Topic 1: Your Career after Graduation and Licensure {by 1/30}

Based on last week’s readings (1/23) and the topics for this week’s class (1/30) 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, the process itself) as a mental health professional.  Please see the three links under “LMHC Prep” on the homepage of my website – bottom of right-hand column.  Also, please see (and print for class) the “Regulating Mental Health Service Delivery” documents under “Class Handouts.”  Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 1/30.  Post your two replies no later than 2/1.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

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30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cora Spillman
    Jan 26, 2018 @ 18:01:02

    1) My initial feelings, in regards to my next professional steps, include excitement and anxiety. I am truly excited to be able to begin working full-time in the career path I have chosen (rather than piecing together part-time jobs that will help pay the bills). I am anxious about finding the job that is the right “fit” for me. In terms of the right fit this would include an insightful supervisor, encouraging co-workers and a community-based organization. My internship has been rocky in terms of supervision; therefore, it is really important to me to find a job that provides a supervisor who is truly committed to his/her job. Some of my anxiety also revolves around finding a job that is not FFS, but salaried. Aside from these minor anxious thoughts, I am very excited to begin working and apply all that I have learned in the past two years. Once I find a job, I hope to be able to work there for at least my two years post-masters.

    2) In terms of obtaining licensure, I am hoping to take the exam shortly after graduation. For my own benefit, I think this will increase my chances of passing rather than taking it two years down the road. I believe I read that the exam scores are eligible for up to 5 years after taking the exam; I think this is beneficial in case something deters me from reaching my post-masters hours in the two-year timeframe. Once again, I am concerned about supervision and finding a LMHC supervisor, in order to accrue the required 75 LMHC supervision hours.

    Reply

    • Alec Twigden
      Jan 29, 2018 @ 14:30:47

      I share the same hopes and concerns that you expressed in your response to question 1. It’s exciting to finally start doing what we set out to do but naturally we have concerns about the quality of our jobs in terms of the environment, the training, the experience, and the services that we are able to provide. Also we are hoping for security in the pay and benefits at our jobs. Overall, this is an exciting time as we won’t have the burden of school anymore and we can focus more on the career that hopefully most of us have come to enjoy.

      Reply

    • Sarah Henderson
      Jan 31, 2018 @ 11:30:30

      I share a lot of the same feelings about the future as you do. I am also pretty nervous about being able to find a job that isn’t fee for service. I don’t think my anxiety could handle the prospect of not being guaranteed benefits. I also agree with you about how important it is to find the right working environment that you can really thrive in. This is especially important to me now since I don’t feel I am being challenged enough at my internship. I also really like that you were talking about taking the oral right after graduation. It hadn’t occurred to me before that we didn’t have to wait until we were ready to be licensed to take the exam. I will most likely take the exam this winter now that I know that though.

      Reply

    • Jeremy Pierce
      Jan 31, 2018 @ 14:06:22

      Cora i agree with your point on finding the right fit for you. I feel the same way, I want to find a place with a great environment, supervisor, clients, and coworkers. It will definitely require a lot of searching for these opportunities but I think it will just feel right when you get to that place. I think the last thing we want is to be excited for a new opportunity and then not have it meet your expectations. The best thing you can do, if possible, is to allow yourself to take the time to really find the best place for you and a place that will help you get to a point in your career that sets you up for success and growth.

      Reply

  2. Matt Miracle
    Jan 28, 2018 @ 12:47:57

    1) My main thoughts around my professional career after graduating center around pay. This is frustrating for me because I really don’t feel like my expectations are that high; I just want a job where I can expect to be able to live within my means and do what I enjoy doing. However, it seems like in this field that expectation is often too high unless one wants to go into something like substance abuse or work in a residential facility — two things I’m really not too interested in doing. Right now in my life, a 30K-40K a year job wouldn’t bother me if I enjoyed it, but not being able to pay my rent or losing my health insurance certainly would. This uncertainty in regards to doing outpatient clinic work really has me hesitating on whether or not I should accept a position at the clinic I’m currently working at.

