Topic 1: Your Career after Graduation & Licensure {by 1/19}

Based on last week’s readings/discussions (1/12) and the topics for this week’s class (1/19) consider the following two discussion points: (1) What are your initial thoughts and feelings when you think about your next professional/career steps after graduating? (2) Simply share any thoughts or concerns you may have about obtaining licensure (e.g., licensure exam, application) as a mental health professional.  Please see the three links under “LMHC Prep” on my website homepage – bottom of right-hand column.  Also, have ready to view the “Regulating Mental Health Service Delivery” documents under “Class Handouts.”

 

Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 1/19.  Post your two replies no later than 1/21.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Valerie Graveline
    Jan 13, 2023 @ 13:39:46

    1) My initial thoughts when thinking about my next professional/career steps after graduating are that I would like to continue working in both a hospital and typical outpatient setting. My current placement has offered the possibility for me to stay on part-time in their IOP, and I could pick up hours in PHP to be working full-time, or I could seek part-time employment elsewhere to be working full-time overall. I feel like I would really enjoy this opportunity considering I know that I really enjoy the hospital setting, but would like to gain experience in a typical outpatient setting as well so that I can have more long-term patients rather than only working with individuals for either 5-7 days or 4 weeks total. I’m hoping that this will continue to be an opportunity for me after graduation so that I can continue to gain experience in both settings at once, but we will see! If not, I think I’m still struggling to decide on if I would like to work in a hospital or outpatient setting full-time, as I don’t know which I may enjoy more since I don’t currently have any typical outpatient experience.

    2) I think my current concerns regarding obtaining licensure as a mental health professional mainly pertains to the various differences across states for requirements. I’m currently hoping to obtain licensure in both RI and MA, and have been thinking about VT as well. I’m not sure where I would like to live after graduation or the years following, which is why I’ve found it stressful trying to also keep in mind licensure requirements across states. I found that RI and MA are quite similar in requirements for the most part which is helpful, however VT also requires the NCE exam alongside the NCMHCE, which I’ve found overwhelming to think about. I think I will have to take it all one step at a time in thinking about state licensure and will have to really think about where I hope to be at least immediately after graduation, which will likely be RI.
    Aside from this, I have concerns just generally about the licensure exams and when we are able to take them. I’ve heard from some people that it is an option (and is suggested) to take the exam as soon after graduation as possible, but have heard from others that we have to wait at least two years to take it and that this is better because we then have more experience at this point. With this in mind, I’m unsure which may be accurate and which is the best course of action!

    Reply

    • Jennifer Vear
      Jan 17, 2023 @ 17:06:30

      Hi Valerie!

      1. Your experience of working in both IOP and PHP as well as the possible job opportunity sounds amazing! As long as you enjoy what you’re doing, I believe that it would be a great position for you!
      2. I am also considering getting licensure in multiple states, CT and MA. I have not looked at the exam requirements yet, but I will do soon. Aside from that, I am going to first focus on MA and then see what the next steps are for employment and then how beneficial multiple states could end up being!

      Reply

    • Lina Boothby-Zapata
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 12:23:29

      Hi Valerie,
      I want to share with you that I also like the idea of working at the hospital; my experience shadowing Emergency Psychiatric Services at ER in Harrington was great! It is a very good exercise to learn to complete interviews with the patients, provide diagnoses based on the DSM 5, and have conversations with the psych and medical team. I def think making the right diagnosis is fundamental for a clinician to choose the appropriate treatment. I am happy for you and this wonderful experience at Butler!!

      Reply

  2. Katie O'Brien
    Jan 17, 2023 @ 11:21:08

    1. My initial thoughts about my professional career post-graduation are a mix of being excited about the future and open to the new opportunities that will be available to me, but also some stressful thoughts because I’m feeling pressure to have it figured out when I feel like I don’t yet. Ultimately, I really like outpatient work, and I think outpatient is my number one choice if it’s up to me, but hearing about people’s internship experiences, the other settings that are out there, and how differently that work runs than outpatient, there are other settings which could be interesting to see another side of clinical work. I do enjoy working with kids through young adults so far, so I would really like to stay working with youth in some way. Additionally, I feel a lot of stress about making sure I’ll get everything I need for licensure (hours, supervision, etc.) and have heard some scary things about how these first couple of years after graduation are super tough, which makes me a little worried about what work/life balance will look like.

