Topic 1: Your Career after Graduation and Licensure {by 5/30}

Based on last week’s readings (5/23) and the topics for this week’s class (5/30) 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 5/30.  Post your two replies no later than 6/1.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

55 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brittany King
    May 24, 2017 @ 20:38:46

    When talking about getting a job in the field, there is one main feeling that comes up for me and that is feeling a little overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed with the idea of applying for jobs, going on interviews, and then making sure I am choosing the job that is the perfect fit for me. Even though I know the setting I want to work in and the population, there is always that idea in the back of my mind that I will not get the job that is the perfect fit for me. After working hard for two years in school, I want to make sure that my first master’s level experience in the field to be one that sets me up on the path for success. I know that this program has more than prepared me for a master’s level position and now it is my turn to take what I have learned and apply it in the field. As a new graduate beginning my career, I want to make sure that I am not settling but at the same time, not passing over any opportunities that can provide me with growth within the field. I know that I will secure a job when the time is right for me but I also know that there is a lot of work that goes into the process which is terrifying.
    After reviewing the licensure application and beginning to look at what the exam entails, I began to feel both prepared and unprepared at the same time. I am prepared in the sense that I know my practicum and internship hour forms have been signed off and are in a safe place and that I have taken the necessary courses to be eligible to take the exam. I am prepared in the sense that I have had a well-rounded education in this program. I have read through the requirements for post-master hours and know who needs to supervise me and how many hours. The reason I feel unprepared is because I feel like there are many things that I do not know yet but will learn as I go in the field because we cannot learn absolutely everything in two years. I have heard stories about people getting questions about a disorder they rarely have worked with and really struggled where as others got questions on disorder they were well versed in. One thing I thought was really interesting is all the resources out there to help prepare for the exam. So for me, I am going to take advantage of every resource I can in order to make sure I am prepared for the exam. After hearing “war stories” of LMHC’s who have gone through the application process, I know how important it is to make sure your math on hours adds up and that everything is 100% correct because even though they cash your check right away. It can be a very long process which can really in turn, bring up many roadblocks for job growth and pay raises within the field.

    Reply

    • Lindsay Millerick
      May 29, 2017 @ 11:16:29

      Brittany, I also feel uncomfortable with the idea of applying and interviewing for full-time mater level positions. Up to this point, I have not felt any excessive pressure in interviewing for jobs as they are part-time and temporary positions to support myself financially. Securing a job in the clinical counseling field, however, is more intimidating as I feel passionately about helping people and genuinely desire to find a position that allows me to do so. I would like to sharpen up my interview skills and learn how to make a positive impression on potential employers. Further, I wonder which questions would be appropriate and useful for me to ask interviewers.

      Reply

    • Emily Noyes
      May 30, 2017 @ 10:30:47

      Brittany- I express similar concerns to you about starting out in the field. I too know what type of population I want to work with, but I still question if it will be the right fit for me once I am actually out in the field. I feel that the uncertainty about the job search has caused me worry about settling or overlooking potential career opportunities. I think that it is a very common fear for any new graduate, or student that will be entering the field in the future.

      Reply

  2. Lindsay Millerick
    May 27, 2017 @ 09:45:51

    When considering entering into the professional world of clinical counseling, I experience thoughts and feelings of uncertainty. I am unsure of the demographic in which I would like to work with as well as in which demographic I will be able to make the most positive contributions. As an aspiring LMHC, it is my goal to help others and to be able to do so effectively and productively, so I worry that I may find it challenging to build rapport with individuals that belong to a particular demographic. Further, I am unsure of the setting in which I would like to work; partial hospital programs, community mental health facilities/organizations, college counseling centers, etc. Because mental health is a growing field, and LMHC positions are largely available throughout Massachusetts, I am uncertain that I will be able to narrow down the job search to positions that suit my career goals, personal values and professional abilities. It would be impossible and impractical to apply to every job position available in the field, therefore making it all the more important to filter out certain positions. Overall, it seems that job satisfaction and performance are of my main concerns in moving forward.

    In regards to achieving licensure, I am primarily concerned with the LMHC examination. Although I have good writing abilities and will have had substantial experience in the field, my intellectual abilities in test settings are often hindered by my test anxiety. My test anxiety will have some positive effects on my preparation for the examination by motivating me to study and/or take practice exams. However, its negative effects will involve me experiencing dysfunctional automatic thoughts that facilitate increased heart rate, sweating, and possibly a tension headache, as well as nervousness. Such automatic thoughts include, “I’ll probably make a mistake and fail”, “I’ll have to pay money to take the exam again and I’ll be under even more pressure” “If I get a headache I will do poorly on the exam” “If I don’t pass I probably shouldn’t be a therapist” “the practice exam was probably easier and this is going to be hard” etc. I would like to take time before the LMHC exam to correct my negative automatic thoughts and reduce my test anxiety. I also have a unique concern regarding obtaining licensure in a state other than Massachusetts. As previously stated, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding my career as a therapist, and although Massachusetts is where I intend to begin my career, it is possible that at some point in time I would like to receive a license to practice in Rhode Island where my family, friends, and I currently live. My concern here is in applying for reciprocity and in completing the steps necessary to do so.

    Reply

    • Brittany King
      May 28, 2017 @ 16:26:21

      I can appreciate your concern around the feeling of not being able to narrow down what job setting and/or population you want to work with and how that will impact your job search. When I was going into internship, I was certain that I did not want to work with the substance use population and that I wanted to work with adults only. That quickly changed during my internship when I got experience with the lifespan and working with both mental health and substance use. With that being said, knowing that I really enjoy working with a wide variety of clients, I know that I am going to want to make sure my job allows me to do that. I really liked how you wrote about job satisfaction because I feel like we all think about salary but what good is having a nice salary when you’re miserable at your job. For us in the helping profession, it is extremely important that we like our job and enjoy what we do. I encourage you to look up Rhode Island licensing requirements to make sure that the classes we need, follow for that state and see about what hours they require. I know that New Hampshire requires an extra class so many peers had to take it in order to be license eligible up there. After reading your post, I am certain that you will find the population and area you want to work in without a problem.

      Reply

    • Jason Prior
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 10:17:34

      Lindsay,

      I can understand the concern you have with reciprocity between states. There are multiple other students here who are looking to be licensed in more than one state, also due to family presence or living arrangements. The process can seem intimidating. Considering what you said about searching for a job that suits you, including another state will only increase the job potential, which as you noted has its pro’s and con’s. Advice that was given to me was to take those steps earlier rather than later. Getting the coursework and requirements started now should save a lot of grief later on.