    2) To be honest, I’m not too worried about obtaining licensure; it’s just something I find annoying. From an outpatient clinic point of view, until I have licensure I believe I can only see Masshealth clients, which means more (useless) paperwork for every client I see. That said, I hope to get it as soon as I can, which won’t be soon enough with the hour requirements needed. From the little I’ve heard about it, I’m not too worried about the exam and I think the counseling program at Assumption has probably (hopefully?) prepared us well for it.

    Reply

    • Alec Twigden
      Jan 29, 2018 @ 14:42:51

      Matt, you seem to have reasonable expectations for your post-masters job. Have you discussed pay and benefits with your current organization? If they can’t ensure that you will be able to pay your bills and have health insurance, I would be hesitant too. It’s helpful that you know enough about what you like to know that substance abuse and residential work aren’t for you. These are the only 2 areas that I have experience with and they have been positive experiences but I would also like to gain experience with outpatient work as well. I have heard about and can imagine important differences between the populations but it would be nice to experience them personally. I am curious to know why you prefer outpatient populations.

      Reply

    • Cora Spillman
      Jan 29, 2018 @ 15:20:04

      Matt, I love that you are not deterred by a 30-40k salary. Blatantly speaking, we are in a field that does not necessarily create high paying jobs. I think its important to understand this when going into the field. Unfortunately not everyone enters the work field for their enjoyment of the profession, but rather seeking out high pay rates. I think it is completely understandable to feel concerned about losing health insurance, or be incapable of paying your bills. I think it would be possibly to find a salaried position that does not work in substance abuse or residential facilities.

      Reply

    • Ana
      Jan 29, 2018 @ 22:25:09

      Matt, I share your same concern when it comes to having (or not having) benefits like health insurance or a 401. I sort of understand the FFS versus salary model a bit and it worries me too that I wouldn’t be able to live within my means. Like you, I don’t seek grandiose salary, but not having to worry about making rent (or needing to live with roommates for an indefinite amount of time) would be nice.

      Reply

    • Sarah Henderson
      Jan 31, 2018 @ 11:36:12

      I adore your honesty and bluntness. I’m also slightly worried about finding a job that pays well enough so I don’t have to worry too much about money. However since I am only working part time right now, even the 30k would be a pay jump so I’m not super worried because I’ve been making do with what I have at the moment. So working full time for not that much pay should get me more money than I currently have to work with anyways. I am also worried about the benefits too. It hadn’t really occurred to me before that in fee for service positions that your health care can be easily taken away if you don’t meet certain hourly requirements.

      Reply

  3. Alec Twigden
    Jan 29, 2018 @ 14:17:46

    1) Regarding my career steps after graduating, I mostly feel excited to be able to have more time to focus more of my efforts on improving as a therapist. I also want to begin specializing in single area of therapy so that I can become more efficient and effective. The idea of specializing is exciting for me (if I have the opportunity to focus on a single population), but the idea of doing this also comes from an anxious place of not thinking that I have the experience, knowledge, or flexibility currently to deal with a broad range of problems with the efficiency and effectiveness that I would hope to have. Regardless of whether I end up specializing, I look forward to mastering the therapeutic skills that I have learned. Among my biggest concerns is dealing with paperwork. I have been fortunate not to have to deal with this, in a problematic way, at my internship but I am worried that it will detract my time and energy from my clients and cause a degree of dislike for work. Down the road, I would like to go into private practice so I would like to start planning for that as well.

    2) Concerning my license, I do not have too many concerns as all the requirements seem to be spelled out. I am mildly concerned about either forgetting to do something important and causing issues based on a technicality. For the time being, I am not feeling any apprehension about licensure requirements or career issues as there are too many unknown factors that I will be working out over the semester (i.e. deciding where I will live and finding a job) which will largely inform any need for concern (or not).

    Reply

    • Cora Spillman
      Jan 29, 2018 @ 15:24:36

      Alec, have you thought about an area that you would like to specialize in? I think thats an important outlook to consider when entering the workforce. You will definitely be more marketable and unique if you have an area of interest you would like to specialize in! In terms of paperwork, it can be grueling, but the more you practice the quicker and easier it becomes. Unsure of what sort of (or lack thereof) paperwork you have to do at your internship site, but for what I’ve had to do, it isn’t that hard. I know in my own practice, I always end up overthinking the treatment plans and make them more complicated than needed.