    2. My concerns about licensing are that I’ll somehow mess up and won’t have what I need in terms of hours, supervision etc. I think that is just my normal anxiety, worrying about things that I will ultimately stay on top of. Additionally, although I don’t necessarily have plans to move out of Massachusetts, I have underlying anxiety about if I should be looking to be licensed in more states – incoming catastrophizing: what if I decide to move some day and it’s super stressful to get licensed?? (lol) Finally, I just get test anxiety, so I’m sure preparing for and taking the licensing exam will stress me out, too.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Vear
      Jan 17, 2023 @ 17:02:46

      Hi Katie!

      For your first response, I also want to work in outpatient, but with adults! There are so many other sites out there that I will explore, but I have not made any solid decisions yet. Also, the work/life balance is incredibly important but very difficult. So that will 100% be an adjustment! For your second response, I also have been struggling with the anxiety about what if I move and then need to get licensed in a completely different state, what if I want to get licensed in multiple states, etc. However, my focus right now is that I know THIS year i will. be licensed in MA and possibly CT so that is the focus.
      If I move, I will cross that bridge when I get there, right!

      Reply

    • Frayah Wilkey
      Jan 17, 2023 @ 18:57:45

      Katie,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I have a lot of the same anxieties that you’re experiencing. I’m always worrying that I’m missing something or won’t have the correct things done to get licensed. If you decide to move out of MA, it seems like a lot of surrounding states have similar requirements so you should be good to go! I hope this class helps a bit with your anxiety and that everything goes well when we’re eventually getting licensed!

      Reply

    • Kaitlyn Tonkin
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 14:50:28

      Hi Katie,

      I totally relate to what you said about preparing for and taking the licensing exam. I get super nervous taking tests and always overthink things so I’m worried about having to take an exam like this. Especially since grad school is not really focused on tests I feel like I am out of practice. Like Jenn said in her response, I think focusing on the present moment and at least where you will be for this next year is what’s important.

      Reply

  3. Christina DeMalia
    Jan 17, 2023 @ 13:41:09

    (1) I have felt pretty torn about what I want to do professionally after graduation. Right now, I work as a research analyst for UMass. My business unit is very flexible with when I work my hours, and the job is fully remote. Because of that, I have considered continuing to work for UMass full time while I start getting clinical hours part time. However, there are also obvious advantages to getting my clinical hours done more quickly, such as being able to get licensed sooner. I know that I would like to get my license and do counseling at points in my career. However, I love research and can also see myself working in clinical research settings at other points in my career. Given the importance of understanding both research and clinical practice when it comes to mental health treatment, I don’t think I will have any issues honoring both passions throughout my career. However, deciding what order to do things in has still been challenging for me. Despite that, I feel very lucky to feel torn between too many employment opportunities rather than the opposite. I definitely feel excited for whatever comes next.

    (2) I feel pretty relieved reviewing what the licensure exam will consist of. Knowing that all of the questions are multiple choice with only 4 options makes me feel like the format of the test won’t overwhelm me. Compared to the GREs, I like that the exam seems like it will offer plenty of time to complete the questions, and doesn’t require various answer types. It also seems like, based on the attached email from Dr. Doerfler, that Assumption will sign off on our practicum and internship hours rather than needing the previous supervisors to fill out those forms for the licensure application. That is also a relief because I have heard from others who recently went through the process that tracking down those individuals for signatures when it comes time for the licensure application can be difficult. Overall, I am happy with the amount of resources available to aid the licensure process.

    Reply

  4. Jennifer Vear
    Jan 17, 2023 @ 16:57:28

    1. When I think about my next professional/career steps after graduating, I become excited but also nervous. My end goal is to have my own private practice, which I get excited to think about. However, I am also nervous about what the next steps are after my internship. I have not yet decided on if I want to stay or move to a different agency. The plan is to apply to a couple of different places and see how that goes and what they offer.

    2. I have not fully thought about the licensing exam. Right now my sole focus is the oral exam and graduating. Then, I plan on studying for the licensing exam and taking it fairly soon after graduating. Other than that, I am nervous to see how much studying I will have to do as well as the fear that I might fail. I know there are many resources out there to help prepare for the exam, but I honestly cannot give it too much mental space at the moment.

