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.

38 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

    • Patricia Hennessy
      May 26, 2020 @ 09:51:34

      Kaitlyn,
      I share your sentiment in the importance of supervisor qualifications and experience that is similar to topics you are passionate about. While I learned a great deal of information during my clinical internship under the direct supervision of a LICSW with amazing experience, that does not meet qualifications for the number of hours necessary for licensure for individual supervision from an LMHC. Now that I know this information, I will ensure I can gain direct supervision from an LMHC in my full-time job so I do not have to pay for that supervision from an outside company or resource. Additionally, until reading your post I did not know CT requires substance abuse counseling and trauma and crisis counseling. I hope that I will be able to gather some of this training, and it will not hinder my job application process in the upcoming months for a master’s level clinician without these certified trainings when competing with other applicants.
      I also agree with the usefulness in Dr. V’s table for the CMHC personal qualities as I at times question my clinical abilities with only my one year of experience in a clinical internship. I hope to enhance my ability to be grounded and motivated to discover tailored approaches that best fit my client’s experience when unexpected situations occur. Specifically, I hope to stay grounded when I work with clients with SI or NSSI, as they are fear-provoking situations so I can best assist my client without rumination.
      I am happy your clinical internship has increased your passions for specific topic areas, and I am confident that you will have great success working with clients who struggle with eating disordered behaviors in the future 🙂

      Reply

    • Danielle Nobitz
      May 27, 2020 @ 21:16:28

      Hi Kaitlyn!

      I had a similar experience as you at my internship. I worked in an outpatient setting which then proved to be the setting that I want to stick to when it comes to getting a postgraduate job. Due to my positive experience at my internship, it made me realize I want to work in a similar setting and continue the work that I learned there.
      I also had some of the same worries regarding licensure in different states, because I’ve been thinking about moving to the west coast! I feel a little bit like I’m locked into Mass for the next two years, and I feel like it would be easier for me to stay here in order to get my licensure, but I definitely need to look more into the licensure in California in order to see what would be the best move for me. I also feel like I have some areas to work on when it comes to the qualities of a counselor, because just like you, I get nervous when things don’t go the way I was planning in session, and I usually like to have things planned out. However, as you mentioned things do tend to go different ways in session and having that flexibility is really important when becoming a counselor because you really never know what you’re going to dive into during each session with a client.

      Reply

    • Lynette Rojas
      May 29, 2020 @ 18:57:46

      Hi Kaitlyn!
      I am so happy you have found your passion and population you would like to work with! I am sure you will be very successful! I was also anxious about licensure in CT and was not sure we needed additional courses. However, I am sure everything will work out once we know exactly the steps we need to take. I definitely need to work on personal growth and adaptiveness and flexibility as well. I also become nervous sometimes when sessions don’t go as planned, but with practice I know we will make progress. I also agree with you that this class gives us the space to really think about all the requirements and steps to take before and after graduation.

      Reply

    • Abigail Bell
      May 29, 2020 @ 20:50:05

      Hi Kaitlyn,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I can relate to feeling the pressure now that we are in our final semesters of graduate school. But like you said, there is also great excitement in being able to start working full-time with clients. I am also considering moving out of state after I graduate and before this class I also had no idea that other state requirements differ so much. I am glad to hear that it sounds like you are on the right track towards figuring out the additional steps needed to take to be licensed in CT. I also really admire how introspective you are in your ability to identify areas of growth to focus on over the next few years. That is a great strength to have in this field! As far as the licensing exam goes, I am also not feeling very confident about taking it in the future, so please let me know if you need a study buddy!

      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

    • James Antonellis
      May 25, 2020 @ 17:41:03

      Hey Lilly, so you will probably be able to find the requirements for Florida on the state governments website. I was looking at the requirements for licensure in Rhode Island because several people have suggested that I look at Bradley Hospital for work, and the RI website actually had a link to a form for the requirements for licensure or to just transfer a license from another state (BTW anyone reading this, MA, doesn’t seem to accept licenses from any other state and will only issue you a license if you can prove you’ve taken all the courses required for licensing). I definitely think you’ve got to keep your culture at the forefront of your mind and remind yourself that that is HUGE STRENGTH, not only that but you can speak Spanish. I cannot tell you how great it would have been to understand Spanish when I was in internship. The shared culture you may have with your clients is also going to be great because that will really help with building rapport and trust. I noticed for me, that once I could provide some links between Italian-American culture, and Hispanic-American culture my clients were way more comfortable with me and far more willing to open up and talk to me.

      Reply

    • Patricia Hennessy
      May 26, 2020 @ 09:28:46

      Lily,
      I share the same in-session concerns hoping that my clients in my future job as a full-time clinician will not question my capabilities based on my age or experience. I do have faith in your capabilities as a clinician and believe you will add great value as a bilingual clinician. Additionally, knowing the work you put into your clinical internship with your given caseload (number of clients with diverse mental health disorder backgrounds) you will have a “leg-up” when applying for jobs in MA and when you move to Florida.
      Regarding the waiting period for retaking the licensure exam, Dr. V’s book chapter 5 reflects that you can take the NCE or the NCMHCE once every three months if you fail. I also hope that I will feel more confident following the mock versions of the licensure exams, as I will likely be a nervous wreck going into the actual exam!

      Reply

    • Lynette Rojas
      May 29, 2020 @ 19:39:20

      Hi Lily!
      I also thought Super’s Life-Span, Life-Space theory fit my career development the best. Just like you, I had several different interests and as I grew older, my experiences and taking psychology courses solidified my decision in being in the mental health field. You are definitely not alone in feeling anxious when having sessions. I can say that I have definitely improved and gained more confidence after being an intern for a year. However, I think that as mental health professionals we will always be growing and learning to better help our clients. I agree with you that there are not enough bilingual staff to serve the hispanic/latino population and this is where we can bring our skills to better help this population. As an intern at the placement I was at, there were no Spanish-speaking clinicians left by the end and I was the only one who could have Spanish-speaking only clients. After I finished my internship, there was a concern of who my clients would go to. Clinicians will use language line, but it is not the same when trying to actually build a therapeutic relationship. This made me realize how important and valuable it is to know different languages. I am also concerned about the exam, especially because I dont don’t great in standardized testing. However, after practicing in class I am now less anxious because I know what it will be like and know that we will continue to prepare.