      Reply

    • Ana
      Jan 29, 2018 @ 22:19:30

      Alec, I think you bring up a good point about specializing and the worries about not being competent enough to work with a range of problems. I think that if you find a groove with either a particular type of problem or a certain population you can build up some self-esteem and self-efficacy for yourself which can really help you build confidence to face other challenging situations in the work area. I agree with you about the paper work. It is truly a nightmare and sometimes can be super confusing so having some specific training on that wherever we end up would be beneficial.

      Reply

    • Jeremy Pierce
      Jan 31, 2018 @ 14:02:13

      Alec i think its a great idea to want to specialize in one area. If you are an expert in one specific area you will be that much better and desireable for clients because they will know you are good at something specific as it relates to them. I’ve thought about it in a similar sense where I want to be well-rounded and efficient in a number of areas of counseling/therapy so that I will be able to have a large amount of clientel that i will be able to help and provide services for.

      Reply

    • Andrew Lampi
      Jan 31, 2018 @ 21:38:16

      Alec,

      I enjoyed reading that you would like to find an area that you would like to specialize in and make as the center of your professional identity. I agree with Cora and Ana that doing so could both increase your enjoyment of the work as well as your marketability. There are a few folks at my internship who sort of specialize in either specific types of therapy, or specific types of problems. One thing I’ve learned from them is that they enjoy throwing in a few “surprises” or cases that they normally would not take, just to keep them on their toes as well as to help prevent burnout from tackling the same problems session after session. I wonder if that would be something you might be able to consider/do through the use of your private practice, or at least in the initial stages of it. In regard to your second answer, I actually have some of the same fears regarding making some minor mistake with large repercussions as well, but overall I agree that Assumption has done well in making us feel prepared for licensure.

      Reply

  4. Ana
    Jan 29, 2018 @ 22:14:08

    1. My initial thoughts when thinking about my career after graduating are: I don’t know what’s to do next, I am not a good counselor yet, and will I ever be?! There is a lot of anxiety and worry when thinking about my next career steps. There are so many different paths to take and so many more experiences that I am unsure of how to handle that it all seems overwhelming and frankly just daunting to think about. I know there is such a negative reputation for FFS and salary is the better way to go, but I wonder and worry if it is possible to get salary job fresh out of grad school. I also wonder about abandoning my clients once the internship is over. I feel sad thinking that I won’t be able to see them through a little longer.

    2. One concern I have about obtaining licensure is accruing the right amount of hours and how to keep track of them. Clients cancel so much and there are so many circumstances such as a rotation of supervisors when one leaves the agency and such, that keeping track and making sure you can keep track of them when they leave so that they can sign off on your hours seems complicated. Another concern I have about licensure is just the amount of money it takes, and if you miss one thing, will I be required to pay the fee again?

    Reply

    • Andrew Lampi
      Jan 31, 2018 @ 21:39:16

      Ana,
      I share many of the same concerns regarding my clients and the end of my internship, as well as some of the same fears of “will I be good at this?” or “I don’t know what to do next.” At my agency, some of my clients who are prescribed medications need to have a counselor on site as well in order to receive their prescriptions. It makes me nervous to think how other busy clinicians will be able to take their cases and provide the services they need while also ensuring that they are able to maintain their prescriptions on site as well, especially as some have waited so long to come off the waitlist simply to be seen by a prescriber. I also am nervous about my skills translating into a career long profession. One comforting thought I try to give myself is that if I can do it for 20 hours a week and be alright, my skills will probably stretch out to cover full-time work as well, especially when some of the stress from grad-school life is removed. In regard to your concerns about licensure, I agree that the amount of money it takes to study, take the exam, apply for your license, then pay the fee to actually receive your license is simply silly. I understand the need to make sure that the process is maintained and organized by competent, well compensated individuals, but it verges on prohibitive for some folks who simply want to be able to use the skills they are passionate about.

