Beyond the Degree: Taylor Van Rysselberghe

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Meet Taylor Van Rysselberghe, a recent graduate from Bushnell University, who earned his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) in December 2023. Rysselberghe’s journey is a testament to the university’s commitment to fostering purposeful graduates who are equipped to make meaningful contributions to their communities. In this Q&A, he shares his motivations, aspirations, and excitement for the field of mental health counseling.

What inspired you to further your education in this field of study?

My inspiration came from wanting to establish a career where I could help as many suffering people in a manner that was best suited to who I am. I knew that I wanted to spend my lifetime career doing something fulfilling, challenging, and ever evolving. Mental health counseling is a field that not only focuses on helping others through evidence-based methods of therapy and unconditional compassion, but it demands that a counselor strive to improve their education and expertise consistently. It is not just a job, it is a commitment to a lifestyle of continuous learning. Essentially, a solid education is the foundation of many professions, and perhaps even more for mental health counseling.

What impact do you hope to have on the world with your field of study?

As previously stated, my main goal in life is to help others as best I can. I won’t hesitate to admit that I’d love to publish something that positively impacts the entire field of psychology and the world at large. But on a more practical note, I hope to impact those within my community and those who share my Indigenous culture. There is a notion engrained in Western society that we are supposed to suffer in solitude, that our issues are burdens rather than opportunities. An aspect of my Modoc heritage that I hold dear is bearing witness to another’s pain rather than shying away from it. Holding space and time for another to share their life’s story – the good and the bad – is sacred and in our nature as human beings. Short answer; I hope to impact those far and wide in a positive way that helps ensure mental and emotional peace so joy can be experienced by as many people as possible.

What excites you most about your field of study?

What excites me most about the field of mental health counseling is the increasing acceptance and recognition towards its importance. Proper momentum is gaining towards a society which advocates for mental health rather than diminishing it, which is pretty refreshing. We live in very exciting times for this field. Yet, the John Wesley quote comes to mind when I get asked this question; because what excites me most is to ‘do all the good I can, through all the means I can, in all the ways I can, in all the places I can, at all the times I can, to all the people I can, as long as ever I can.’ I’m excited that this field of study entirely surrounds the notion of helping others through their problems – emotional, physical, psychological, existential. There are countless people and countless ways that this field can help others which is perfect because that is what it’s all about.

Visit the clinical mental health counseling page to learn more about Bushnell University’s CMHC program and how it fosters purposeful graduates like Taylor Van Rysselberghe.

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