      Reply

    • Maria
      May 30, 2020 @ 15:35:51

      Hello Lily!

      I had the same thoughts when I was reading Super’s theory! I also took classes in high school that increased my desire to get to know the field, but I think my interest was always there! I agree that it wasn’t a quick decision, but multiple factors and opportunities just helped me verify my thoughts of joining this field. I also wonder if that anxious feeling will ever go away! Sometimes, I sit in sessions and I feel like I’m not doing enough or that I am doing something ‘wrong’. I thought that internship would help me overcome these emotions, but still after two semesters I still get nervous with some clients.I also totally relate to your passion to help the Hispanic-Latino population! One of the main reasons I chose my current site was to help this specific population. I wish I had the ability to speak Spanish like you, but I think representing that population alone can be beneficial as well! PS. I also want to open my own private practice!
      As for the exam, I also am nervous regarding the questions on the exam. I think studying early in advance would definitely be helpful for all of us! I totally understand your concern about moving too! I know states can vary for requirements, but I think our program has prepared us well!

      Reply

  3. James Antonellis
    May 25, 2020 @ 17:32:02

    For me, Super’s Life-Span theory is most relevant. What stood out to me most, and was something that I needed to be reminded of, was that career development is a process, not a single choice. As I continued to read, I could not help but think back to high school, when I was excited to be taking Java programing classes, only to have my excitement squashed by an arrogant, unhelpful, and frankly rude teacher. I remember having a sort of crisis in which I realized that after two years of forcing myself through Java I and II that I did not want to go into computer science. The people in the class were honestly the epitome of the computer programmer stereotype. I finally decided that I needed to be in a profession where I could talk with people (…who can hold a conversation) and also help people; so I decided on either psychology or psychiatry. After intro psych, I fell in love with the field and wanted to spend every waking moment taking every psych class possible, I felt like I found something I was passionate about. As far as taking the required courses to be eligible for med school, my hatred for chemistry (a subject I avoided throughout high school), and finding myself dreading going to genetics class, I knew that I wanted to work in the psych field. I even see this theory playing out as I decide what level of care I want to work in. I knew I wanted to work with adolescents, it is just a great age group. My first job that was with the realm of psychology was an in home ABA behavior tech. That job reminded me that I work best with adolescents, and that I should avoid in home therapy, at all cost. From there I took a job as a residential counselor at the IRTP at WRCH, and fell in love with not only the level of care, but working with individuals with trauma. I honestly love this job, and it played a huge role in helping me realize where I would like to spend my professional life working.

    Life after graduating produces lots of mixed feelings. On one hand, I am beyond excited to be done with school, and start working. On the other hand I am an absolute nervous wreck, sometimes waking up from nightmares about post grad life. For me, the anxiety is not surrounding how effective I will be, I understand that effectiveness will come with time, and (not to toot my own horn, but…) that I am actually a lot better than I think I am (at least that’s what I have been told). Rather, the anxiety for me stems from taking the licensing exam and find a job. When it comes to finding a job, I know I want to work in a high level of care. The thought of working out patient, in home, schools, and some residential programs makes me sick. The biggest obstacle I see in obtaining a job that I would enjoy going to, is the LMHC license itself. Don’t get me wrong, I have met and am friends with plenty of LMHCs working in high levels of care. What I’m hearing though is that some employers, are disregarding applicants that are LMHCs and only hiring LICSWs because LMHCs aren’t allowed to section people; and honestly I’m confounded for a several reasons, and often find myself just getting frustrated when someone tells me that LICSWs are more adept at understanding and treating people and that is why they are given the ability to section people. For me that is just frustrating. Sure, after learning what some people are I’ve started doing research on legislation to amend Part I, Title XVII, Chapter 123, Section 12(a) of MGL to give LMHCs the ability to section people, and figure out a way to push the issue before the state legislature; but to me it just seems like unnecessary, and something that should not pose as a barrier to employment.

    When it comes to obtaining my license, I find anxiety coming from the exam its self, as well as the post graduation requirements. As far as the exam, after reading through the instructions for the practice exam several times, I just found myself becoming more and more confused; the directions seem as if they were purposely written to confuse some. Secondly, it may be different now that it is computerized, but I was told that when it was a paper exam, it would actually tell you when you marked something incorrectly. I know that if that is still the case, I will find myself constantly keeping a tally of how many points I have lost. When it comes to actual post grad requirements, my anxiety comes from having to find an employer who has LMHC on staff that is eligible to supervise me to complete the 75 hour supervision requirement. Additionally, I find myself asking, what if my supervisor leaves while I’m accruing hours, will the hours have to start over under a new supervisor? I also find myself worrying that their will be another change made to the licensing process that will throw a wrench into the whole process, potentially delaying my licensure.

    Reply

    • Lilianne Elicier
      May 27, 2020 @ 09:26:55

      James I had a similar experience with first starting off with wanting to Major in Marine Biology actually . I took Marián bio 1 and 2 in high school to try it out . I quickly realized science was not for me and neither was math . I disliked both subjects , I also avoid ideas chemistry in high school but ended up taking Physics honor which wasn’t too bad actually . Once i started taking psych classes I knew this was the path I wanted to go . James I have also heard the same thing about LICSWs, why is it that they get certain powers over LMHCs? This is an issue that also comes up at my job working inpatient and they are getting hired over us . Every time my boss interviews someone she checks their resume to make sure they are LICSWs but aren’t LMHCs more trained in the mental health field ? These are just some of my own thoughts and reflections , it sure gets me frustrated as well.

      Reply

    • Julia Irving
      May 27, 2020 @ 18:18:46

      Hi James,
      It is hard when you have so much excitement about something and someone comes along at takes that excitement away from you. Although I am sure that was a hard experience to go through, it led to your interest in psychology. I am glad to hear that you love your current job. I agree with you that a lot of anxiety for me stems around taking the licensing exam and the post graduation requirements. Hopefully this class will lessen some of our anxiety around post graduate requirements.