      Reply

    • Matt Miracle
      Feb 01, 2018 @ 01:03:33

      Hey Ana,

      I think a lot of your thoughts concerning termination and starting off as a counselor are normal. Speaking personally, I feel I’m in a rush to discharge all of my private insurance clients because I know they’ll get transferred (or more likely thrown back on the wait list) once my internship ends. It’s honestly one of the reasons I feel pressured to stay at our agency – at least for a bit. As far as the salary and FFS stuff goes, the best option seems to vary based on the agency. I honestly just want to find a place where I can take salary, not have to schedule my own appointments, hunt down clients and have some office space. Is that too much to ask?

      Reply

  5. Andrew Lampi
    Jan 30, 2018 @ 06:56:36

    (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, the process itself) as a mental health professional. 

    When it comes to my next steps professionally after graduation, I am honestly unsure about what direction I will take. This is largely due to the fact that currently, that decision is out of my control. As it stands, I am currently in the process of applying to doctoral programs in both clinical and developmental psychology, and I have received invitations to interview at several programs, spanning both of these disciplines. I will likely not know whether or not I have been accepted to any of these programs for at least several more weeks, if not months, and until that time, the direction of my path is uncertain. Personally, this makes me feel rather nervous. I enjoy having a plan with steps that I am able to prepare for and follow, and currently, I feel as though I am in limbo, waiting for others to decide where, and if, I will continue my education, or whether or not I will begin pursuing my career as a professional counselor. I feel excited for all of these potentialities, as any of these will lead to fulfilling aspects of my hopeful, eventual career, but it does mean that I am limited in my ability to apply for counseling positions in good faith, understanding that I may not be able to accept offers I am presented. What makes me most nervous about this, though, is that I fear I may end up behind the ball in applying for positions, should I find out that I have not been offered admission in any programs. While this has been something I have been discussing with my supervisor and other individuals in the field, and something I hope to be able to address in this course, the simple fact of having to deal with this situation provokes anxiety.

    In a similar notion, some of the thoughts and concerns I have regarding obtaining licensure revolve around the uncertainty regarding my future plans. I have basically come to three scenarios which I may encounter. If I am not offered admission to a PhD program, I will pursue a career as a counselor, and follow the typical track regarding obtaining my license as an LMHC. In this possibility, I have some concerns primarily regarding how to study, how to ensure that my direct contact hours are accurately logged, and ensuring that my employer is able to consistently meet all requirements needed for my receiving a license (i.e. supervisor, enough hours, etc.). In the event that I am accepted to a clinical psychology PhD program, I will essentially be postponing my obtaining licensure, as these programs are designed to provide one with the experience and qualifications necessary to be a licensed psychologist. In this scenario, I plan to obtain my license upon completing that program several years down the road. The scenario that presents me with the biggest dilemma is my being admitted and choosing to attend a developmental psychology PhD program, as these programs are not practice-oriented. In other words, I would be entering a program that provides no opportunities for clinical-experience and prepares one for a career solely in teaching and conducting research. While these are ultimately some of the activities I hope to engage in as a career, were I to attend a developmental program, I would essentially forfeit my ability to see clients, unless I choose to also pursue my license on the side, extraneously from that program. This then poses the issue of my applying to programs only outside of MA, meaning I would likely need to get my license in another state (where I may or may not meet licensing requirements) or wait until I graduate and can return to MA, where I would still need to accumulate enough direct-client hours, and be cautious of ensuring that my coursework or other qualifications do not expire (if that is a legitimate concern). Therefore, while I presently have little anxiety regarding my licensure, I am aware of the fact that I may soon be posed with some difficult decisions, and these are what are causing me anxiety.

    Reply

    • Nima
      Feb 01, 2018 @ 16:08:28

      These are definitely some real-world concerns, but I think generally they are good problems to have. A little bit of anxiety is always good. I see your dilemma especially if you go the developmental route. I guess it’s just a little bit of a waiting game to see how it turns out. You are talented enough however I think that whatever course you take, your skill, talents, abilities and intrinsic qualities will see you through. I see life as an experience where we essentially see what we’re made of. Whatever path we take, we end up being successful on the outside to the degree that we are successful on the inside. I guess when you are soul-searching in terms of your anxieties and thoughts about the future, which are obviously legitimate, I would only recommend that you take a look at your inner life and if that’s OK, as I’m sure it is, everything in the real world will be OK as well.