      Reply

  3. Amina Lazzouni
    May 29, 2017 @ 14:40:14

    When I think my next professional/career steps after graduating, I know what population I would prefer working with (older adolescents/younger adults), but I feel a little lost when it comes to looking for a job. Being in my third semester, I have been focusing more on getting through graduate school, and my internship and haven’t spent a lot of time researching how to find a job, or what type of job I should be looking for. I feel slightly overwhelmed but being in this class puts me at ease because I think I will have a better understand of what type of job to look for and what to expect when searching for a job. Thinking about the interview process is overwhelming to me as well, but that could be because I do not have a lot of clinical experience and do not have an established skill set as a clinician yet that I know I can bring to the table. I think some of the anxiety associated with looking for a job will diminish as I go through my internship and complete more of the program because I will have more of an identity as a clinician and will be better equipped to “sell myself” during an interview. Another initial feeling is excitement. I haven’t been in my internship for very long, but the little time I have spent meeting clients and running a group has been very insightful and rewarding for me. I am excited to eventually start a career as a counselor and I’m excited to be able to learn from other people’s perspectives because I already feel like I have learned so much and I’ve only experienced very little of my internship so far. While I do not know exactly which steps to take right after graduating yet, I think the internship is important because it allows for networking and I think both professionals within the assumption program as well as the internship could help with networking and finding a good job after the program.

    The concerns I have regarding obtaining licensure are similar to my general concerns about my next profession/career steps after graduating, which are concerns surrounding a lack of experience. While I do feel that I have a good grasp on the basics of counseling, I’m only in the beginning of my third semester of the program so I know I still have a lot to learn. Some of the topics mentioned in the LMHC prep workshop link are: Diagnosis, Treatment Planning, Evaluation, Professional Practice, Counseling Theory, Human Growth and Development. While I do feel that I have learned about the topics mentioned, I feel that I will be more confident and less concerned as a complete more of the program and get more clinical experience. The link also says that the workshop has successfully helped over 3500 LMHCs pass the exam so I appreciate that there are resources out there to help with the licensing process and knowing the program at assumption has a high success rate, coupled with many resources available helps ease some of the anxiety I feel about being fully prepared for the exam. When I first started the program, I was unaware that a requirement of licensure was 3,360 hours of post Master’s degree supervised clinical field experience and direct client contact experience, so the process is more extensive that I had originally anticipated, but thinking about it, I appreciate the post-masters requirement because I think in the field of counseling the most effective way to learn is to have a good supervisor who can walk you through the process and advise you based on his or her own experience. While I haven’t had a lot of clinical experience because I just started my internship, sitting in on sessions, and talking with my supervisor about what I would have said made me realize that the counseling profession is more difficult that I originally thought and I have already learned a lot just sitting on sessions so I think working with an experiences supervisor would be the best way to learn and puts me at ease.

    Reply

    • Jacleen Charbonneau
      May 29, 2017 @ 23:21:32

      Amina, I definitely understand your concern about learning how to find jobs in the field. I also had this same concern before starting my internship. With my undergraduate degree in English, I really haven’t had too much experience in the field of mental health in order for me to understand the different types of placements, as well as populations. However, I hope I can assure you by letting you know that all of this resolved when working at my internship. Your clinical director may very well be supportive in helping you explore the population you want to work with (surprisingly it can change), as well as inform you on the different types of placements and organizations that serve these populations. The internship experience is a fulfilling one as it helps you explore your options and interests in a very supportive environment of likeminded professionals.

      Reply

    • Jackie Bradley
      May 30, 2017 @ 22:57:21

      Amina
      I can relate to your anxiety regarding interviewing for different positions. I didn’t interview too many places for my practicum and internship placement, and I really don’t have a lot of experience interviewing for serious jobs as I have only worked part time for the most part. I am a little nervous to interview for a job in the counseling field because it is obviously the most important interviewing I have done so far in life. I know that as I gain experience interviewing for multiple different jobs I will feel less anxious about the whole process. Great post!

      Reply

    • mjoyceac
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 09:08:35

      Hi Amina!

      I can definitely understand your anxiety related to interviewing for jobs and I think you make a great point that your anxiety will reduce with experience and time. I think interviewing may be difficult for some in this field because we actually have to talk about ourselves, especially when we need to “sell” ourselves! I’ve found that after completing a handful of practicum and internship interviews, that I am pretty confident in my interviewing skills, which is a function of my interviewing experience. Being interviewed is so daunting because it’s typically something we don’t really practice or think about too often! I’ve found comfort in acknowledging that I may not be the perfect candidate for the position during that interview, instead I focus on displaying my skills to the best of my ability and show a potential to grow into a good fit.

      Reply

    • Zachary Welsh
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 21:41:42

      Amina, I feel the same way when it comes to searching for jobs since I am also only in my third semester. I feel like my main focus is just getting through graduate school and once that is over, I can start worrying about searching for and applying for jobs. When I do think about this, however, I am also anxious about the process and feel that there is still so much I need to learn. Being in this class also eases my anxiety and I feel that it will prepare me for the process of searching for and applying for jobs. I think breaking the process down into steps, such as searching for jobs, updating my resume, and writing cover letters, will allow me to succeed when applying for jobs. I feel that the assignments in this class will make it much easier when I actually start the process of applying for jobs.

      Reply

  4. cpopores
    May 29, 2017 @ 19:53:53

    1. What are your initial thoughts and feelings when you think about your next professional/career steps after graduating?

    My initial feelings when I think about my next steps after graduation include anxiety and uncertainty, but also excitement. As my last semester at Assumption begins, I know that I still have a lot of decisions to make about what to do next. For example, I have the option of finding a counseling job and starting to accrue hours for licensure. I could also try to find a job in research in order to better prepare myself if I decide to apply to PhD programs. Because there will be a gap of time when I don’t have my degree conferred, I also have to consider whether I want to get a full-time job right away, or find a part-time job and spend some time with my kids for a while.

    In addition, finding a job may not prove to be difficult, but it will probably be harder to find a job that I would enjoy that worked with individuals with psychosis. I hope that I am able to find a job that will give me experience and help me to develop my skills as a counselor, but I would prefer to find a job that fits my interests, ethical standards, and work style. For example, if I find a job as a counselor, I’d rather not spend the majority of my time doing paperwork rather than doing work with clients, which can sometimes be common for clinicians in community mental health programs.

    I also have concerns about where I live and where I could get a job. For example, I could find a job in NH, but I live in a small town so the closest jobs wouldn’t be very close to home. In addition, NH doesn’t have many job openings. Some jobs in MA are a similar distance, but the most job opportunities seem to be at least an hour away from home. Making decisions about what state to work in will also affect how I approach licensing.