      Reply

    • Cynthia LaFalaise
      May 27, 2020 @ 18:26:25

      Hi James! I share the same sentiments as you as far as feeling alot of anxiety towards finally graduating and being able to to jump into my career. For me I’m more anxious about finding a job during this pandemic and how it will look moving forward. How long are we going to have to do health, which I honestly hate. Are jobs even hiring right now? I also am not a fan of how the licensing exam is structure for Massachusetts. While I think it is assessing important information that a clinician must know, the fact that it also seems to “trick” you by giving false information if you choose the wrong answer does not sit well with me.

      Reply

    • Danielle Nobitz
      May 27, 2020 @ 21:25:12

      Hi James,

      It seems like we both had a similar experience in high school when it comes down to how we ended up in the same field. I realized when taking courses for pediatrics, that the medical field was not for me. I then took an AP psych class and absolutely fell in love with psychology!
      I also had a job in college where I worked in an inpatient facility. Just as you learned that ABA and in home wasn’t for you, I learned that inpatient work wasn’t for me either. I think it’s really important that we had these experiences because we were able to try something out that we originally thought we would enjoy, and ended up learning what we definitely don’t want to pursue, which is essential as well.
      I also share your confusion with the NCMHCE directions for the exam, as well as the simulation examples. I feel like with more practice and exposure to these questions and with help from Dr. V., we’ll learn more about the exam which will in turn end up helping us understand/prepare us to take the exam! But I totally agree with you, the directions and overall idea of the exam was confusing to me too! It made me a bit anxious!

      Reply

  4. Julia Irving
    May 26, 2020 @ 08:09:13

    The career development theory that applies to my own professional development as a mental health counselor is social cognitive career theory. This theory focuses on a framework for understanding how individuals develop career-related interests, make occupational decisions, and achieve career success and stability. Cognitive factors play a role in career decision-making. When I go to undergrad I was not sure what I wanted to major in. It was not until my first psychology class that I had chose to pursue psychology. Once I made this decision, I started to believe in myself more that I could accomplish this degree, which I did. Starting graduate school, I continued to have the same outcome expectation that I would pass my classes, so far so good. I also believed that I would complete my internship, which I also achieved. I continue to achieve my personal goals that I have set for myself in my development as a mental health counselor.

    As I read the chapter on education and licensure requirements, my initial thoughts are ‘I hope I follow all the correct steps.’ After reading the chapter I feel slightly overwhelmed by all the steps it takes to eventually require licensure. Luckily I have successfully accomplished some steps already. I am planning to obtain my licensure in Massachusetts so I know that my program will match the licensure requirements for Massachusetts. I have also completed the appropriate amount of hours for both practicum and internship. Having done this already alleviates some stress, but I still become overwhelmed when I think about placement after graduating and getting the appropriate amount of hours post grad. I also become overwhelmed when thinking about the licensure exam, I have a lot more research to do into that exam and have to do more practice. Having example questions definitely helps relieve some of that anxiety.

    That being said, I am excited looking toward my future and looking forward to graduating. It is helpful to have this information about post graduation and leaves me feeling more prepared for what to do. I have been more focused on passing my classes and also finishing internship that sometimes it is hard to look at the future. This class will help me focus more on what post graduation will look like.

    Reply

    • Cynthia LaFalaise
      May 27, 2020 @ 18:32:50

      Hi Julia,
      We both have similar stories on how we ended up choosing to pursue work in the mental health field. During undergrad I was undecided, and initially chose to major in Biology in Chem due to pressure form my parents who wanted me to be a nurse. I got a reality check when I failed both labs and realized I’ve always hated science class lol. I ended up taking a psychology class for a gen ed and fell in love with it. This eventually led me into choosing to go to grad school for counseling. Since I began working in the mental health field, I have gained confidence in my ability to be a skilled counselor (although I still have a lot to learn), and it has also increased by self-efficacy towards growing professionally.

      Reply

    • James Antonellis
      May 28, 2020 @ 21:02:27

      Hey Julia,

      Its tough having anxieties surrounding post grad life, especially considering how much work we still have to do (you’re very right on that). We have a long road a head of us, but stop and take a moment to breath. Think of how far you have come, all that you have accomplished to get to where you are today. The road ahead isn’t going to be easy, but you definitely have the tools get through it. I know that if you take some time for yourself, and start putting down what you need to do on those sticky notes you love so much, that it will all start fo fall in line and things will clear up. You got this!

      Reply

  5. Patricia Hennessy
    May 26, 2020 @ 09:18:12

    Of the three career development theories discussed in class and the readings, I most identify with Lent’s Social Cognitive Career Theory. SCCT is based on key CBT concepts (Bandura’s Social Learning Theory) I agree career interest and success are greatly influenced by self-efficacy and outcome expectancies. Thus far in my professional development, I have been faced with personal performance accomplishments that have enhanced my self-efficacy in my capabilities for the field of mental health counseling. Earning my bachelor’s degree in Psychology, working in the field for two years, vicariously learning from those with clinical experience, my acceptance into a Clinical Master’s Program, and utilizing learned skills as a clinician with evident success all reinforced this perceived self-efficacy. Furthermore, I identify with SCCT as these above-mentioned factors motivate me to overcome obstacles and to visualize positive outcome expectancies.
    As I have progressed in my educational development, I initially felt as though I could visualize forthcoming hurdles to attain my master’s degree. After completing the readings, I recognize the feelings of being overwhelmed about what lies ahead. Knowing the importance of attaining a job that propels my career forward, with the best clinical experience, and best prepares me for the licensure exam, is crucial, I feel the weight and meaning of the post-degree job search. When scrolling the internet for the first assignment I recognize the difference in job opportunities for non-licensed master’s level clinicians that are available in the heart of Worcester to other regions of Connecticut where I will be post-graduation. I am also nervous about the experience I gain in my first job as a clinician. I want to say yes often to my supervisor to represent my capabilities as a clinician, proving myself, while not taking on too much where I experience burnout and question my clinical capabilities, in a maladaptive manner. While I am mindful of the anxiety about what lies ahead, I am also extremely excited that I get to work in the field I am so passionate about. To work with clients, populations yet unknown, I will continue to expand past the current horizons that I know working as a clinician and feel proud of the work I have done to get me to this step. I am excited that I will continue growing as a clinician and feel as though my experience thus far provides me steady ground to launch into the early stages of my career.
    Regarding licensure, I feel overwhelmed by both the exam and ensuring I meet each of the requirements for MA, CT, and RI, as I am unsure where my career path will take me. As I will most likely gain a job in CT or RI after graduation, I must navigate what jobs will give me the experience and training required for licensure. As I have not communicated in great deal what the licensure exam is like, and after completing the assigned readings for this week I feel as though I am prepping for the SAT or GRE all over recognizing the weight of this forthcoming licensure exam. As I do not always excel in standardized testing, my confidence is weak for these exams, but the difference lies in my passion. These licensure exams lead to and consist of topics that I am extremely passionate about, so I am hopeful for stronger outcomes. As Connecticut requires either licensure exam, I am curious if the selection of the exam is dependent on the applicant’s choice or by the state? I am slightly reassured by the simulations, study guides, workshops, and other tools at my disposal to prepare me for these exams.

