LJ (John) Taugher

Counseling and Psychological Services M.A. Program

Completion date
June 2020

Why did you choose Saint Mary’s?
They were supportive of people restarting their careers and returning to school to do so.

What can you do with a M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services?
Primarily work as a therapist in a range in populations and types of settings – in clinics, with children or adults. Work as a therapist.

What made you decide to go back to school? Why was the timing right?
I’m looking at a needlepoint of my family’s motto: Taugher’s rule. If life’s not cool, it’s back to school. I’ll be the ninth person in my family to be called “doctor” in medicine, dentistry, sociology, linguistics, and now psychology. The timing was right after being recently through rehab. Life was upended, and I was ready for change. It was easy to commit to what was needed for a degree when everything has been disrupted.

What has your experience been like?/What did you enjoy the most?
At Saint Mary’s there’s a passion for growth, an environment that encourages development. You’re not supposed to know this yet. That’s why you’re here. How do we help you learn? I enjoyed that I was able to engage with the faculty more as a future peer, rather than, “We’re the faculty, you’re the student.”

What do you think makes our program stand apart?
The focus is on people who have had other careers and want a change, and the school’s desire to have education be affordable.

What do you do for a career?
Currently I’m in the doctoral program and working as a program manager in virtual reality therapy at Ellie Mental Health, a practicum therapist and researcher.

Did you find it applicable to your career?
Yes. It set the foundation.

Will this degree help you further your career or help you in your career?
It already has allowed me to work as a therapist and foundation to set groundwork to get a doctorate.

Was it “doable” for a busy adult?
Yes. Saint Mary’s program is designed for someone working in mind.

Would you recommend the program? And why?
I do, and I have, many times. It’s a solid education, allows someone working to get the degree, and it’s one of the most affordable in the Twin Cities.

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