    2. Simply share any thoughts or concerns you may have about obtaining licensure as a mental health professional.

    As I stated above, I will need to make the decision about getting licensed in MA, NH, or both. Ideally, I would be licensed in both states and have a wider range of professional opportunities. However, both states have their own requirements and procedures. As I get overwhelmed by even the thought of paperwork, the process of licensure feels like a looming nightmare. It seems difficult to get everything right the first time around without getting something bounced back. It also makes me nervous that licensure is a few years away, so I have plenty of time left to think about how much work it will be!

    In the end, I am sure things will work out and I will continue to make my best effort in the years to come to develop myself as a professional. I also plan to keep licensing requirements in mind as I make decisions after graduation.

    Reply

    • Janean Desjardins
      May 30, 2017 @ 00:20:30

      Colleen-
      I give you props for the thought of becoming licensed in both states! The thought of just doing it in MA is stressful so I commend you for wanting or even just debating doing it in NH and MA. I think that it would be great opportunity for you to do it in both states though if you do. Like you said it does open you up to more opportunities and a wide client base. I say go for it and you do have time to think about it and prepare for it. It’s not like you have to take them both at the same time either, but it something you should really think about!! You can so do it!!

      Reply

    • Brittany King
      May 30, 2017 @ 07:03:54

      Knowing that you want to go into a PhD program, I think it adds an added piece to the job search mix. I cannot even imagine having to think of another added piece in my job search. For someone who wants to get into a PhD program, it is the idea of balancing the clinical work with the research and what job will put you in a better position when it comes time to applying for school. Having that space between when we finish and when our degree is conferred also leaves time for you to spend with your kids before working full-time. You have many decisions to make but I know you will pick the one that best fits for both you and your family! Pro and con lists are going to be our best friend in the next few months.

      Reply

    • Julia Sherman
      Jun 04, 2017 @ 13:32:51

      You make a good point about finding a job that fits exactly what you want in terms of job duties, ethical concerns, etc. It can be difficult to determine the true nature of a job just from an interview. Working in counseling, we would all like to think that we would be working with ethical, hard working individuals, but unfortunately that may not always be the case. Finding a job with positive, caring, and devoted co-workers is such an important part of being an effective counselor. In many therapeutic settings, especially in a school setting where I hope to work, treatment is very much a team-based effort. If you don’t have a solid team, the company is really doing the clients a disservice. Even in settings where treatment itself is not team-based, it is essential to have co-workers who you can trust for advice with particular clients, especially for the first job after graduation.

      Reply

  5. Taylor Gibson
    May 29, 2017 @ 20:05:10

    I have mixed feelings about the beginning of my career after graduation, with a heavy streak of anxiety. I’m fortunate to already have a position which provides me a sense of peace and calm in what would be an otherwise stressful period. Having said that, I’m concerned that my current placement is not ideal for me long term and I am anticipating beginning a new job hunt shortly after graduation. Although I recognize that the current position is not ideal, I’m concerned that leaving an agency that has treated me very well so quickly into my career could be damaging to the professional relationships that I have built thus far. Part of my concern is my uncertainty about the population that I have worked with. I would like to be a well-rounded and competent therapist regardless of the population that I am working with. Currently, I am working with children and adolescents. I am now considering working with other populations but worried that I am not adequately prepared to work with other populations and that my knowledge gaps will hinder any career transitions I attempt to make.

    I feel a little silly saying that I am VERY unclear about the process of taking the licensure exam and where the exam falls in the overall timeline of earning my license. I feel silly because honestly, I’m confused. I’ve asked for clarification on timeline and process from multiple people and have received conflicting/unclear responses which has just made everything more foggy. I look forward to getting clarification and guidance during the course of this class.

    Reply

    • Meagan Monteiro
      May 29, 2017 @ 21:03:51

      Taylor I could not agree more about feeling embarrassed or feeling like we should already know the ins and outs of the process of licensing. It seems very complicated and is subject to change based on where we individually want to go in life, such as when we pursue licensing and in which state. When I have reached out to other people further along in the process or with my supervisor, I got responses that were vague at best, or was told not to worry about it yet. I think that getting clarity around what needs to be done, will reduce the anxiety regarding the process. Congrats on the new position!

      Reply

    • Jacleen Charbonneau
      May 29, 2017 @ 23:17:07

      Taylor, I definitely understand your concerns and worries about working with a population that you don’t have thorough experience with. I, too, am wondering which population I should work with. I have worked with adolescents for all of my career, but it wasn’t until the very end of my internship that I worked with my first kindergarten-aged client. I decided that this is also one of my favorite populations, as I had also spent time in the after-school program that took place at my internship. However, I feel as though I need to build upon more skills with this particular population before I can work with these children effectively. Overall, I think we will get the support we need from our supervisors, and hopefully our job locations will have trainings that will allow us to build upon our skills for the specific populations we choose to work with.

      Reply

    • Emily Noyes
      May 30, 2017 @ 10:04:52

      Taylor- I completely understand feeling silly about the uncertainty that you have about the exam. It is a bit relieving to hear that there are other students just like myself who are just as close to graduating as me, and still feeling confused about the whole exam. I am looking forward to clearing up some of this confusion and (hopefully) relieving some of our anxiety!

      Reply

    • Jill Harrison
      May 30, 2017 @ 10:56:56

      Taylor, I can definitely relate to your situation! I have also taken a position with the agency that has treated me so well during my internship and otherwise, and I would hate to burn that bridge if I did find a better opportunity elsewhere. It definitely isn’t a good feeling to not completely enjoy your first job, but I’m trying to look at it as a learning opportunity that solidifies my desire to work with other populations in settings that are not necessarily IHT.

      Reply

    • Amina Lazzouni
      May 30, 2017 @ 13:28:10

      Taylor,
      I think you bring up a really good point about wanting to be a well-rounded and competent therapist regardless of what population you are working with. I just started my internship so I haven’t seen clients yet, but I have concerns about seeing small children because I feel like I have a sensitivity towards children that would prevent me from helping them to the best of my ability. I shared this with my supervisor and she let me know that she’s going to assign me children as clients because she wants me to be able to work with all populations. With that being said, I think you make a good point and your career life may be unpredictable at times and you may find yourself working with a client who isn’t part of the population that you prefer working with and having the skills to help them would be beneficial. Also, you spoke about not being adequately prepared, but how do you know unless you try! I think sometimes we underestimate our abilities, but I think if you can work with children and adolescents, you can also work with adults. With that being said, if you decide that adults are not a population you can work with, you can always go back to counseling children and adolescents so I think it would be beneficial for you to at least try!