    Reply

    • Julia Irving
      May 27, 2020 @ 18:25:23

      Hi Tricia,
      I also most identify with Social Cognitive Career Theory. I also was faced with different personal performance accomplishments in both my internship and work that boosted my self-efficacy and made me feel more confident in the counseling field. It is a great feeling when you feel confident when doing counseling and other aspects in the field. When you feel confident in yourself, it is easier to visualize positive outcome expectancies, further motivating ourselves to graduate with our degrees and begin working in the field. I experienced some of the same difficulties at internship with wanting to say yes too often with my supervisor. It is hard to not burn ourselves out when wanting to please a superior. It is good that we both have this awareness in ourselves so we can work on it and avoid burn out.

      Reply

  6. Sam
    May 26, 2020 @ 20:57:58

    With regard to the several career development theories reviewed in class, Holland’s theory of Types and Person-Environment interactions is one that I feel will certainly influence my own professional development as a mental health counselor. More specifically, the construct he discusses known as “congruence”. It’s probably an obvious choice—but, I am certainly a person that finds themselves to be affected by the energy that I’m surrounded by (this is obviously different when related to client energy, of course). However, it’s no surprise that I (or anyone) would ultimately want to feel “congruence” between my own personality type and my prospective work environment. Although it may be unlikely that I would end up in a work environment that is incongruent with my personality type (i.e., usually individuals working in the mental health/ social work field are pretty cool), in my development as a mental health counselor, I will have to acknowledge and be self-aware of my partially inconsistent personality type in which I would label myself as largely the “Social Type”, however, find myself at times resembling someone who may also be both “Realistic” and “Investigative”. This will be an important learning process when I begin to work in an environment that is predominantly encompassed of the “Social Type” and I will have to be sure to incorporate activities outside of work that allow for the expression of other parts of my personality that do not essentially fall under the “Social Type”.

    When it comes to thinking about my next professional/ career steps (which I try not to do every single day as to avoid it becoming overwhelming, but still find the thought crossing my mind very often) I find myself first thinking about my academic/ personal journey at Assumption. In short, although the thought of being one step closer to becoming a practicing clinician is still scary, I feel grateful for the experience I endured in this program, as I feel it has prepared me substantially well (or, as much as it can) for the future. Not just through this course that pretty much works to offer advice/ expectations for the future, but through other courses and internship placements as well. I realize other accredited programs may do the same, but I feel lucky to be surrounded by professors who always tailor classes and course work to “real life expectations” and students (past and present) that are always willing to take the time to answers questions and concerns related to future practice.

    Finally, although in this moment, just the licensure application itself sounds overwhelming (especially the $100-$300 fee that coms along with it…like we haven’t already paid enough!! Sorry not sorry), in the recent weeks I have found myself engulfed in thoughts surrounding the post graduate school supervision hours required for licensure requirement (the minimum of 2 years of supervised work). As many of you know because I often don’t stop talking about it, I have a 2-year-old son that is my first priority, and where ultimately my role as a mother and partner have become more central, and my career has in a sense has become more peripheral. I do not mean that I am not whole-heartedly devoted to being a mental health counselor, I just mean that I have found myself contemplating the notion of completing the supervised hours as quickly as possible to be able to obtain licensure faster, versus working part-time in order to be able to spend more time with my family. However, although I say I find myself contemplating”, I know that in the end I will choose to spend more time with my son (as he will be in kindergarten before I know it) and complete the supervised hours at a slower pace. Aside from that, I am petrified of the licensure exam, as I often experience test anxiety, but I’m hoping that learning about the licensure exam and working through practice questions in this class will help alleviate that. Additionally, I also worry that if I take my time completing the supervised hours of work post-graduation, the exam format may entirely change and when it comes time for me to take the exam. Ultimately, the idea of graduating and moving toward the final goal of obtaining licensure is frightening and often overwhelming, when I take a step back I realize that I also feel extremely accomplished and proud of myself for making in thus far!

    Reply

  7. Cynthia LaFalaise
    May 27, 2020 @ 18:11:39

    The discussions from last week as well as this week’s reading put into perspective how much more work there is even after we complete the educational requirement. After 6 years of higher education, it will still take at least another 2 years before we can even get licensed. I think it’s important for me to really consider the job placement that I want post-graduation because I will have to commit two years of my time there, and I don’t want to be stuck in a place that isn’t the right fit for me. Although I believe in finding new employment when a job does not fit my needs, it will be complicated and hinder completing hours if I were to “job hop”. If this scenario were to happen, would I have to start over from scratch with recording hours at a new place or would it still count towards licensing? I also am I not sure if I want to continue working with the population that I did during my internship. Although I enjoyed my experience working with substance use clients, I also think that it is too overwhelming for me. So my next step if figuring out what population I want to work with and in what setting. I also do have plans to move in the future down south to either Georgia or Florida. I think the biggest decision I would need to make is decide whether I want to take the risk and just move right after graduation and get licensed in the state I choose to settle in or stay in Massachusetts for a few years, get licensed, and then move.

