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Alumni Success

Graduates’ services support men in the coming out process

Marriage and family therapist Jeff Benson began his career as a middle school physical education teacher. After moving from Illinois to California and trying out a few jobs, which included running his own choreography business, he realized the one constant in his life was in wanting to make people happy.

“I always wanted to know more about people's stories and help them improve their lives,” says Benson. “With the help of a mentor, I realized that Psychology was my chosen profession. It encompassed all my passions and would allow me to help people in a way that I could not do before.”

Benson enrolled in the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program at Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area and his path to a new profession began. “The journey of self-discovery that was facilitated at Argosy made a considerable difference in my life.” He continues, “Other than fantastic classes like substance abuse, counseling skills, couples and family counseling, group counseling, psychopharmacology and human sexuality, I had fantastic mentors. There were four or five teachers at Argosy that provided not just a classroom that promoted active learning, they also showed genuine care and concern for my personal and professional growth.”

Benson is currently finishing an internship in Marriage and Family Therapy at an alternative high school in Northern California. He has started a private practice specializing in supporting men through the coming out process.

“The best part of my career, thus far, is having the knowledge of how to help people live more happy and fulfilled lives,” says Benson. “Watching clients transform is the single most amazing experience I have been privileged to witness.”

Benson’s greatest struggle in the profession has been his own emotional journey. “Realizing that you can only bring a client as far as you have gone has been the catalyst for me working on my darkest ‘stuff,’ he says.

Benson holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology Education from Illinois State University. He is currently a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and Gaylesta, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Psychotherapist Association of the Bay Area. In addition, he volunteers as a local presenter in the areas of alcohol and drug abuse as well as LGBTQ issues.