      Reply

    • Stephanie Halley
      May 30, 2017 @ 23:13:53

      Taylor,

      I appreciated your honestly with the confusion surrounding the steps in obtaining licensure. I feel like it is a weird limbo for all of us and we’re just trying to navigate our way. As I am still pretty new in the program, it is all confusing to me as well. So guessing you’re about to graduate based on your post almost makes me feel better you’re confused too?

      I also totally agree with your fear with switching populations. I am in the same situation–I work with kids and adolescents and will be switching to adults, where I have never worked with them before. I am definitely nervous to do so, but I think having the training of this program will make it a fairly smooth transition

      Reply

    • mjoyceac
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 09:14:13

      Taylor,

      I totally agree with the idea of “feeling silly”. For something that is so essential to our professional development, it is SILLY that the LMHC exam is so shrouded in mystery. It’s been great to hear all of this information about the oral exam, but it seems that the LMHC exam was a distant thought until this class. One of the most interesting parts of this whole conundrum is the fact that we can basically take the test whenever, and I think that uncertain nature may be the cause of some anxiety. Do I wait? Do I not wait? Hopefully we find out in this class!

      Reply

  6. Meagan Monteiro
    May 29, 2017 @ 21:00:49

    I am beyond relived that I have survived long enough to see my last semester of grad school, but this brings a different breed of anxiety and stress. I know that my experiences at Assumption and in my internship have prepared me to begin my career as a professional, however, there is always that tinge of doubt. I am most anxious or worried about the process. The job application process can be tedious, and frankly, I hate interviews. I always feel awkward talking about myself or trying to sell myself, but I guess exposure is the best way to get over this. In my internship, I was quite fortunate to work with a population that I enjoy working with, however, I feel that working with this population may have limited my ability to work effectively with other populations. I am also excited, as I believe most people are. The main goal for most of us is to get out there, and be with our clients. I am looking forward to getting out in the field and helping people.

    Another source of anxiety is the exam for licensing and the process of pursuing licensing. The process is quite confusing, the list of requirements is detailed and is not clear enough. I also think that there is this expectation that I should know the ins and outs of the process and what to expect, but this is not the case. I am grateful that Assumption has a course such as this one, that will help provide some clarity on this complicated process. I am also happy that this course is prompting me to job search, write a CV, etc. as I have been actively avoiding doing so for some time.

    Reply

    • Zachary Welsh
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 21:48:15

      Meagan, I feel the same anxiety related to the exam and the process of licensure. I feel that there is much I still need to research and learn about before I feel ready to take the exam and complete the licensure process. I am also grateful that this class is offered, as it will make the process so much easier and ease my anxiety surrounding these topics. I feel that the practice exams will be most beneficial as they will allow me to know what to expect when I take the actual exam. Doing many of these will ensure my comfortability with the exam. I am also glad that we are covering numerous things that will make the process of applying for licensure much easier.

      Reply

  7. mjoyceac
    May 29, 2017 @ 21:26:13

    When thinking about my transition to the professional world, I find myself more concerned with the logistics of finding meaningful employment. I feel confident in my skills as an emerging clinician, but I find myself worried about things such as compensation and progression towards the LMHC license. The time has finally come where I need to make some money off this investment, and I find myself baffled at the differences in compensation on some listings. When interviewing or taking a job, I have to take a long hard look at the potential benefits or risks of taking a fee for service or salaried position. Obviously finding an agency that can provide the supervision required for licensure is huge as well, as I have heard some horror stories already from some former Assumption Graduates who are struggling to receive supervision from their site and have turned elsewhere for paid supervision. I am very excited to hopefully join a rather large agency, as I think I thrive in an environment that has a wide variety of clinical offerings and staff who provide a wide variety of services. My logistical concerns aside, I feel as though my education here and experience in my internship has prepared me to take on a wide variety of challenges in my next clinical placement.
    I think my greatest concern with licensure is meeting all of the hours for direct care and supervision. I’ve enjoyed excellent supervision in my jobs before coming to Assumption and my internship offered adequate group supervision, but I worry about falling through the cracks at an agency where I am not a priority. I know these fears may be unfound, but one Assumption Grad I had talked to had taken a job at an agency in Gardner, and has struggled to receive supervision unless paid for. One of the key questions I’ve included in my interviews is directly targeted at ensuring adequate group and individual supervision will be provided. As for the test, I’m not quite sure when I will take it, but I am currently experiencing very little anxiety when thinking about taking the exam. The format of the exam seems very practical and will actually measure my skills as a clinician, as opposed to remembering obscure facts that offer little to the practical side of clinical work.

    Reply

    • Marisa Molinaro
      May 30, 2017 @ 10:24:01

      Mark,

      I agree with your logistical concerns regarding applying and accepting a job post-graduation. It is also completely baffling to me the extreme range that comes with jobs that we are eligible for. Some are fee for service, some are salaried, some assist with student loans, etc. It is enough to give me a headache sometimes! I am hoping that this class will assist us in a way that allows us to confidently look through these job applications and narrow them down to ones that we are both eligible for and are good long-term placements for us to invest our time in. Making sure the correct supervision is given to us during post-grad is also a main concern of mine and I am thankful that the requirements for these supervisors are clearly mapped out in the application.

      Reply

    • Jill Harrison
      May 30, 2017 @ 11:09:16

      Mark, I completely agree with your frustrations about figuring out compensation. I think its hard to differentiate between the different types of pay and trying to determine what is adequate or fair. I know we didn’t get into this field for the money, but I have a huge fear of settling for less than I deserve just because I’m unsure about the process and what the standards are.

      Reply

    • Colleen Popores
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 11:19:24

      Mark,

      I completely understand your concerns about hours and supervision. You bring up some great points about what to keep in mind when looking for a job after graduation, and I think they’re important for us to keep in mind and ask about in our job search. Although job postings ask about our experience/licensure, they don’t tell us what they will be able to provide us in terms of supervision and how our hours will be used. I was blessed with a great supervisor with an LMHC who went to Assumption. However, I think I might have been a little spoiled, and as I begin looking for jobs after graduation, it probably won’t be so easy. I agree that in a big agency we can sometimes fall through the cracks. On the other hand, I know that you advocate for yourself well. In a smaller agency, they may not have anyone who qualifies–but when you work somewhere that has the resources, there may be more opportunities to learn from experienced professionals.

