dells, WI.

Kohls, B. S. (2017) Addressing Disruptive Behaviors through Collaborative Methods. Dakota-Montana and Nebraska District: Teacher Conference. Rapid City, SD.

Kohls, B. S. (2017) Burnout Prevention. Dakota-Montana and Nebraska District: Teacher Conference. Rapid City, SD.

Kohls, B. S. and Holtberg, T. (2015) Clinical Application of the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics. Avera Ethics Conference 2015. Sioux Falls, SD.

Kohls, B. S. (2013). Expressive strategies in counseling children and adolescents. Friday Forum: Avera McKennan Behavioral Health Services. Sioux Falls, SD.

Kohls, B. S. (2012). Addressing mental health concerns in couple therapy. National Alliance on Mental Illness: South Dakota State Conference. Huron, SD.

Kohls, B. S. (2012) Integrating faith and therapy. National Alliance on Mental Illness: South Dakota State Conference. Huron SD.

Kohls, B. S. (2007). Forgiveness-Based Interventions in Marital Therapy. 2007 MSU-Mankato Research Colloquium. Mankato, MN