    Reply

    • Frayah Wilkey
      Jan 17, 2023 @ 19:03:14

      Jenn,
      I relate to a lot of your points! I’m also in limbo with what I want to do after internship. It’s difficult to decide if I should stay with what I know at the moment or try to venture out to get my clinical hours before licensure. I think eventually you’ll do great in private practice! Based on what I’ve heard from others, it’s the way to go compared to working at a facility. That’s also what I’m hoping to do one day- very nerve wracking to think about, but also very exciting.

      Reply

    • Kaitlyn Tonkin
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 14:46:48

      Jenn,

      I feel the same way. Thinking about the licensing exam is not really on my mind right now because I just want to graduate and get through the oral exam. I have been operating with the mindset that when my oral exam is done, I will start thinking more concretely about jobs and sending in those applications. Similarly, I think down the line, probably if/when I decide to settle down and have a family, private practice will probably be where I end up to have a set schedule and feel secure.

      Reply

  5. Frayah Wilkey
    Jan 17, 2023 @ 18:52:33

    1. My initial thoughts about graduating and starting a new career are largely surrounded by excitement and anxiety. It’s taken a lot to get to this point in my academic career so I’m really looking forward to being done with school and to get my degree. I’m also feeling anxious though because my internship wasn’t exactly what I hoped and I haven’t learned as much as I thought I would so there’s a lot of nerves when it comes to thinking about starting a new job.
    2. My biggest concern related to licensure is making sure that I have everything completed to eventually become licensed in Connecticut. Many of the government websites are out of date and a bit confusing, so I want to make sure that I have everything done correctly. I also feel like getting information about the process has been confusing but classmates have been very helpful. I’m thankful to be in a really good cohort so everyone has seemed to be willing to help each other along with the process. Even so, it’s been a stressful process but there’s not much I can do at the moment so I’m trying to focus more on tasks that have to get done beforehand (i.e. the oral exam).

    Reply

    • Katie O'Brien
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 08:45:37

      Frayah,
      I’ve found looking at the government websites to be super confusing and stressful too – maybe because it’s so official and important, it just feels intimidating to go through. But I couldn’t agree more that our cohort is amazing. I feel like there is always someone to turn to, whether it’s to get an actual answer to a question or just to vent some of our anxieties about everything coming up, we have such a supportive group, and I’m so grateful for that! I feel like it’s a good intro to how we should utilize supports / one another down the line in our careers.
      I’m also with you on the taking things one step at a time. Right now, it seems like a good idea to try and focus on the oral exam first, and then take the rest in stages as it comes. Even just knowing people are in the same boat about stressing like this makes it a bit easier!

      Reply

  6. Pawel Zawistowski
    Jan 17, 2023 @ 21:46:46

    My initial thoughts and concerns about graduating and starting the new career is being able to manage a higher workload. I think that sometimes during my internship when I am seeing 4-5 clients back-to-back, I can get very overwhelmed, and not exactly feel ready for my next session. With the increased productivity hours, I am worried that it will lead to burn out. Also, just being able to keep up with that many more cases and trying to limit no shows I think may also become exhausting. I often end up bringing my work home with my and just want to develop a better system so that I can leave work where it belongs, at work!

    I am not too worried about obtaining licensure, I think that after coming this far obtaining my license will just be another milestone and the next thing to look forward to. However, I am sure that meeting all the requirements will have its set of challenges and stressors. Lastly, I am not sure where I will end up in over 2 years from now, it’s possible I will consider moving to NH or VT, and would have to look into their requirements as well.

    Reply

    • Katie O'Brien
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 08:54:50

      Pawel,

      I’m right there with you on the workload stress. So far, I’ve been able to schedule my clients in a way that I don’t feel too stressed or overwhelmed between them, but ultimately, I know my caseload will increase substantially post-graduation. The idea of burning out is daunting, but I like to think I’m doing an OK job at separating work and personal life. I’m hoping it stays this way as I move into a busier position but I also know some agencies might not be quite as supportive as where I’m at in terms of work/life balance. Ultimately, my self-care falls to me, though, so I’ll just have to make sure I create and stick with a super strong self-care/destress routine!