      Reply

    • Salome Wilfred
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 11:54:46

      Mark,
      A lot of what you discussed in your blog are things I have also been thinking about. Like you said, I also have invested a lot of time and money into getting my degree and I’m ready to start seeing the benefits. I know it doesn’t happen overnight but I want to make sure my next moves are the right moves to set myself up for success. I feel like the program has prepared me but I want to make sure I am continuing to make the right decisions.

      Reply

  8. Jackie Bradley
    May 29, 2017 @ 21:49:26

    When I think about my next career steps after graduating, I am mostly concerned about finding a job that is a good fit for me. I honestly have not researched job openings in this field yet as I still have some time in the program, but just after one class I am eager to do so. I know that Assumption will prepare me greatly for my future career, but I am anxious about finding a job that I love. Obviously work is going to have it’s ups and downs, but I have anxious thoughts regarding finding a job that works best for me. I want to love my job, and I think that there are a lot of people who aren’t able to say that they love their own. With that being said, I am also anxious about the entire job search process. I’m sure it is going to be a little overwhelming of a process and I hope to not let that negatively affect me. I worry about second-guessing my decisions regarding where I will apply and whether or not I will work there. I hope that when the time comes for interviews and job applications, that I am able to trust my gut and my overall feelings about different opportunities. I hope that I will find a job that is a great fit for my abilities and allows me to help people the best that I can. I don’t necessarily doubt that this will happen, but thinking about the process is definitely overwhelming and nerve-wracking.

    When it comes to receiving licensure, I am really anxious about the exam. I do not know much about the exam at all, so I look forward to talking about it in this class and learning about the content. I don’t really know when the best time to take the test is, and I am wondering where that falls on my future timeline. I honestly feel a little clueless about this process, and I think that is okay since I still have a few semesters and have never gone through this process before. I am hoping that after completing this class I will feel a little more prepared to take the exam. Tests in general are nerve-wracking for me, and this obviously is not just another test like the ones I have taken in the past. So, I know that as I get closer to taking the exam I will continue to grow nervous and anxious about how well I will do and if I will even pass. I have no doubt this is normal, but I hope that it doesn’t get in the way of passing.

    Reply

    • Amina Lazzouni
      May 30, 2017 @ 13:34:15

      Jackie,
      I haven’t really researched job openings either because I’m only in my third semester too, but I am also concerned about finding a job that is a good fit for me. Since I haven’t started seeing clients yet, I don’t really know what the best fit for me would be, but I do know the population that I would like to work with and what type of clinicians and supervisor I would like to work with so I am concerned about finding a job with a supervisor I could benefit from the most. I think it’s difficult being unlicensed and working under a supervisor because if your supervisor doesn’t give you productive feedback or spend enough time discussing concerns with you, I feel like you have to have a good supervisor to learn from, and that’s an added stress for me, because it’s not only finding the right place to work at, but also the right people to work with.

      Reply

    • Lindsay Millerick
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 12:03:21

      Jackie, I can truly relate to the concern about second guessing your decisions. It is impossible to know with 100% certainty weather or not you have made the right career decision. As career choice is an important component of one’s life, it is very scary to consider the unknown. By the end of this course we will have a better sense of how to select job positions that suit our own values a, goals and desires, however, until we actively experience the job there is no way to know for certain. As aspiring therapists we know that anxiety comes from anticipation of the future which is certainly applicable to considering job satisfaction

      Reply

  9. Jacleen Charbonneau
    May 29, 2017 @ 23:09:52

    1) What are your initial thoughts and feelings when you think about your next professional/career steps after graduating?

    I have a number of initial thoughts and feelings when I think of my next professional steps after graduation. I have actually had these thoughts and feelings for the last couple semesters as I know that graduation will be approaching quickly. First, I am feeling a bit excited that I will be finally finished up with my master’s degree, which has been a lot of hard work but I know will be worth it. The feeling of not having to attend school after so long will feel a bit odd at first, but I think I will soon adjust and have a smooth transition into a job. I do hope to one day have my own private practice, so the thought about the long road ahead to obtaining licensure is a bit overwhelming. I, therefore, feel pressure to find a job that will provide me the right hours and support that I need in order for obtaining licensure, and keeping track of these hours may be a bit overwhelming to me because it will feel almost like my internship again. I hope to be able to find a location with a supportive staff who I can learn from and grow as a clinician with. This isn’t necessarily easy to tell based on an interview alone, so I also worry a bit about making the wrong decision. Therefore, I plan to look for jobs strategically, researching each organization as thoroughly as I can before applying so that I can ensure my goals are lined up with the organzations’ missions. Overall, I know that I am anticipating the process now, but once I am finally at the time for applying for jobs, I won’t feel so overwhelmed.

    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, I find that the licensure process is a bit intense based on what I am reading about it. For instance, the number of required counseling hours seems a bit high, especially if there are a moderate number of client cancellations that occur in outpatient settings. Therefore, even if I obtain a full-time position and plan to have my direct counseling hours fulfilled within a two-year time span, this may actually take longer due to the amount of cancellations that may occur. Moreover, I heard that the licensure exam is tough, and some clinicians have even told me that the exam is very subjective, so knowing the right answers sometimes involves a guess. I am unsure if this is true as I have not yet taken or seen any practice exam questions, but if this is the case, I would want to take the exam immediately after graduation since I would be fresh out of school. This would also allow me to get the exam out of the way so that I don’t anticipate it while working toward my licensure hours. I do know, however, that if I find the right job, I will not have to worry about obtaining the right kinds of hours since I assume my clinical director will be knowledgeable about what I will need. Therefore, I overall worry about fulfilling my hours during the time span that I hope to fulfill them, as well as taking the licensure exam that has been reported as subjective (on the part of the test writers).

    Reply

    • Janean Desjardins
      May 30, 2017 @ 00:14:16

      Jackie-
      I definitely understand where you are coming from when you say that you have been thinking about this for a while. I feel like even during internship I was thinking down the road. I too would love to have my own practice “someday” but getting even to licensure is overwhelming. I also agree with you about just trying to keep track of hours over the next 2 years and it being like internship, which until now I did not think of! Finding an organization and making sure it is a fit is so hard to do off of an interview and doing research on the organization alone. Of course always doing research on the organization itself is definitely important!! Moving forward though and knowing what you want I think is the first step in making a move toward the future. I think the not knowing what type of position or what direction in the field you want to go in is the hardest part. I feel like it will narrow down some positions you would look at and what you would or would not want to do. Although keeping your mind open to different opportunities too to try something different can always be good to see if there is something else you may like that you did not know you would.