      Reply

    • Brenden Knight
      Feb 05, 2018 @ 17:26:06

      Andrew,
      Although I am not applying to a doctoral program I can sympathize with your dilemma over uncertainty. By completing this program and applying to our next steps we have “done our part.” Now, the ball been passed to the other court and we find ourselves “in limbo” as you said. It’s a difficult reality to face when our futures do indeed rest in others’ hands for the moment. As much as we can control our own destinies (*reciprocal determinism*), there is truth in acknowledging that we cannot control everything. Moreover, I believe that our program has not only molded us into competent clinicians, but we’ve gained the knowledge to practice interventions on ourselves! Therefore when catastrophic thoughts arise or we mentally leap a bit too far into the future, we can “pull the ropes in” and practice what we preach on a daily basis. I like to think that adversities actually provide us with opportunities to become better clinicians who internalize our own therapeutic skills that we so adamantly teach others. I suppose that even when the “worst” happens, or appears inevitable, we can recognize our coping abilities and develop alternative methods to achieve our long-term goals. Flexibility and adaptiveness are crucial characteristics at this point in time.

      Reply

  6. Brenden Knight
    Jan 30, 2018 @ 07:50:56

    *My original post went under the username bknight94 – read this one instead!*

    1) After graduation, I anticipate a greater sense of freedom and sanity when life consolidation becomes a more realistic pursuit. Over the past two years, managing myself and my time between school, part-time work, internship, and personal life has been, and continues to be, an exhaustive process that makes the future look increasingly tempting. Granted, I do not see “clinical freedom” as a realistic opportunity until (at least) post-licensure. I frame the next two years as an opportunity to challenge myself at an organization where I can fine tune my clinical skills and grow as a cognitive behavioral therapist. I see no greater shame than letting myself become “comfortable” in my two post-masters-but-pre-licensure years. Growth as an evidence-based practitioner is my main goal. Like many others – and I would argue most others – I feel anticipatory anxiety over the challenges ahead and my financial uncertainties when student loans unleash full force while simultaneously tackling everyday necessities like food, clothing, and hobbies. Although nobody enters the human service field to become wealthy, I do crave financial stability (my second goal). I see the next steps ahead as just that – steps towards my third long-term goal of private or group practice in the (hopefully not so) distant future.

    (2) My primary concern over obtaining licensure, although pressing, is solvable. That is, I am not aware of all the nuances for LMHC licensure (it took me long enough to dissect the practicum and internship requirements). However, this week’s class readings have helped quite a bit! Yet, with each question answered a new question will inevitably arise (that’s how these things go). I will utilize this class to squeeze out as much information as possible. My most dreaded fear is that something will go catastrophically wrong that undermines my licensure and delays/negates my years of work (e.g., finding out that my practicum/internship supervisor had an expired license, documents getting lost, etc.). Moreover, I find myself growingly frustrated with the loops that counselors have to jump through to establish themselves in this field. Not many professions come to mind (other than, say, other types of healthcare providers) that have such stringent requirements and documentation shackles (look no further than the CANS assessment). I do see the value in “regulation,” “consistency,” and “accountability,” but the dreamer in me also wishes there were more financial incentives. The amount of effort (seemingly) required does not seem balanced by the dollar bills. But then again, I can only blame myself for my own professional choices and I have the right to withdraw myself from the profession at any time. After post-masters work, licensure, and all the other loops, I only hope that I will find the entire process worthwhile. At this time, I see my capability as an effective evidence-based clinician sufficiently motivating.

    Reply

    • Matt Miracle
      Feb 01, 2018 @ 00:03:16

      Since we intern at the same place, I think I get what you mean by getting “comfortable.” It’d be rather easy to for us to accept a position, settle down, and go through the motions for two years post-grad without anyone at our agency really holding us accountable or expecting us to do any extra work that may challenge us. Although things about that may be somewhat appealing to some individuals, it’s important to be an environment that pushes one to improve professionally. Not only does this help the client and the agency, but it also helps ensure things don’t get stale and uninteresting.