      Reply

    • Lindsay O'Meara
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 15:22:15

      Pawel,

      I totally get what you mean about bringing work home and worrying about being able to handle a larger caseload. Although I am really excited to be in a position where I am not quite as destitute and have a single job, I worry about burnout as well. There are many times where I schedule myself to finish progress notes at home. I think that it may get easier however when I am seeing less children and more adults. I am very involved with the teachers, parents, school counselors, and various other professionals in each of my clients’ networks. Sometimes I feel as though I’m so loaded with consultations that it is difficult to get work done when I am at work. Ultimately, I think that we will definitely have another set of challenges in the next two years, but hopefully we figure out a way to incorporate self-care and create some sort of work-life balance that works for us.

      Reply

    • Moises Chauca
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 22:59:21

      Hello Pawel,

      I enjoyed reading your post as it made realize that after graduation, our caseload will increase. At my internship with SUD patients, clinicians get a caseload of 80 patients. It will be crucial to separate work and home with heavy caseloads. As well as, consistent and effective coping skills to mitigate stress and burnout will be important after graduation.

      Reply

    • Giana Faia
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 15:48:23

      Hi Pawel,
      Managing workload stress had definitely been something that I also struggle with. I, too, find myself feeling overwhelmed/ sometimes unprepared when seeing clients back to back. I have found it especially difficult after having a tough session with a client/ family then having to focus on the next client right away. I try to remind myself to be present and just take it one step at a time to feel less overwhelmed.

      Reply

  7. Francesca Bellizzi
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 12:31:05

    When thinking about my career steps after graduating, my initial thoughts are that of excitement. However, I am experiencing feelings of stress because there is a certain balance that I would like to maintain. As I stated before, my clientel and fitness classes that I teach mean the world to me and it is something that I want to make sure I am able to have time for. That being said, being able to manage both schedules in order to keep both jobs is incredibily important to me. When it comes to workplace expectations, I honestly feel less stressed but I also recognize I need to build my work-life balance because I am often taking a lot of work home with me.

    Thinking about licensure, on the otherhand, is seeming less stressful and worriesome for me at the moment. One concern that I do have is when I think about my future, and where I will end up geographically. For now, I see myself staying in Mass for the sake of my family; however, I am constantly looking to move and while I will initially have a Mass license, I do worry about how it’s going to translate to a different state (like Colorado or Utah). I have had a lot of support during my internship from clinicians who have taken the same path. They have been nothing but reassuring about obtaining licensure and I think that has helped decrease my levels of anxiety around it. Frankly, I just want to get it done!!

    Reply

    • Valerie Graveline
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 22:04:27

      Hi Francesca,
      I think it’s awesome that you want to ensure having a good lifestyle balance upon graduating! It’s great that it sounds like you have been doing that throughout school and with your internship. I’m sure you’ll be able to continue that balance, that’s such a great goal to continue working toward! Reading your post definitely reminded me of the importance of making that a priority after graduation.
      Also- I have similar worries about how licensure translates in different states, depending on where I want to end up living at some point! It’s good to hear that you’ve had a lot of support, though, during your internship regarding that process and that everyone has been super reassuring about it!

      Reply

    • Lindsay O'Meara
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 15:25:00

      Francesca,

      After reading through everyone’s posts, I too am thinking a lot about work-life balance. There are certain activities that are pretty important to my own mental health and self-care that I would like the opportunity to continue. I think that there is a way to manage it all, what that looks like I’m not sure either though. We might have to get creative, but in the end I think that it will all work out!

      Reply

  8. Kaitlyn Tonkin
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 14:43:44

    1. When thinking about graduating and my next steps, I feel excited and scared. I will be moving following graduation, so I am also thinking about those steps. I am looking into working in an outpatient setting, doing in-home therapy, or trying out acute care/hospital settings like IOP or PHP because that is something that has always interested me. I’m beginning to apply for jobs and looking at everything I mentioned. I also recently spoke to someone about school-based counseling, which sounds interesting too. At the moment, I’m just concerned with getting a job and being able to survive following graduation, which I know probably won’t be a problem, but it is something I’ve been thinking about. I also feel like other people are receiving job offers from their internships and since I am moving, I don’t have that security, which makes me feel a little bummed. Looking at the big picture, though, I am excited to be done with school and to be working full-time.