    When I looked at the license requirements for the states that I am considering getting licensed in, I am leaning towards Georgia. Georgia requires less amount of supervised hours (2400) compared to Massachusetts (3360). Florida requires only 1500 hours of supervision, but would have required 1000 internship hours which is impossible for me to complete since I have already completed my 600 hours for our masters program. I don’t want to go back for another 400 hours. As far as the licensing exam, for Georgia the test required is the NCE which I would prefer because I excel in the multiple choice test format. Massachusetts requires the NCMHCE, which is simulation based. Based on the structure of this test, if you choose the wrong answer, it will spiral into choosing more wrong answers and losing points. I don’t like the set up of this specific test because it seems like once you choose the wrong answer it sets you up to continue failing by providing inaccurate information. Whereas with the NCE, if you get an answer wrong you just miss out on that point for that once question.

    Reply

    • Sam
      May 28, 2020 @ 14:52:09

      Hi Cynthia,
      I like your discussion points on relocating and licensure requirements. Additionally, I share similar worries with the idea of “jumping into any job that will take me” after grad school, just to gain the required supervised hours and “get it over with”. I too wrote about the importance of the environment in which we work in, but it almost feels like we have to force ours selves to stick to an environment for two years, even if we don’t enjoy it. I suppose that in itself would be a good learning experience. However, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be able to start somewhere with our hours, and if we really don’t like it, just apply somewhere else that may be more fitting. Hopefully that’s an option anyway. But I realize that you mean it would probably just be more work and just a hassle. Finally, with regard to relocating and obtaining your licensure in a different state (especially one that is farther away from the northeast), I give you props! I would be nervous about doing that so I admire your courage. It almost sounds like an incentive to go to those other states because the requirements seems much less rigorous! I’m not sure if I missed it in the reading, but I wonder why that is? Anyway, great response and good luck!

      Reply

      • Lilianne Elicier
        May 28, 2020 @ 17:19:22

        Wow Cynthia thanks for this post. I had no idea Florida requires 1,000 of internship. I hope that I can work getting paid and earning those hours towards internship , which might be possible. This is something I need to look into. My whole family is down there so I would like to get licensed down there. Do you know if the Florida exam is also multiple choice like in Georgia ?

        Reply

  8. Danielle Nobitz
    May 27, 2020 @ 20:52:29

    In regards to which theory I believe I can apply to my own professional development as a LMHC, I would say it would be the Super’s Life Span Theory. This theory states that career development is a life long process. As a high school student, I took various AP biology classes and chemistry classes due to my interest in pediatrics and obstetrics. I soon learned after learned that the medical field was not for me. I then took an AP psychology class and fell in love with the subject, and then it seemed like everything clicked for me. I definitely relate to the idea of as a young high school student, careers seem more homogenous, and as you grow into adulthood, career choices seem to develop more of a heterogenous nature. I feel as if I was originally attracted to the career of a pediatrician due to the fact that many of my peers were interested in the same field. A lot of high school students are interested in medical field careers, and I feel as if I followed in the path of my peers. Once I realized the medical field was not for me, I really let myself open up to other options. I feel as I have grown into young adulthood, I have seen more heterogeneity in career options and developments even within my own field, and within Assumption. Even though we are all in the same clinical counseling program, it’s really interesting to see the diversity between each student in the cohort’s preferred ages to work with, and differences in settings that each individual would like to work in as well (inpatient units, residential, outpatient, etc.). Experiences throughout my life, especially during college and grad school have framed and changed my beliefs from what I originally thought I would want to do with my degree, into what I want to do now. I originally thought I would want to be in an inpatient setting, however after working in an inpatient setting for about a year and a half, I realized it wasn’t for me. I then knew I wanted to try other areas. For my internship, I worked in an outpatient setting and completely fell in love with it. I then realized this is the area of counseling I want to be in.

    My initial thoughts and feelings when thinking about my steps after graduating are very anxious, however exciting thoughts. I’m a little anxious about acquiring my additional hours supervised by a LMHC in Mass, because at my internship I was supervised by a LICSW. Depending on where I get my postgraduate job before licensure, I may or may not have to pay for supervision from an LMHC in order to meet the requirements for licensure. I also have thoughts about being locked into working in Mass for my postgraduate hours in order to qualify for licensure. I recently have been pondering moving to the west coast after graduating from Assumption, however, now I am feeling like it might be a better idea for me to stay in Mass until I obtain my hours for licensure, and then continue to look towards moving to the west coast after obtaining my hours. I also am anxious about looking for jobs after graduating as well. Looking for jobs that have a supervisor with an LMHC could help with my anxiety surrounding getting the correct supervision hours that I need for licensure, but finding a job in the correct setting that I’d like to be in as well as finding a salary that fits my needs is also important as well.

    When I think about obtaining licensure, I’m really happy that I had the knowledge of looking up accredited schools and programs that match the state requirements for licensure. I was lucky enough to have staff from my undergraduate school as well as friends from undergrad who had nothing but positive things to say about the program. I did further research to look up the program details, credits, etc., in order to determine that Assumption was the right school for me. If I did not know about the fact that some schools do not supply the full requirements to get licensure in certain states, that could have been detrimental to the time span of graduation and post graduate plans. There are a lot of steps to take into account when thinking about licensure, and making sure that you hit all of the requirements overwhelms me. However, I know that this program will help me to receive licensure so that helps relieve some anxiety. I also am stressed about taking the actual licensure exam. Reading the instructions for the exam were confusing to me. Looking over the example situations also made me feel slightly overwhelmed. I know with more practice and continuous exposure to these questions will only lead to familiarity, which will in turn prepare me for the exam, however at first glance the instructions seem overwhelming.

    While I am very anxious and slightly overwhelmed about the process that lies ahead, it’s definitely safe to say I’m excited to graduate and be working in the field that I fell in love with. I’m excited to experience novel situations and possible situations that might take me out of my comfort zone. I do know what I enjoy due to my internship and I know what setting I’d like to be in once it’s time for me to start looking for a job, I would love to work with a wide range of populations and continue to grow my knowledge in various areas of the mental health field.

    Reply

    • Sam
      May 28, 2020 @ 16:05:42

      Hi Danielle,
      I like your discussion related to Super’s Life Span theory. I did want to mention that I shared a similar experience in my “enlightenment” period related to the field of psychology–it also occurred for me after taking the AP psych course offered at my high school. I never had a great depiction of what I wanted to do career wise, but after that class, I knew that declaring a psych major in undergrad would be the best fit for me and something I’d be most interested in. I additionally shared similar experiences in decisions regarding impatient vs. outpatient settings! Overall, your discussion with regard to Super’s theory included several experiences that I also encountered (even though our experience were not exactly the same of course) and I found that almost comforting!