      Reply

  10. Janean Desjardins
    May 30, 2017 @ 00:03:45

    (1) What are your initial thoughts and feelings when you think about your next professional/career steps after graduating?
    When thinking about my next step into this career after graduation it is overwhelming and exciting at the same time. This has been a career change for me back to the field I once started in years ago. It has been a lot of work to come out of the work force and go back to school for something that I really wanted to do in the first place. That being said it is hard to switch gears by knowing what I what for a particular position and then knowing if I will be able to be picky enough to get the position I want. I am grateful right now to have been hired on where I was interning and my experience can continue until I graduate. However, this position is not one that I would like to stay in long-term or even post-graduation. They have been great to me and I am very appreciative of the fact that I have been able to continue to gain experience in the field. I currently work with mostly children and adolescents and would love to continue with this population. I have definitely found out a lot about myself and who I want to be as a clinician through my experience with this program and through my internship. I enjoy working with children and adolescents and feel confident going forward in my career with that being the population that I focus on.

    (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.
    Thinking about going through the licensure process and the exam itself is terrifying. I’ve heard many mixed thoughts about the exam itself, which definitely does not help the stress level. I have heard that the exam itself is very subjective and this causes many people to not pass certain portions of the exam. I know people that have not passed part of the exam by missing questions that seemed to be a little tricky, but were things that as counselors we would naturally do. An example question was what do you do when a client discloses that they are being abused? Naturally we would report that… but the correct answer was to console the client. As a clinician we would console the client without question (I would hope!!), but taking the test one would think that they want us to make sure that they know that we would report this. Small questions like that I can see how people would get tripped up. My fear is that I over think everything especially when it comes to testing. The not knowing of where I will be and what type of supervision and guidance I will be getting at the same time is also a concern. Until this point we have at least had our internship professors, each other, and our supervisors that we know well to fall back on. Not knowing where I will be at the time of my next position and if I will be receiving adequate guidance is also scary. Having reassurance and knowledge from someone that is experienced is important. I don’t want to be thrown out there with someone else’s life in my hands without proper support behind me.

    Reply

    • Marisa Molinaro
      May 30, 2017 @ 10:20:29

      Janean,

      I completely agree with your reservations about the exam! The subjectivity of some of the questions makes me nervous that I will end up over analyzing and then answering incorrectly. Although I do find myself glad that it is this way rather than a multiple choice set up where we are expected to memorize all the terms and then simply regurgitate it. I also am very thankful for my internship experience and this allowed me to solidify my goals of working with children and adolescents long term. We are very fortunate that we had great experiences at our internships and that they offered us further positions within the company.

      Reply

    • Meagan Monteiro
      May 31, 2017 @ 17:29:08

      Janeen,

      I am glad that you mentioned how the test can be tricky. Especially after doing the practice, it is clear that you cannot think too much about each question, and really have to go off the little information that they give you. I think the more we are exposed to the test, the better off we will be, but preparing for the test will definitely be stressful. You mentioned being worried about testing, I think we can all relate, but give yourself some credit, you have made it this far!!

      Reply

    • cpopores
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 11:26:15

      Janean,

      I share your concerns about the licensure exam. Part of me thinks that it probably won’t be as bad as it’s made out to be, but part of me is also very nervous. The test format is very different than what we’re used to, and after going through the practice questions on Tuesday, it does feel very subjective. It opened my eyes to the fact that even if I know CBT, I still need to know what other methods are used. I also think I may fall into not choosing enough answers because I’m so afraid of having too many bad guesses! Hopefully, as we practice we’ll get more used to how it’s set up and how the people who create the exam “think.”

      Reply

  11. Emily Noyes
    May 30, 2017 @ 09:58:18

    Thinking about my next step post-graduation is a bit anxiety provoking. One of my main concerns is applying for jobs, because I feel as though I am not very confident in my ability to properly search for jobs and know what is out there. At this point I have done minimal job searches. I do know of the available resources available out there on the internet, but I feel slightly anxious that I do not have full knowledge on this process. Being in my last semester, I know that this is something that I need to familiarize myself with, as I will be out in the field searching for a job in the very near future. At this point I know what type of population that I want to work with, however, I want to work in a different setting than I did during my internship. Since I have limited experience working with children and adolescents, I am worried that by starting in a new setting, it might not be a good fit for me. I hope that this class will allow me to obtain more insight into the job search process and help me feel more confident in helping me seek out jobs and know what and what not to look for. I am also a little unclear as to the specific types of jobs that are offered to those that are unlicensed. I am interested in working in an outpatient setting, and would like to gain further information as to what could be available to me after I graduate.

    As with many students, I am concerned and feeling a little uneasy about the LMHC exam. I have been told that for some people taking the exam closer to when they graduate is better, and for others it is best to wait until you have most of your licensure hours completed. I am curious as to when would be the best time for me to take this. I am looking forward to discussing the exam in class so that I can gain a better understanding to the whole process. I think that it will ease some of my anxiety knowing what to expect. I am also wondering what I should expect for the material on the exam itself, and what I can do to better prepare myself

    Reply

    • Stephanie Halley
      May 30, 2017 @ 23:18:07

      Emily,

      I definitely relate to your concerns in your ability to search for a job. There are so many jobs out there, but I feel that fogs maybe some hidden gems, or highlights some scam, not-so-great jobs. Then there are concerns with what salary should we get? What benefits should we look for? etc, etc.

      I also agreed with your point about the fears of timeline with obtaining LMHC, specifically with taking the exam right away vs after the two years. I have been debating back and forth as well and they both definitely have their pros and cons and I don’t know if there is one direct, “right” answer.

      Reply

  12. Marisa Molinaro
    May 30, 2017 @ 10:17:03

    1. When I think about my next professional/career steps after graduation I am both excited and nervous. I have been offered a full time position from where I interned which helps to alleviate some of the panic and stress that I have about not finding a job. However, it does make me a little nervous that I am settling for comfort rather than making the correct career move for myself. I think that I have a lot of reservations about making a decision because it is comfortable rather than making one that has the potential to set me up for a better financial and professional future long term. I would like to still apply for other positions and hopefully go on some interviews to either solidify the decision that I have made to stay at my internship placement, or go in another direction and take a position somewhere else. I feel that this class will greatly help me with making this decision in a more confident way and also preparing me for the application and interview process.

    2. I am also nervous about the actual licensure process as well as the licensure exam. I hope that after taking this class I am more prepared for the actual process as well as the requirements that go into getting licensed. After taking a look at the application as well as the requirements, it has come to my attention how important it is to make sure you are being supervised by someone who has the right credentials. It is also equally important to make sure that you are tracking your hours correctly and getting the right amount of client time as well as supervision time. I am nervous about the exam itself as I tend to panic when it comes to taking any sort of exam. I do like the idea that it is based on our knowledge rather than a multiple-choice set up. However, this does make me weary that because there is some sort subjectivity aspect that I may over analyze my responses and end up answering incorrectly. I feel that taking the practice exam as well as studying prior to actually sitting for the exam will help alleviate this stress.