      Reply

  7. Sarah Henderson
    Jan 30, 2018 @ 10:20:53

    1. When I think about the next step in my career, I am both anxious and excited. I am quite excited to finish school and begin a career I view as challenging and rewarding. I am also quite excited to be able to work full time again, and to not have to be so worried about money. I know we don’t make a ton, but full time work still produces much more money than the 20 hours I’ve been able to work throughout grad school. However I’m nervous about finding a good job. I am an anxious person, so I really hope to find a more reliable source of income than a fee for service position. Furthermore, I hope to find somewhere that will provide solid and insightful supervision, be supportive towards me earning licensure, and has a supportive and collaborative environment. Basically I want to find somewhere that I will enjoy working for the next two years as I accrue enough hours to get my license.
    2. The thing that makes me most nervous about licensure is whether I’ll be able to transfer the license to a different state or country (Canada) if down the road in my career I decide to move out of the state. I plan to remain in state until I obtain my license, simply because that’s much easier, but I am not sure if I want to stay in Massachusetts permanently. I am also nervous about taking the exam and can’t decide when the best time to do that would be. I’m not sure if it would make more sense to take it fresh out of grad school while all the theories are still in my head or if it would make more sense to take it further down the road when I have gained more experience in the field.

    Reply

    • Rachael Hickey
      Feb 02, 2018 @ 13:05:19

      I am on the same page with you as far as anxiety around finding not only a job, but a good job at a site that I will enjoy. I am looking forward to not struggling so much with money, as this has been an incredibly stressful year. I do have concerns that I will “sell myself short” in terms of accepting a wage that I am in fact worth more than. I too am concerned about licensure transfer, as someday I would like to return to my home state of CT. I hope that reciprocity works in my favor for that state at least.

      Reply

    • Brenden Knight
      Feb 05, 2018 @ 17:35:57

      Sarah,
      I share some of your insights and concerns. First, I want to acknowledge that you and I both see the benefit of moving beyond a graduate student’s income and obtaining full-time employment. Working only part-time throughout graduate school has certainly been a challenge. Moreover, the work load between school, internship, and part-time work feels like overtime each week, yet we only get paid for one. In fact, we pay for school and internship! In my mind, full-time employment cannot only be measured by just the salary that we will earn – we also must consider that we will no longer be paying for school (what a huge financial relief). Breaking the burden of extra unpaid responsibilities will feel freeing, I assume. Second, I also share your concern about transferring licenses to different states. It appears that I will stay in Massachusetts for at least some time beyond graduation; however, I can foresee wanting to move away at some point in the future. Since our profession is dependent upon a license, this creates a bit of anticipatory anxiety. But, we will figure these things out in time if they truly matter.

      Reply

  8. Rachael Hickey
    Jan 30, 2018 @ 11:29:05

    (1) When I think about my next professional/career steps post-graduation, I am both very excited and very nervous. By the time I graduate, I will have spent 18 consecutive years as a full-time student. This has been my identity, my comfort zone, and a source of accomplishment, and stepping out into the “real world” is quite nerve-wracking. This is especially true since I have been at Assumption for almost six years and it will be like leaving home. However, this has been a year of considerable growth and I have had a great experience at my clinical internship. The skills I have developed with this specialty population and the connections I have made solidified my desire to be in this field. The first chapter of What Color is Your Parachute? increased my anxiety to some extent due to the many challenges that face today’s job-hunters, but the suggestions offered and the network and skills I have developed (I have a experience with neuropsychological testing and currently work with eating disorders, a population many struggle to work with) provide some hope. It is important to me to find a job with a population I am passionate about, with a good supervisor and supportive coworkers, and one that will offer me opportunities for professional growth.
    (2) The thought of obtaining licensure brings immediate stress. The application is very long and any considerable amount of important paperwork gives me anxiety, as I am always worried I will miss a box or fill something out wrong and then the whole process will be derailed and I won’t get licensed (catastrophizing, I know). The oral exam for this program and the licensure exam are probably the two most important tests I will take in my life which puts on a lot of pressure. I am excited to get my license as it will allow me to make more decisions about my clinical work and provide me with more options, but there is also a certain level of anxiety that accompanies this since I will have less supervision; greater independence has both pros and cons. I hope to take this exam sooner rather than later.