      Additionally, I love that you mentioned the supervision hours of a licensed LMHC- I completely forgot about that. And seeing as in we completed our internship at the same placement, I too have that concern. I’ve (we’ve) already spent so much money and accrued crazy amounts of loans, it would stink to have to pay for those LMHC hours, especially if we found a facility that suits us best that has LICSW supervisor. I feel like I would find myself settling for a different agency that has an LMHC just to save money. But hopefully, most places we plan to work will have an LMHC supervisor!

      Reply

    • Kaitlyn Doucette
      May 29, 2020 @ 20:01:48

      Hi Danielle,

      I appreciated your post and found myself relating to it a lot! I also learned a lot about professional development and my personal career development while reading about Super’s Life Span Theory. As I talked about in my response to Maria, there were many personal experiences during my adolescence and early adulthood that influenced me to pursue a career in mental health. Similar to you, I thought about going into nursing for a brief period of time before realizing that I faint at the sight of blood (not an ideal situation for my potential patients). Still, I knew that I wanted to do something human services-related and wanted to “help” people, which fueled my interest in mental health counseling.

      I liked your statement about it being interesting that our peers’ interest within the field are so diverse even though we are all in the same clinical counseling program. I remember when we first started the program, you expressed that you wanted to work in the inpatient setting; I’m happy to hear that you found something new that you enjoy doing even more! Reading this portion of your response allowed me to reflect on how much we have all developed since beginning the program and how most of us have found our own niche. Even when this isn’t the case, we learned what we don’t want to do, which is equally as valuable. When I first started this program, I didn’t think that I wanted to work with adults. Now after completing my internship, I think that the opposite is true. It’s so endearing to hear how everyone in our cohort is continuing to learn more about themselves in regard to the career path they would like to take.

      I had a similar experience to yours when completing the readings for this week’s class. I was also supervised by an LICSW, and I did not realize before taking this class that we need 75 hours of supervision by an LMHC for licensure. So, I am in a similar boat to you in that I will need to complete these hours after graduation. I also felt anxiety upon hearing this, however I’m happy that I am aware of it now rather than later down the road. We can now make more informed decisions when we are looking for a job after graduation. I’m so happy to hear that despite your anxiety (which is understandable), you are looking forward to the future and doing work that you are passionate about. I know that your passion and love for the field will take you a long way!

      Reply

  9. Abigail Bell
    May 28, 2020 @ 13:49:30

    In class we discussed Super’s Life Space Theory. This theory can apply to my career development up until this point and as I continue to progress in my career as a mental health counselor. This theory believes that there are multiple factors that contribute to an individual’s career choice and career path throughout their lifetime and that an individual’s self concept continues to evolve throughout their development. I can see this theory applying to how I got to the decision to become a counselor when examining my own personal characteristics and environmental factors and how they influenced my education and career decisions up until this point. This applies to my professional development as I begin to enter the field because, as this theory discussed, my self-concept will continue to grow and evolve. Although I know that I want to be a counselor I will continue to explore and learn what environments that I prefer and work well in and I will continue to learn what populations I enjoy working with the most based on my own personality characteristics. This will help me to clarify my career goals and adjust my career path accordingly to help me to find a job and specialty that I feel comfortable in and will continue to progress in.

    I am sure most of you can relate, but the initial feeling that I have when I think about my next steps after graduating are equal amounts of excitement and anxiety. I am excited that I am done with school and that I get to begin doing what I enjoy full-time. However, I am extremely nervous because it feels like there are many steps between those two things. From the job search process, finding a job that will meet the qualifications to get licensure, and negotiating salary/benefits it can feel like a lot sometimes. But I am comforted by the fact that I still have some time to figure those things out before I graduate.

    One concern that I have about obtaining licensure as a mental health professional, in addition to preparing for the exam and meeting all of the application qualifications, is that I am genuinely not sure where I want to be/live in a few years. One thing that I did not consider when I was applying to graduate schools was that where I went to school would potentially be where I have to work for the rest of my life due to licensure. From reading the chapter, it sounds like there are some states that have very specific requirements that can prevent people from obtaining a licensure if they do not meet those requirements. I worry that I will one day want to move to a state and then I wont be able to continue working in this career due to the restrictions.

    Reply

    • Patrick Watson
      May 28, 2020 @ 17:12:28

      Hey Abby,

      I 100% get that lack of “direction” when it comes to what to do in the field, and also where we will end up. I know that I certainly haven’t figured out what exact populations I want to work with, or what state I’ll end up in. Once I looked at the state-by-state guidelines, I have to admit I didn’t feel much better about it if anything I was more nervous! I’d hope we’d all find our “direction,” but I suppose better late than never!

      I’m not sure about this, and I know I’ll have to ask in class/ask other classmates, but I think some of the courses required for licensure aren’t even offered at Assumption. Because of that, I imagine we can take CE or classes somewhere else to meet the requirements, that way we aren’t “locked out” of other state’s licensure. If that’s the case, I imagine getting licensed in MA, finding a footing, and then taking what you need for other states once you know where you’ll be going would be an option.

      Reply

    • Kaitlyn Doucette
      May 29, 2020 @ 19:28:24

      Hi Maria,

      I really appreciated your response about Super’s Life Span Theory and completely agree with your statement that family, socioeconomic status, educational opportunities, and personal factors all influence career path decisions. When applying this theory to myself, I know that these factors have all influenced my career decisions. Though my family did not encourage me to pursue psychology specifically, attending college was an expectation placed on me from my family. Additionally, my family’s financial help (due to my middle class socioeconomic status) was extremely helpful while pursuing my undergraduate and master’s degrees, and I’m not sure that I would have pursued this level of education without their financial help. Personal factors also influenced my interest in psychology, including experiences overcoming issues with my own mental health and experiences with certain professors at the beginning of my undergraduate career. I was not interested in pursuing psychology when I first started my undergraduate degree (I was a visual arts major), however I found myself very passionate to pursue psychology after taking a Introduction to Human Services elective. I developed a close professional relationship with the professor of this course and she suggested that I should pursue a degree in Psychology, which I eventually did. If it weren’t for these experiences during my Exploration stage of career development, I don’t know that I would be taking the career path that I am now. It’s interesting to think about how career development is influenced throughout the life span and how this applies to one’s self. I also appreciated the sentiment about “Freaky Friday”; that movie also made me curious about the psychologist career path!