    2. After looking at the various forms and requirements for taking the LMHC exam, I feel anxious and like it is a very daunting process. I am planning on taking the exam soon after graduation since that has been the recommendation I have heard from people in the field. I am also just nervous about taking such an important exam but I had that same feeling when taking the SATs in high school. I tend to overthink things, especially with multiple-choice tests like the licensing exam. Overall, though, I am looking forward to getting the exam completed and focusing on obtaining my clinical supervision hours for those few years post-graduation to get my license officially!

    Reply

    • Valerie Graveline
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 22:10:26

      Hi Kaitlyn,
      That sounds great that you’re been really looking into all the different possible types of clinical settings for after graduation! It sounds like you’re already all over everything, too, with applying to jobs at this point 🙂 I completely understand your concern about getting a job/supporting yourself after graduation, I feel the same way! It’s hard to manage those anxieties but I’m glad you feel excited overall about finishing school and working full-time soon!
      I also really resonated with your point about taking the NCMHCE exam and how it feels similar to taking the SAT in high school. I’m definitely not a fan of standardized testing and test formats like that, but it feels good knowing that we’ve learned so much throughout this program and at internship and that we will definitely be prepared for it!

      Reply

  9. Tim Cody
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 23:48:20

    (1) My initial thoughts and feelings are excitement for my future career. While I know my education will never be officially over, as I am required to take Continuing Education courses to advance my career. I know it is also my ethical duty to also continue to learn and explore new therapy techniques and interventions. However, I am excited to begin my career by going to a 40 hour a week job and meeting with clients with my full attention. I currently find that with my education, internship, and part-time job that I do not always give 100% to one task. When I graduate and accept my first job as a counselor, I can devote all my time and energy to it.
    (2) I have been discussing with my significant other our future together and where we want to live and work. We have talked about living in Massachusetts for the next couple of years, but have also talked about eventually moving to New Hampshire together. My thought or concern would be having to complete the required hours and time commitment all over again to obtain my LCMHC in New Hampshire. I am willing to do the required work and take the exam a second time if necessary if our lives move up north, but I hope obtaining a licensure in a different state will not cause added stress.

    Reply

    • Christina DeMalia
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 20:56:37

      Hi Tim,

      I’ve definitely felt similarly about being spread thin between classes, internship, and work. I always prefer to feel like I am giving 100% effort to any commitment I make. This year has definitely led to me having to lower some of the expectation I have for myself and divide my attention between things the best I can. I am also looking forward to the time when I get to just focus on my job as a therapist full time!

      Reply

    • Pawel Zawistowski
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 11:59:19

      Hi Tim,

      You make a very good point that this next step in our life is very exciting and that you have to keep expanding your knowledge in the field. There is always new research on the way and interventions that can best serve our clients and it is so important to recognize that we should never stop learning. I am also very much looking forward to my future career and good luck to you!

      Reply

    • Lexi
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 13:35:01

      Hi Tim,

      I love what you have to say and can completely relate to that feeling of being spread to thin during this time – it is hard to give clinical full attention when also working other jobs to earn money, taking classes etc. I am also excited to reach a point where I can focus on the role of clinician and give 100% rather than 80% or 50% of my capacity each week. I also completely echo your concerns about location, and on the limitations of state licensure. To be honest this is something I did not fully understand when I started in this program, and as someone who lives to move and travel, it is troubling to me as well.

      Reply

  10. Giana Faia
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 12:21:02

    1. When thinking about my next steps in my career after graduating, I definitely feel both excited and anxious. Since this is something I’ve been working toward for years, it is exciting to think about finally being about to start my career. However, my internship has been such a positive experience so far that I often worry that my next job won’t meet those expectations that this internship has unintentionally set. Overall, any major changes make me feel anxious but I keep trying to focus on this being a positive and exciting change.
    2. One of my concerns I have about obtaining licensure involves the application and all the requirements. Reviewing the requirements is slightly overwhelming to me, especially after reading that such a high percentage of applications have some deficiencies that need to be fixed. However, I try to remind myself that the majority of these could be very minimal mistakes that need fixing which may slow down the process of getting licensed slightly.

    Reply

    • Lina Boothby-Zapata
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 12:28:42

      Hi Giana, I am in the same boat. Still, I think this class is an excellent opportunity to clear up all the questions and make possible and accessible the process for the license and reduce anxiety. I plan to save all the info and have it handy as soon I am ready for the process.