    Reply

    • Jason Prior
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 10:27:34

      Marisa,

      The situation that you find yourself in is interesting. On the one hand you have a full time job offered. On the other hand you have possibilities. As a graduate of this program you have the possibility to work in numerous sites, both in this state and others. I don’t envy the decisions you have to make. I have experienced those “what if” moments before. I hope this class will help you figure out what it is you will decide. Either way I hope you find satisfaction with whatever job you end up in.

      Reply

    • Salome Wilfred
      Jun 01, 2017 @ 11:27:29

      Marissa,

      First: CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR JOB OFFER! I completely understand your hesitation about accepting a job without knowing what else other companies have to offer. I can only imagine it being even more difficult since you did your internship there and have probably created a lot of relationships. It also sounds like you have really enjoyed your time at this company and have become comfortable. It’s also probably a huge relief to know you have a job once classes end and can maybe spend time until then learning about other possible options and locations you can pursue in the future.

      Reply

    • Julia Sherman
      Jun 04, 2017 @ 13:39:14

      You make a good point about making sure not to feel too comfortable with your first master’s level job. Especially since it was your internship as well, it’s understandable that you aren’t sure if staying there is the best career move. It’s very important in the field of counseling to get a feel for how different agencies do things. There can be drastic differences in terms of paperwork, treatment methods, populations, etc., and it’s important to have a good understanding of that. This is especially true considering that clients are often referred from other agencies, and knowing the ways that other agencies run can be useful for treatment.

      Reply

  13. Emily Morse
    May 30, 2017 @ 13:49:55

    Although I am only in my third semester, I have begun to think about my intitial thoughts after graduation. I know that I want to work in a college counseling center, and I have already taken the first step to get my internship in a college counseling center. I feel like during my internship, since I will be working in the field I want to be in, it will be very important to network. After I graduate, I will be able to use this networking when looking for jobs in the college counseling field. College counseling is a very competitive field to get into, so I honestly am a little worried about finding job openings. I think my first steps after graduating will be finding jobs in college counseling, but that may prove to be more difficult than I originally thought. Therefore, I have also been thinking about potential “backup” fields that I will look into, like young adult partial programs. I am nervous to get back into the job applying/interviewing process because it can be very draining sorting through job postings and finding something you think could fit for both you and the employer. I took time off after college to work in the field and it took me 6 months to get my research job and I just remember it being a very hard process that felt like forever. So some of my initial thoughts are just dreading going through the whole process again in another competitive area of counseling.

    The thought of obtaining licensure feels very overwhelming to me. It seems like there is just so much that we have to know and keep track of ourselves, it’s not all done for us. I feel like I don’t have a good grasp of everything I need to do and have before getting licensed, so it makes me not want to even think about the process. I have been considering whether I want to get licensed in Rhode Island and that’s another thing that I feel like I need to figure out. There is an additional class I need to take to do so and my concern is when and whether I should just take the class to have the ability to get licensed in RI. I also feel like I don’t have a grasp on what jobs I can and can’t do while I’m still working towards my licensure and how to make sure the job I get after graduation will fulfill what I need for licensure. Overall, I just feel like I need to get a better understanding of the entire process.

    Reply

  14. Salome Wilfred
    May 30, 2017 @ 14:29:28

    My initial thoughts and feeling when I think about my next professional step after graduation can appropriately be summed up as pure terror. Everything ranging from correctly filling out my application to passing the exam. While I experience moments of certainty and preparation I cannot help but feel unprepared and terrified the next moment, especially when I hear about so many of my classmates either starting jobs or receiving job offers. I am also concerned that I am not as prepared as I wish I was for working with a population I am passionate about. I spent my internship working with adult Latino males. While this reflects my desire to work with underrepresented populations, I definitely prefer working with adolescents (specifically female). I fear that when I go to interviews in locations that work primarily with adolescents and they hear the population I worked with during my internship they will think I am not qualified for the job.

    A number of my classmates have already commented on their concern about how to appropriately look for and accept a job, which I am also concerned with. Similar to what they have already mentioned, I am concerned with finding a balance between not accepting a job that will not continue to prepare me for moving forward while also understanding that I am still an entry level clinician and should not expect a corner office with a view, outstanding benefits and a great 401k package.

    Overall, I am hoping since I have completed my internship and now have an extra 20 hours a week available I will have some time to ease all this anxiety.

    Reply

  15. Jill Harrison
    May 30, 2017 @ 15:34:16

    Being in the last semester of grad school is both exciting and anxiety provoking. While I am excited to complete this major chapter of my life, it is certainly stressful to think about the next phase. I was fortunate enough to accept a position with the agency I completed my internship with, which I was thankful for. However, I know that this is not the direction that I will be most happy with in the long-term. Working with DCF involved children, adolescents, and their families doing in-home treatment is difficult and stressful, and I anticipate getting burned out more easily with this population and in this setting than I would in a different role. I am worried about potentially burning the bridge with this agency, who has treated me so well in my time there, by leaving so quickly. I am also stressed about the job search process, as I do not want to settle on a job that doesn’t pay well because I misunderstood or did not do my due diligence during the research and interview process.

    In terms of the licensure process, I know very little, which is anxiety-provoking. If I remain with the agency that I am currently at, I know that I will have great supervision and meet the direct contact hour requirements. I am most concerned about the test itself and feeling prepared to do well when that day comes.

    Reply

    • Jackie Bradley
      May 30, 2017 @ 23:15:11

      Jill
      I feel similar about the licensure process. I wasn’t very familiar with anything it involves and I felt like todays class and resources have definitely already made me feel a little better about it all. I think it is a nerve-wracking process in general because we are all so concerned about making sure we are dotting all of our I’s and crossing all of our T’s. I can also relate to your concerns about the exam itself. It is obviously going to be quite anxiety provoking (for me at least). It is such an important event in our journeys as future LMHCs and we will have put in a lot of work to get there. The thought of failing is terrible and terrifying, but I’m confident that our time at Assumption will prepare us to pass and succeed in our careers.

