Faith has always been an integral part in David Ha’s life. After a decade of working in ministry, Ha wanted to expand his counseling craft and committed himself to becoming better equipped to walk beside families in crisis. After enrolling in ACU Online’s Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program, he not only got the practical skills he needed to excel in his profession, but the training that would lead to the success of his own non-profit counseling center.
Influenced to Influence Others
David’s passion for counseling and therapy stemmed at an early age after experiencing the family dysfunction that came with having an alcoholic parent. This heavily influenced much of David’s outlook at the time, resulting in self-image issues and relational traumas that he often suppressed and neglected. Further down the road, David realized how detrimental this coping method could be. He began to not only unpack how he could positively progress, but saw opportunities to be a resource to others who needed help navigating life.
In that pursuit, David Ha got his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Queens College and his Master of Divinity (Counseling) from Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. During this time, he worked with youth in churches and counseled individuals at the Center for Integrative Counseling and Psychology, Buckner International, Incarnation House, West Dallas Community School, Highland Park ISD and Recovery Resource Council.
Empowered to Success
After gaining experience in the industry, David Ha opened his own practice, Counseling at Cornerstone, in 2016. During the early stages, David decided to go back to school to get a second master’s degree in order to provide the best care possible to his patients. While looking for schools, it was important that David got the educational and spiritual support he needed. “I wanted something that considered my faith background and a place where I could get accreditation,” said Ha. This led him to ACU Online.
Not only did ACU provide David with the confidence he needed to serve his clients, it expanded his way of thinking and outlook on the field. He attributed his success in the Marriage and Family Therapy department to his supervisors and professors. “Dr. Sara Salkil and Dr. James Morris helped me learn the importance of listening to and guiding clients,” he said. “ACU made each student feel a part of the university regardless of being virtual, and they utilized the learning platforms to the best of their ability.”
As a husband and a father of two boys, David was able to balance his family life, career, and educational journey with the flexibility that the online platform provided. While it was still a struggle to manage at times, he reflected on how ACU made it possible to pursue each stage of life while pushing him to work towards his professional goals and network with peers.
Passion put into Practice
Currently, David counsels clients of all ages at his non-profit counseling center where he acts as a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate. The vision of his practice is to help bring healing, restoration and hope to all people through accessible counseling. “It’s a privilege to listen and walk beside families as they move towards a better outlook,” said Ha. Through his practice, David is able to work with a variety of people, and use his kingdom-minded values to provide counseling strategies best suited for each individual.
One of the goals of his practice is to help serve churches, pastors and their families by providing them counsel. In the next five years, David wants to not only see that vision grow, but the practice as a whole in order to help even more people. David eventually would love to get connected with ACU again and possibly serve as a supervisor for interns and practicum students so he can pass on the knowledge he has gained through his experience with ACU and in the field.
Contact us at 855-219-7300 to discuss how you can reach your professional goals like David Ha and learn more about ACU’s Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program or visit acu.edu/online.