      I had a similar experience to you while completing the readings for this week’s class. I found myself feeling overwhelmed as I thought about all of the work that still needs to be done, even after my degree is completed. Know that you aren’t alone in feeling anxious about all that needs to be done. Like you, I did not realize how long the process of obtaining my LMHC was when I first applied to LMHC programs. It’s probably for the best that I didn’t. It sounds like you are taking all of the appropriate steps and becoming even more aware of the steps needed to take in order to become an LMHC, and I am confident that you are on the path to doing so! Despite your anxiety (as valid as it is), I know you are going to do just fine on your exam and will obtain your LMHC before you know it!

      Reply

    • Maria
      May 30, 2020 @ 15:45:11

      Hello Abby!
      I also found it super interesting that Super mentions the idea and importance of one’s self-concept and how it can change over time. I think many people think that this decision of a career is based off of job stability, income, etc. but it is not often looked at for the personal side of things. I like that you said even though you know you will be a mental health counselor, there are still thinks you need to learn and experience! I think that’s very important to keep in mind. I never thought about how we can still learn what we ‘do and don’t like’, but it’s true. We can take these next few years to try and work with different populations, in different environments, and with different people in order to find what we like.
      I also have the same feelings of excitement and anxiety! I started looking at jobs and it doesn’t seem real that we will be done so soon! I don’t know about you, but going from having school, internship, work to just work is going to be a big adjustment! But just like you I plan on having these things figured out (well… hopefully) by the time we graduate! I also don’t plan on moving any time soon because I’m not sure I want to go and see the requirements other states may have! But only time will tell!

      Reply

  10. Lynette Rojas
    May 28, 2020 @ 16:04:24

    The career development theory that I think fits best is Super’s Life-Span, Life-Space theory. This theory focuses on career choice being a developmental process. When I was in kindergarten my dream was to become an astronaut. I now am terrified at the thought of even going into space. During my middle-school years and early adolescence, I hoped to pursue a career in modeling, singing, or acting. Of course, I had to have a plan b if that did not work out due to the competitiveness and demands of the entertainment industry. In seventh grade I decided a more realistic option would be to become a psychologist (which I am now contemplating whether I will pursue a PhD degree). I realized I wanted to help others because of my past experiences with mental health (as I believe most of us do). In high school I was in a technical school where I was in the health tech program which focused on the health field and becoming a certified nursing assistant. At some point during high school I was thinking about becoming a NICU nurse (registered nurse that works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). I received my nursing assistant certification (CNA) in 11th grade and gained some experience working with the elderly. However, my interest in psychology was stronger and I decided to major in psychology during my undergraduate studies. During my first psychology courses, I realized I made the right choice because I really enjoyed learning the content and completing assignments was also oddly enjoyable for me at times. Due to my past experiences, I also knew that I wanted to help others improve their overall quality of life.

    My initial thoughts and feelings right now have to do with the oral exam even though it’s before graduation, it kind of has a huge impact on whether I graduate or not. Therefore, I am very anxious about it since it is coming up in the next few months. After graduating, my initial thoughts are on finding a job and being able to be assertive in expressing concerns or wants as an employee. I find myself having a difficult time saying no to authority figures which is something I need to work on. I have to learn not to settle and ask for what I want when it comes to my career. I have been offered a job after graduation at my internship placement. I would like to apply to multiple job opportunities to have a choice that will fit best with my location and what I would like to focus on or learn more about. I am not sure what population I would like to work with yet and would like to learn more about the inmate population, individuals with eating disorders, and individuals with developmental disabilities. I am not sure how difficult it will be to find a job with no license and hope that I will be able to have some choices. However, I do know that being fluent in Spanish may help in the application process when applying to jobs. I also think about my development as a counselor and continuing to learn how to best help my clients. I still have a lot of learning to do and I look forward to growing more in this field.

    My concern before reading the material was not knowing the step by step process and requirements for licensure. I am now feeling less anxious about the requirements and the process because I know what needs to be done. Also, after reading Kaitlyn’s post, I learned that there were some requirements for CT that I was not aware of, which now I am a bit concerned about because I will be working towards getting licensed and getting a job in CT. I will have to do more research on the requirements for CT licensing to ensure that I will be able to get licensed.

    Reply

    • Patrick Watson
      May 28, 2020 @ 17:06:34

      Hey Lynette,

      Awesome to hear about the job offer!

      When it comes to the oral exam fear: same boat. Overall, it does have a big impact on graduating and eventually accepting jobs and whatnot. I think everyone will do well as long as we all study and rehearse, but it is still a scary thought.

      I think I also fell into the same boat you did when it came to deciding what you “wanted to do,” in life. I knew I wanted to be in the psychological field, I just never knew if I could get there. So, like you, I wanted a plan b. Now that one of our plans has come to fruition, it’s kind of exciting but also kind of scary too! I know I’ve been nervous about whether I “made the right choice,” by coming into the field. It’s weird how our plans end up working out.

      I really liked what you said about learning not to settle with things you want in your career. I think that’s a belief that we all sort of have, but I never found a good way to put it into words. That said, I think you hit the nail on the head! We’ve spent a lot of money, and a lot of time and energy in this field, so fighting for what we want in our careers is really important!

      Reply

    • Abigail Bell
      May 29, 2020 @ 21:10:06

      Hi Lynette!
      I really enjoyed reading your post and learning more about how you ended up in this field! It sounds like quite the journey from astronaut to counselor, I am excited to hear where your career leads you from here. Congratulations on getting a job offer! I think it is great that you are keeping your options open to find a job that it best for you. Like you discussed, having the ability to speak another language is a great asset in this field. I am sure that this, in addition to your great clinical skills will allow you to have lots of options! You also discussed that you are interested in exploring different populations, including inmates. I am also planning to explore working with new populations after graduation. I have experience working with inmates so please feel free to ask me any questions that you might have.