      Reply

  16. Julia Sherman
    May 30, 2017 @ 16:14:09

    My initial thoughts about my first steps after graduating are a mixture of excitement and anxiety. The reasons for being excited are obvious–once I get that first job, I’ll be making more money, I’ll be taken more seriously as a mental health professional, and I won’t have to worry about classes anymore, so I can put all of my energy into my job. However, there’s A LOT of anxiety that comes with all of that. Sure, I’ll be taken more seriously as a mental health professional, but that also means I won’t have much of a fallback if I feel like I did something wrong. I won’t be able to tell myself “It’s okay, I’m only an intern” anymore. Anything that I perceive I did incorrectly will no longer be able to be blamed on my lack of experience.

    I get anxious when I think about the process for obtaining licensure, especially since I am not only going for my LMHC but also my SAC (school adjustment counselor). There are just so many steps for both licenses that it feels overwhelming at times. Which I know is silly, considering the fact that most of the hard parts for me are done (I finished my internship and most of my classes). I think the anxiety comes from the steps not being very clear-cut. When it comes to getting the graduate degree itself, it is very clear what the expectations are–take the classes, do the internship, and complete an oral exam. And when you’ve been accepted to a graduate program, the professors and administration practically walk you through the entire process of obtaining the degree. But when it comes to obtaining licensure, not only are there several various steps, but it is a very independent process. For the most part, no one is there to walk you through it.

    Reply

  17. Zachary Welsh
    May 30, 2017 @ 17:01:12

    I am hopeful when I think about my next career steps after graduating. I am also somewhat nervous about searching for jobs, interviewing, and choosing the right job for me. I feel that there are many different directions I could go in and choosing the right fit for me may be difficult and may take a couple tries to get right. I am hopeful that my practicum and internship will help me with this decision. I am also hopeful because I am already pretty sure of the population I would like to work with. Knowing this allows me to narrow my search somewhat and makes it easier for me to make a decision about which jobs I would like to apply for and ultimately which job would be the best for me. I can also rely on resources from my current job working in a residential facility for feedback and support for which job would be best for me. Utilizing these resources will allow me to be more confident in my decision.

    When it comes to obtaining licensure as a mental health professional, I am a little more nervous. I am concerned that I do not know enough about the process itself, requirements, and resources that will assist me in obtaining licensure as a mental health professional. I feel that I need to research these topics more to ease my anxiety. I am also concerned about the exam as I am not entirely sure what to expect when taking it. I am sure this class will provide me with information and practice resources that will allow me to succeed and obtain licensure as a mental health professional. Another area of concern for me is that I believe there is much that I still have to learn in order to succeed in this profession and obtain licensure. I am hopeful that my practicum and internship as well as completing the rest of the graduate program will provide me with the necessary skills needed to succeed.

    Reply

    • Emily Morse
      Jun 02, 2017 @ 13:14:58

      I absolutely agree that it can be difficult narrowing it down to what population you want to work with. Sometimes I get nervous that I am boxing myself in and what if I don’t like it? I know you have worked in the field for some time, so I think that experience will be invaluable in helping you to make your decision, and, like you mentioned, to get some feedback and advice from your colleagues in making your decisions. I also agree with your point that the practicum/internship will also probably help to solidify what we want to do (and eliminate other things we aren’t as interested in!).

      Reply

  18. Jason Prior
    May 30, 2017 @ 17:03:53

    1) Taking the next step in professional development is, for me, a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand I am very excited to be moving forward towards my goal attaining a PhD. I am aware of what I have to do and I feel a sense of accomplishment making progress towards that goal. On the other hand, the whole process is incredibly anxiety provoking. Like many of you, I am also searching for a job. More specifically, I am applying to research positions, which has been very competitive. Already I have met with disappointment in this search, as I did not get a position that I really wanted and have applied to some interesting positions, only to find out that the position had already been filled (side note: if the job you post is no longer open, take down the posting for it!). Knowing that there are other individuals who are just as, if not more, qualified for the position I am applying for, has been a huge source of anxiety. I can only imagine that this anxiety will be orders of magnitude greater when actually applying to programs. But again, with the gut-wrenching anxiety comes spark of excitement at the thought of moving on.

    2) In terms of the licensing exam that we will be taking, I feel pretty confident about being able to pass it. Of course, that will change as we get closer to the date of the exam. It helps that some of our former classmates took the exam and we were able to hear a student’s perspective on how it went. It is the process of licensure that is tripping me up. As I stated, I plan to move on to a PhD. This will entail both research and counseling of clients. This program has been fantastic for training me in CBT. In terms of licensure, I will be having this done as I go through a PhD program. That being said, I must first get into a program. If I don’t, I feel comfortable knowing that I can be licensed as an LMHC. I am looking into the requirements for licensure in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. I am concerned that I may be behind the curve when it comes to getting hours, if it does not seem like the next program will pan out, but I think it is worth the risk.

    Reply

    • Emily Morse
      Jun 02, 2017 @ 13:22:01

      Jason, it can be very hard/disappointing applying to jobs in a competitive field like research. I can also relate to this feeling as I spoke about in my blog post about eventually wanting to look for jobs in college counseling, very much knowing it is a competitive field. I also looked into getting a PhD after college — I eventually decided that a Master’s would be a better choice for me personally, but I did the whole applying to research jobs for 6 months until I finally got a research assistant position. At that point I no longer wanted to go forward with my PhD, but I’ve been in the research job for 3+ years now and it has given me incredible experience. So, as a side note to my comment, if you apply to any research jobs at Butler Hospital in Providence, let me know and if I know the PI, I can put in a good word!

      Reply

  19. Stephanie Halley
    May 30, 2017 @ 23:09:04

    1) When I think about next steps after graduation, I feel there are so many aspects that are uncertain: where will I work? What kind of setting do I want? What age range do I want? As I am still only on my third semester and have not started my practicum and internship yet, I don’t expect to have these questions answered yet, however it is still anxiety inducing. Any clinical experience I have as of now, which has been roughly three years or so, has been primarily children with trauma. However, I got into this field with the intention of working more criminal justice based and with the criminal mind. With my practicum and internship, I will be working with that population and interest, and I guess I will see if I want to stick with kids or switch to adults, and if I want to stick with solely trauma, or go into the criminal justice world of counseling.

    2) As for obtaining licensure, I guess I am worried because I am not the best test-taker. I can study endlessly and recite information backwards and forwards, but when it comes to actually taking it, it is like I have never seen the material before and blank. I am sure I will be prepared and practice ahead of time in class and it won’t be as bad as I am psyching it up to be. Frankly, I kind of feel the oral exam will be tougher!
    I am not worried about completing the hours or anything like that. I am a very hard worker and never really miss work, so I know I will have it done in no time. Due to financial aid assistance from my job, I will be staying in my company for two years post-masters as part of an agreement, and I know supervisory hours will be met, as well.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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