Erin Strom

Erin StromWhy is Clinical Mental Health a passion of yours?

There is a deep need for mental health care, and I want to help those who need support, so that they can create the lives they want to live in. Advocating for your own mental health takes such a strength, and I want to be there to support those individuals. 

What has led you to your interest in becoming a more skilled helper for those needing

I worked in the veterinary field for five years and saw the need for mental health care for both veterinary professionals, as well as pet owners. Working in such a high-stress environment helped me see the direct mental health needs that can be left unmet, and this fed my desire to help those individuals.

What drew you to the Bethany Clinical Mental Health Program?

As a Bethany alumna, I have always loved Bethany Lutheran College and the education that they provide. The faith integration that Bethany provides in all of their programs helps to keep students focused on Christ and how our faith can be used in all aspects of our lives. When I began considering counseling programs, I knew that I wanted to pursue my counseling education through a Christ-centered lens.

How has the balance of online and in-person been for you learning more about counseling?

With the growing popularity in tele-health counseling sessions, the Bethany online program increases our awareness and education in how to appropriately counsel individuals whether they are in-person or over tele-health. The flexibility enables students to be successful in all aspects of their lives, including their varieties of work and life schedules.

What concepts have helped you to grow as a helper (from the classes you’ve taken)?

I have learned patience, active listening, and hearing deeper themes. Each of these pieces are extremely valuable when working with others. Helping those individuals feel heard, giving them the space that they need to process, and growing in the ability to hear the deeper themes that are at play all help in working towards an individual’s overall care.

How do you see your efforts in the program benefiting your career? Your community? Your family? Your service to the Lord?

Stepping into the mental health field, I am so proud to have my education through Bethany Lutheran College. I know I will be well-equipped to serve my community, especially with the solid support system I have from my fellow classmates and professors. Although faith integration in the counseling room is dependent on the client, with my education from Bethany, I have the opportunity to share God’s themes of grace, love, and forgiveness with others as a part of their healing.