    Reply

    • Nima
      Feb 01, 2018 @ 15:58:11

      I really liked the reflective quality of this post. Eighteen years of being a full time student is quite a long time but I guess that’s the case with all of us. I get the anxiety and stress that some of these major life shifts and events may be causing you. It happens to all of us all the time. I think after a little while you gain a little bit of perspective so maybe that’s why I’m not as stressed out, as I am a little bit older than you so I have some experience that tells me eventually it all works out. But I noticed how you said the oral exam and the licensure exam will be the two biggest tests of your life– I’ve never really thought about that fact but its really true. I hope you don’t feel too worried as I’m sure you’ll pass but at the same time I see how significant it is. The lucky thing about the licensure exam is that you can take it multiple times and even the oral exam you can take twice. I think as you grow older and go through some things you’ll learn about the fact that you don’t have to stress about all the little things, and that even things that seem huge right now are really little in the long run. It’s just an attitude of peacefulness that comes with time and I’m sure you’ll gain it as you work with your clients and the populations you serve.

      Reply

  9. Nima
    Jan 30, 2018 @ 15:29:21

    OK So I am basically excited about graduating. I am all confident about my professional and career steps after graduation and am not really worried about anything. I literally have zero anxieties about life after graduation. I’m totally excited to finally get a better salary and a chance to for a living a job I love. Graduating really feels like the promised land to me. In all honesty the one thing I have my eye on right now is the Oral Exam, making sure I don’t get a case of senioritis in this my last semester, and just getting my diploma. After that I’m smart enough economically to know I’m basically all set in life and don’t need to worry about anything ever again. It’s kind of a happily ever after, fairy tale ending, to the initial stage of my life, spanning my education, but why not.

    I’m not really worried about obtaining licensure. I’m really pretty good at taking tests, I know that because I got a perfect score on the verbal part of my GRE’s, so my track record with exams makes me optimistic. In terms of the clinical part of the exam, I know I have pretty good judgment when it comes to making decisions to try to help clients, so I’m not worried about the content part either. In terms of the path to licensure and being a clinician, I take comfort in the fact that I’m basically a good person, and that this field rewards goodness in individuals, and is one field where it’s basically really about being a good person and if you have that you’re all set. I’m blessed with an education at Assumption that really gave me all the skills and knowledge I needed and the rest just relies on character and integrity, and I’m very confident about that.

    One of the reasons I’ve really liked the field of psychology is that it’s all about being a good person, again as I have said. So there’s a lot of fields where you don’t really see that. There’s a lot of fields where it’s really individualistic, trying to be cutthroat and competitive, or else primarily valuing things like extroversion, power, etc. I’m so glad to be rid of all those things and to be in a field where I can just be myself and where that makes me the best at what I do. It’s a perfect fit so what else can I ask for.

    Reply

  10. Jeremy Pierce
    Jan 31, 2018 @ 13:59:35

    1) Right now I think after graduation I want to get into the field of residential or hospice setting because I would have guaranteed clients and hours. I don’t want to have to start my career stressing over meeting a certain amount of clients per week or else I wont get paid, I feel like that would be way too stressful for me. I am interested in possibly going for a doctorate degree in forensic or sports psychology, as both are unique interests of mine. I want to get more experience and hone my skills before pursuing these options however. I’ve also thought about private practice and that is an area i think i’ll want to pursue when i’m licensed.
    2) Right now I’m not too concerned about the licensing credentials. I feellike i just need to go about it step by step so I won’t feel overwhelmed. I want to get the steps done as soon as I can and as early in my career as possible but I want to do it the right way. Its a long commitment but I get why its there.

    Reply

    • Rachael Hickey
      Feb 02, 2018 @ 13:09:57

      I think that is a smart decision, especially starting out pre-licensure and worrying about getting the client hours we need. It is looking hopeful that Walden Behavioral Care (my internship) will offer me a position, and they also have residential and inpatient facilities that I could potentially work at. Forensic psychology has always piqued my interest, and I honestly don’t know that much about sports psychology but I think that’s awesome that you have solid ideas of what interests you and where you might like your career to go in the future.

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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