Topic 1: Brief Career Development Thoughts & Your Career after Graduation {by 5/28}

[Career Development] – Identify one of the three career development theories reviewed on 5/21 and discuss how it can apply to your own professional development as a mental health counselor.

 

[Career after Graduation and Licensure] – Based on last week’s readings/discussions (5/21) and the topics for this week’s class (5/28) consider the following two discussion points: (1) What are your initial thoughts and feelings when you think about your next professional/career steps after graduating? (2) Simply share any thoughts or concerns you may have about obtaining licensure (e.g., licensure exam, application) as a mental health professional.  *Please see the three links under “LMHC Prep” on my website homepage – bottom of right-hand column.  Also, have ready to view the “Regulating Mental Health Service Delivery” documents under “Class Handouts.”

 

Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 5/28.  Post your two replies no later than 5/30.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kaitlyn Doucette
    May 25, 2020 @ 06:02:45

    The readings and discussions from this class thus far have really solidified for me that it is “crunch time.” Now is the time to make sure that I have completed all of the requirements for licensure and begin to think about what I would like to do after graduation. It was helpful advice from the reading to look for a supervisor/agency that specializes in what you are most interested in pursuing while completing your post-graduation hours. I completed my internship at an agency that specializes in eating disorder treatment and I would like to continue working with this population after graduation. This reaffirmed for me that I should look into options for working with individuals with eating disorders after I graduate.

    I am feeling a little more anxious than I was before about completing everything that is required for licensure. Because I would ideally like to obtain my license in CT, there are some discrepancies between the requirements for CT and for MA that I need to be aware of to make sure that I meet all of the requirements for CT licensure. For example, I was not aware that there were educational requirements that varied by state until now. Upon some research, I found that there are discrepancies between the required coursework for MA and CT. CT requires that the license candidate has completed coursework on substance abuse counseling and trauma and crisis counseling, which I do not believe I have completed since these areas are not requirements for MA licensure. I am now concerned that I will not be able to be licensed in CT. I will have to look more into this to figure out additional steps I may need to take.

    I am also beginning to feel more excited about graduating and beginning to work full-time as a practicing counselor. I do think that there are some areas for personal growth (in reference to the CMHC personal qualities found in chapter one) that I would like to work on. I think that I need to continue to work on adaptiveness and flexibility, since I find myself becoming nervous when things don’t go how I anticipated them to go during sessions with clients (which, as we know, happens often). I would also like to work on being more present and mindfully oriented, since I have a natural tendency to “space out” a lot. Despite these areas for growth, overall I feel fairly confident that I have developed these qualities enough to be able to begin working as an effective mental health counselor.

    Having example questions from the licensing exam was helpful in getting to know what to expect from the exam, and to better understand what I still need to work on before taking it. It made me realize that I did not feel entirely confident in all of my answers when completing them. This may partially be due to a lack of confidence in my answers, however I do also think that I will need to study more before taking this exam. It was helpful to read about the options for studying/preparing to put some of my worries at ease.

    Overall, these last two weeks have been eye-opening and have made me think a lot more about what life will be like outside of school, especially since I (and others, I’m sure) have been so hyper-focused on completing the program. I sometimes almost lose sight of why I am completing this program in the first place and this has helped to put things into perspective. Having the space to think about and plan life after school has been a very beneficial experience and I look forward to continuing to do so over the rest of the semester.

    Reply

    • Lilianne Elicier
      May 25, 2020 @ 16:16:27

      Hi Kaitlyn! Some of my worries and concerns revolved around different state licensing requirements as well. I will also need to do further research on this matter as well for Florida. This also brings me great anxiety that when after I graduate I will need to take further classes in Florida to be able to get licensed. I also feel that knowing some sample questions for the licensing exam will be helpful for us since this is something we have not been familiarized with yet. I think doing this will bring us more confidence as you mentioned! I am also a big planner and like things to go according to schedule and get nervous when things don’t go as planned. This has happened to me on many occasions at internship and I have had to learn how to manage my own anxiety and learn to “go with the flow” as my supervisor has told me. This has been a learning experience for me but now I am much better at dealing with situations that don’t go as expected. I also feel excited about graduating soon as there is a whole array of possibilities for us to do! I am so happy for you that while working at internship you realized this is that population you want to work with, I have no doubt you will do great things !

      Reply

  2. Lilianne Elicier
    May 25, 2020 @ 16:04:28

    The theory that applies most to my personal professional development as a mental health counselor is Super’s life-span theory. Super’s theory states that career choice is a developmental process rather than a single decision which is made to accommodate a person’s wishes and occupational possibilities. This theory personally for me is what has influenced my own development. For me growing up I had several different interests and did not know off the bat that I wanted to help people. The decision of wanting to help people was not made in one day for me but rather from taking courses in psychology and sociology throughout school (high school and undergraduate). While taking these classes my interests were further peaked and my curiosity grew for how what a person thinks affects his/her behavior, which brought me to my undergraduate choice in major to be Psychology with a concentration in mental health. This career choice for me was a developmental life-long process the way physical development is, it happens over a period of time not abruptly.

    My initials thoughts and feelings when I think about my next professional/career steps after graduating are a mixed. Some initial thoughts include will my heart ever stop beating so fast when I walk into session due to my anxiety and worry of my performance? I think that clients will judge me sometimes due to lack of experience and age. Will my client’s take me as serious as someone who has more experience , age and a license? I sometimes have to remind myself that I am capable of helping specifically the hispanic-latino population and that there are waitlist for this population for months sometimes and that in this way I am there to provide help to these people. I then feel excited and proud of my culture and heritage and know that I want to open my own private practice to help this population along with everyone else who comes to me as the end goal professionally. Although I have anxiety over my own personal development I have faith and hope that I will meet the right people who will help guide and support me as I grow professionally. My feelings include excitement, anxiety, worry, apprehension to name some but I think these are common or relatable feelings for those who are thinking about their career steps after graduating. The key for me with my own thoughts and feelings is managing them and not letting them hinder me, which is daily homework for me, because who at some point doesn’t feel confident in themselves ( if this is a no for someone, please tell me ASAP).

    My concern about obtaining licensure as a mental health professional right now is the uncertainty about the types of questions they will ask in the licensure exam. Up until this point this is something that I have not practiced in school. I do not know how they will word the questions and how many question there are to get licensed, time ect. I believe once I go over a mock- version practice test and take time after graduating to study I will feel more confident. Another concern for me is I plan on moving back to Florida, so I will actually wait to take the licensure exam there. I need to do research myself on what are the requirements for that state versus MA to get licensed. This so far is my biggest concern and worry but I will concentrate on this concern after I graduate with my degree. A thought that I also have is what happens if you don’t pass the exam the first time ? Is there a waiting period now and how much is the cost to re take the exam each time?

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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