      Reply

  11. Lexi
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 13:40:08

    I am not sure about next steps after graduation. I have been enjoying my time at Spectrum (mostly)- and talking a lot with the other counselors here, most of whom are non-licensed clinicians trying to log hours towards licensure. My initial thoughts and feelings involve a lot of anxiety and doubt about next steps. I could work at Spectrum and log hours toward licensure as many of these other clinicians are doing, but I know because they told me what I would start at and the pay is terrible – I could also look to other agencies for similar opportunities.

    My anxiety about licensure us less about the exam and more about hours. I also have some personal doubts about what state I will end up living in so that is a factor too – It causes me anxiety to think about being licensed and only able to practice in one state. I am a person who really values travel and so I worry about the limitations around moving. I think perhaps telehealth positions are a way around this but also not sure that I want to never see clients face to face. Basically, I am not sure what is next for me.

    Reply

    • Francesca Bellizzi
      Jan 22, 2023 @ 00:32:27

      Hi Lexi –

      I too share that love for travel and am feeling some anxiety surrounding being tied to one place. While we may know what we want to do with our careers, we may not know where we would like that to happen. I think hours are going to be a common theme between th einternship and licensure requirements – and completely agree with this being a big source of stress.

      Reply

  12. Lina
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 14:54:29

    One of my main concerns is the counselors’ income before getting the license. Most of the agencies offer to start at $55.000. This is painful for me, knowing that when I was working at DCF I was going up to $65.000 without master’s degree. I think the amount of work and investment we do is not well paid. Then, I am looking for hospitals, the state, the federal, and other agencies starting at least $60.000. I am sorry, to be too honest and put out numbers but I have my family, and income is always necessary to have in consideration. Another element is to find a reliable agency that can provide you with a significant caseload so that you can do your contact hours and, at the same time, a good supervisor, hopefully, trained on CBT. I am also concerned about the system and getting all your clients and hours of productivity; I would like to get more efficient in making notes and different types of assessments that the agency requests to have the opportunity to focus on CBT interventions and growing as a Counselor, instead of getting trap in the system. I am still determining exactly where I am going. I am conflicted about working with SUD patients; they challenge my moral and personal values, but when I have meaningful conversations, suitable interventions, and observe progress, I get very enthusiastic about it. Currently, I am laying back, observing, and not judging my clients’ behaviors and having hope during the interventions.

    I have my license as an LSW in the social work field, and this was a stressful experience. It may be the same as preparing for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). Taking workshops, studying the material, and simulating the exam is the way to go, even if this needs an investment. I have shadowed the MaMHCA board a few times, and it is a well-organized organization, and members are dedicated and committed to advocating for mental health counselors. I am planning on participating in their workshops for the exam and utilizing their resources for the CE credits. I need a break from schoolwork but will resume in Fall 2023 to begin studying the exam and present it on January 2024. One of the questions I have is that, usually, obtaining your total hours after graduation 3360 will take 22 or 24 months if you work 40 hours a week and take vacations. Can you do it in less time for the LHMC application?

    One of the themes I would like to discuss in class is future career development, certifications, and reliable agencies that can train counselors to obtain Clinical Supervisor Training Certification or CBT National Certification. Also, I wonder if getting trained in a specific field or getting your CBT counselor certification with the Beck Institute is a rewarding investment.

    Reply

    • Christina DeMalia
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 21:06:48

      Hi Lina,

      I definitely can relate to your frustrations about pay in our field. I am in a similar position of feeling like it will be hard to take a pay cut from my current job in order to get my clinical hours. I can only imagine the added pressure of that decision when thinking about supporting your family. I am sure that once we’ve gained our licenses, it will be easier to have a higher income by doing things like private practice. In the meantime, it does feel frustrating to have invested so much time and effort into a career to take a pay cut. Ultimately, I know that this work is really meaningful to me and I’m really passionate about it, so I am hopeful that will make up for the pay cut starting out. It reminds me of the super cheesy quote that’s often used for teachers: “I’m not in it for the income. I’m in it for the outcome.” That being said, with the economy right now it would definitely be nice to have both!

      Reply

    • Moises Chauca
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 22:52:04

      Hello Lina.