      Reply

  11. Chris
    May 28, 2020 @ 16:42:46

    Thinking about my professional career after graduating is pretty daunting at this point as the reality of it just gets closer. I’d say overall I’m pretty anxious about actually going into the field, but still somewhat excited to be working as a counselor. I’ve also been thinking about the steps after graduating already because I’m trying to figure out where to apply for a job. I want to start working in the field to some degree now, but I am concerned that it will limit my options after I actually graduate. Like if I start working somewhere now, with the condition I will get my masters, I would be stuck there after I graduated even if I didn’t like it. But also waiting, especially now, just feels like wasting time. If anyone has advice on this, I would much appreciate it. I also know that I would prefer not to work in a hospital but would working at one be a good place to start?

    When considering licensure, I haven’t had too many concerns when thinking about it. Seeing the types of questions asked definitely helped however. The thoughts and questions I do have about it though, revolve around the requirements for maintaining licensure. I know that continuing education courses are necessary but I do not know the specifics. Another question I have is the NCMHCE different from the LMHC exam? If so, I’m assuming its necessity is based on state?

    Reply

  12. Patrick Watson
    May 28, 2020 @ 16:57:21

    When looking at Super’s Life-Span, Life-Space Theory, recognizing that different people come to the field for different reasons allows for a few good things when determining possible professional development. First, recognizing individuals who came to the field for similar reasons may be helpful. Discussing things those people have learned, whether it be interventions or personal wellness tips, from individuals who have similar viewpoints or motivations to enter the field may help give a maturing clinician tips or pointers that could be more relevant to someone who shares similar interests or ideologies. Additionally, recognizing that the meaning of a position may change as life circumstances change (such as starting a family, moving to a new place, etc.) may help foster self-exploration when entering a new stage of meaning (how did the meaning change, what new things do you want out of a position, how has the effected how you view the field, etc.).

    When I look towards the professional/career steps that I will take post-graduate school, I find myself mixed with both excitement and fear. The excitement comes from the conclusion of one chapter of my life “the student” and the beginning of my professional career “the clinician.” It’s been a dream since I was a kid, and now I am two semesters away from reaching that dream.

    At the same time, I find myself fearful of exactly that: the dream is about to be put to the test. I like working with people. I know the populations I like to work with. I’ve begun to find my own style of therapy within a CBT framework. And yet, I wonder if this dream will live up to my hopes for years and years. No doubt I’ve hyped the experience up to more than I should have, and now that the dream is within reach, I wonder if it will be what I want. Will I enjoy this field for years, or will the excitement and interest fade over time? Will I burn out? I know all of these things will be answered over time, but that sentiment almost feels worse.

    So far as thoughts or concerns about licensure, the exam sounds/looks terrifying. I know I will be prepared, and this graduate program will likely aid me quite a bit in this process. I know I will utilize resources to study and prepare. That said, the licensure exam is the crux of a new chapter, it’s one of the last hurdles in calling myself an LMHC. The magnitude of the exam in itself is somewhat overwhelming, and while I do have faith that I can handle it, I wonder how I will keep myself engaged in both work and licensure studies.

    Reply

  13. Maria
    May 28, 2020 @ 17:13:17

    I would say that the Super Life Span Theory most relates to my professional development as a mental health counselor. Very much like Super stated, one’s overall decision is made over a long time period and is related to one’s development. I also agree with Super that there are multiple aspects that can influence one’s occupational and career path such as family, socioeconomics, educational opportunities, communities, as well as personal factors and in general how life goes. I very much agree with Super that these can have an enormous impact on one’s life and career choice. For myself, simply where I was born could have changed my decision for my career. In Guatemala, I may have not been given the same opportunities or even know about psychology in general. I also agreed with Super that other developmental facts can influence our choices. In my case, my family and educational opportunities were a huge factor when I was deciding what I wanted to do. When I was younger (childhood stage) I was watching the movie “Freaky Friday” and was immediately drawn to the job the main characters mother had, which was a psychologist. From there I only wanted to learn more and with the help of my mother I learned more and more about the field. In high school, I was then able to take a psychology course early (thanks to my education opportunities) and new that it was the field for me. From there my passion for this field has only increased each time I meet new people, take new classes, help friends, etc. By looking at Super’s theory, this passion will only continue to grow and I will continue to choose this career.

    My initial thoughts about my next professional/career steps is that there is still a great deal of work to be done. It’s interesting, when I talk to my family about finishing my degree in December they automatically assume I become an LMHC as soon as I graduate (don’t we wish). When I tell them or other family members I still have to take steps to get my license they are blown away. The normal follow-up questions are: how long will it take, did I know this when I was starting my program, is it the same for everyone etc.I love getting this questions and by the time I’m done answering I tend to freak myself out! I am not sure if I’m the only one who thought something similar or didn’t know it would take another 2 years to get our license, but now my 2 year plan has been extended. Now the plan is to simply finish my degree and start looking for a permanent job. At my internship we have often discussed our ‘next steps’ and that we have accomplished a big step in our lives, but we still need to keep going. I know that for myself, my current next steps once I finish school is to find a job at a clinic (I’ve been looking at the local agencies such as BHN) to gain not only more experience but to also start working towards the remaining hours left for the LMHC license requirements.

    As for the steps and information regarding gaining licensure, as I read the LMHC prep, I began to realize just how much preparation is needed. I know that I will need not only to start accruing hours, but study as well (school and studying is sadly not over). I think if I get into a good placement I will meet my hours without a problem so that is not a primary concern. The test is. I have looked over sample questions before and at first I thought that it would be straight forward. Just as in any intake, we ask ALL the questions and have sometime to develop our IAP’s etc. but for this test, we certainly do not. I think the thing that caused me anxiety was that we could get negative points. To me, that takes a huge toll on my anxiety and tendency to overthink. I also do not do well with standardized test so my primary concern is how I am going to handle that. Also the fact we have to pay and possibly fail is making me nervous as well. I want to prepare for this as best as I can, but I have many concerns as well that keep me up at night at times!

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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