Hershberger is a licensed associate professional counselor. As a doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision, her dissertation focus is human sex trafficking, and she frequently writes and presents on this topic.
“I’m in North Dakota … (where) prevalence rates (of human trafficking) are lower, yet it’s still happening,” Hershberger says in the article. “The tragedy where I am and in Midwestern, rural areas is that people just seem to say, ‘Well, this doesn’t happen here.’”
To develop expertise in this area, Hershberger attended monthly meetings of North Dakota’s trafficking task force, read case examples, and reached out to other clinicians in the field to hear about their experiences.
In the article, Hershberger talked about working with a woman who was a survivor of sex trafficking. The woman was tearful and said her “friends” had forced her to do things while she was impaired by substances.
“After talking for a while, the woman finally acknowledged that she had been forced into sex trafficking and wanted to get out,” the article reads. “She was scared and didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, Hershberger did. She found the woman a safe shelter for the night and helped her locate mental and physical health services.”
Counseling Today is a publication of the American Counseling Association, of which Hershberger is a member. She is also president of the North Dakota Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and recently presented at ACA’s Virtual Conference Experience.
Hershberger’s 2020 article, “A relational-cultural theory approach to work with survivors of sex trafficking,” was published in the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.