      Your post has great points! I had similar reaction when I search for starting position salaries. At my current placement, they offered me an extra dollar for speaking a second language. I felt a bit discourage because like you said the sweat and blood, we put into our work sometimes it goes unnoticed. However, I am hopeful that once we get our license, we will be living comfortably. Lastly, I am also worried about finding a place where we can get a good number of clients, good supervisor, and grow.

      Reply

    • Lexi
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 12:45:38

      Hi Lina,

      I share your concerns about income – it is difficult to think about having such limited financial resources, and I also think about this a lot. I think about being so in debt and about how difficult it will be to live comfortably on so little. I don’t have a family, but even renting an apartment and affording the basics for myself on so little income seems impossible without continuing to work in restaurants as a server as well on weekends. This leads me to really worry about my quality of life and work life balance upon graduation… So i can understand your concern, I think we all have similar feelings. The other thing I have seen at Spectrum is that clinician get paid 50k and have caseloads that exceed 70 or even 80+ clients, which is unethical in my opinion. To get paid so little and yet be so inundated and struggle so much at both at work and financially at home is really kind of a depressing idea! I know we all share these concerns and it’s important to acknowledge these things.

      Reply

  13. Lindsay O'Meara
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 15:16:48

    1. I am honestly really excited to start my professional career following grad school. I am really enjoying my internship and ready to experience providing therapy full-time. I am also excited to work with different populations and figure out where I really stick. The readings for this week cleared up some of my anxiety regarding the next steps, and I am sure that this class will continue to make me feel more comfortable. My thoughts surround how much of a relief it will be to solely work one job. I know that of course the first two years will be challenging in terms of caseload, making sure that I am receiving the right supervision, and logging hours. However, I am ready to move forward and continue connecting and building relationships with both clients and colleagues.

    2. I am not too concerned about my ability to obtain licensure. I know that I will be good to apply in this state, which is where I plan on residing. If there is a point in time where I would like to apply elsewhere, I am confident in my ability to find out which requirements I need and how to get there. I am not majorly concerned about the exam because I am too busy worrying about the oral exam. Taking exams has always been easy for me, however speaking in front of others not so much. So, I will feel a world of relief once that part is over and I am onto the next steps.

    Reply

    • Giana Faia
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 16:01:20

      Hi Lindsay,
      I also share feelings of relief when thinking about only having to work one job and being done with school. It is so exciting to think about how close we are to graduating. I, too, think once we take the oral exam a lot of my stress will be alleviated as well!

      Reply

    • Francesca Bellizzi
      Jan 22, 2023 @ 00:29:28

      Hi Linsday –

      I completely agree about being too worried about the oral exam to even begin stressing over obtaining licensure. I think it’s a special thing to see people being excited to start their future careers, because it truly means that we are happy with what we do.

      Reply

  14. Moises Chauca
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 19:16:43

    xgraduating are working and log hours for the licensing exam. My current placement at Spectrum has provided me with great experience working with the Latino community. However, I have an interest to work with adolescents and young adults. My plan is to find a placement that can provide me with these experience and log hours for my license. I also have plans to continue my education and get my Phd in the future, but my focus now is getting my license.

    After reviewing the documents, my anxiety has decreased about the licensing exams knowing that the questions are multiple choice and that we are giving considerate time to answer them. I am thankful to have great support that can help me with the application process and any other document.

    Reply

  15. Moises Chauca
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 19:17:29

    My initial thoughts and feelings about my next professional steps after graduating are working and log hours for the licensing exam. My current placement at Spectrum has provided me with great experience working with the Latino community. However, I have an interest to work with adolescents and young adults. My plan is to find a placement that can provide me with these experience and log hours for my license. I also have plans to continue my education and get my Phd in the future, but my focus now is getting my license.

    After reviewing the documents, my anxiety has decreased about the licensing exams knowing that the questions are multiple choice and that we are giving considerate time to answer them. I am thankful to have great support that can help me with the application process and any other document.

    Reply

    • Lexi
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 13:37:02

      Hi Moises,

      I did not know that you were interested in working with a younger population than we do at Spectrum – how would you say working at Spectrum has influenced those feelings?

      Reply

    • Pawel Zawistowski
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 14:44:30

      Hi Moises,

      I think that it’s amazing and really encouraging that you are looking into getting your PhD after graduation! I feel pretty burnt out being at the last semester of this program and don’t think I will go back to school anytime soon, but I think that it’s great that some students in this program would like to keep going.

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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