As a teenager, Kevin Dolan watched his mother fulfill her dream of teaching students with disabilities by obtaining a master’s degree from Pacific Oaks College. Over thirty years later, he is following in her footsteps at Pacific Oaks, and pursuing his own dream of helping individuals deal with difficulties through counseling.
A top dog in the corporate world, Kevin worked in a high-stress business management position and was responsible for millions of dollars in inventory and over 25 employees when he realized that he felt much more passionate about the interpersonal aspect of his job than the nuts and bolts of sales and business.
“My employees began gravitating toward me and asking for advice,” says Kevin. “I found that just listening to them really worked. Being empathetic toward their needs and encouraging them bolstered their self-confidence and helped them become all-around healthier individuals.”
Encouraged by his mother to consider Pacific Oaks College, he enrolled in the Marital and Family Therapy program and discovered that this path was indeed his true calling. Kevin “found home” in the program, which he says has helped him grow both personally and professionally. “Role-playing” therapy exercises with other students has given Kevin the opportunity to put counseling theories into practice. Participating in individual therapy—a requirement of all program participants--has provided him valuable insight into the therapist/client relationship. Kevin says that he especially appreciates that every faculty member in the program is a practicing therapist.
“Every single class brings real-world perspective, whether it is something that deals with ethnic characteristics, children, teenagers, young adults, or the elderly,” says Kevin. “You get valuable perspectives from the faculty of their past and current history and also the evolution of their journey—personally and professionally. It is an introspective journey.”
Kevin would like to use the skills he is gaining at Pacific Oaks to positively impact troubled youth. He would also like to return to his business roots by offering consulting services to corporations--helping professionals deal with the stress and anxiety that often comes with their work.