Topic 1: Your Career after Graduation & Licensure {by 6/2}

Based on last week’s readings/discussions (5/26) and the topics for this week’s class (6/2) 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 “MA LMHC Prep” documents under “Class Handouts.”

 

Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 6/2.  Post your two replies no later than 6/4.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura Wheeler
    Jun 01, 2022 @ 12:01:43

    My initial thoughts and feelings about graduation are excitement and relative impatience. Not unlike many of you, I feel like it has been a long road and I am eager to return to the professional world after a covid/grad school-lengthed hiatus. For me personally, it has been an exceptionally busy decade and I am so excited to find some version of a “settled” existence. Since my son was a baby, I completed my undergraduate degree, worked 2-3 jobs at a time, and then once I finally entered the work force I made the crazy leap to change my path and pursue this program. Needless to say, the future is very exciting for my family. I think ultimately I would love to work with parents, particularly with adoption counseling and PPD, but right after graduation I hope to find an enjoyable environment to earn my hours for licensure. The top priorities for my first post-grad job are a positive work environment, learning opportunities, helpful supervision, and a work-life balance.

    As for licensure, I am nervous. I am not normally a nervous test-taker, but because I have heard of so many people who have failed, its intimidating. My study skills for this kind of thing are not great, so I know I have a lot of work to put in. In this field, so much of our future potential depends on being licensed, so there is a lot on the line.

    Reply

    • Maya Lopez
      Jun 01, 2022 @ 13:13:49

      Hey Laura,

      I really admire your ability to pursue a path that feels right for you, sometimes people feel they are stuck or destined in whatever they got their degree or first job in. I imagine it takes a lot of strength to walk away from what’s known and walk into the unknown balancing everything you did. I agree with you, feeling settled for once is going to be a new and hopefully wonderful feeling. I love that you want to work with adoption and if you ever have any questions let me know because I am adopted and have worked in a mentoring program/ psych course for adoption and feel strongly that more people should be adoptee-sensitive! You also said it best, I was too frustrated in my original post to mention it but looking for places that value supervision, work-life balance and have a helpful positive environment are priories for the place I end up in next! I also agree there is a lot on the line to pass the licensing exam, I wonder how long we have to wait to re-take it if we do not pass?

      Reply

    • Anne Marie
      Jun 01, 2022 @ 17:33:16

      Laura, Your comments about work life balance and having your career being an exciting opportunity for your family is very relatable. My initial goal in pursuing this degree was to be a financially independent woman. It is an exciting idea that I will be financially solvent as well as be able to have some flexibility to create my schedule. Being a good mother has always been my first priority and the late nights have not been easy but hopefully will eventually be worth it.

      Reply

    • Anne Marie Lemieux
      Jun 01, 2022 @ 17:44:35

      Hi Laura, Your comment about having work life balance and having this be an exciting time for your family really resonated with me. I am excited at the potential to be a financially solvent woman as well as have some flexibility in my schedule. Being a good mother has been my top priority throughout this process and I hope that the late nights prove to be worth it!

      Reply

    • Abby Robinson
      Jun 02, 2022 @ 10:15:27

      Hi Laura!
      I have very similar hopes and/or requirements for post grad employment! I think my internship experience really help me set my boundaries and priorities with my career and my personal life. While I want to continue gaining valuable experience while building up my hours for licensure, I also need to be aware of my home life priorities and keep a healthy balance of both- otherwise I would be burnt out!
      See you in class 🙂

      Reply

  2. Maya Lopez
    Jun 01, 2022 @ 13:04:40

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

    This is a timely question as I have been thinking about the next couple months of my life and what it will entail. I will be completely honest: my initial feelings are anger, anxiety, and stress. Trying to find a job when we have to wait until the fall to complete our oral exam is making it very hard for me to figure out what to do. I am not sure if jobs I look for and apply to now are willing to wait and it brings a lot of anger not knowing when the exam will be exactly. It is very possible I may have to be out of work for months as I wait to pass the exam and then find housing in a location that will then employ me. The process is delayed and so is the gratification of graduating. To answer the question though, I am looking forward to finding a job, place to live etc and having a stable schedule for the first time after I graduate.

    (2) Simply share any thoughts or concerns you may have about obtaining licensure (e.g., licensure exam, application) as a mental health professional.

    I am annoyed and concerned that the hours I work before my winter graduation will not count towards my post-grad hours. The exam itself does not scare me much as I will have had a lot of time to practice and already have materials to help me prep. I think it will be a sigh of relief once we are licensed. That’s all I have to say about that.

    Reply

    • Beth Martin
      Jun 02, 2022 @ 15:03:35

      Hi Maya!

      I’m in the same boat when it comes to being just a teensy bit annoyed that our hours won’t count towards licensure after we graduate. It definitely could have been better communicated when we started! I appreciate how difficult it is to figure out jobs in that weird limbo stage too – hopefully we can all get things sorted with minimal stress, or find employers that are willing to take us after our oral exams.

      I love how positive you are about the licensing exam – I imagine you’ll do just fine!
      Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

    • Anna Lindgren
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 07:43:57

      Hey Maya!

      I definitely feel similarly frustrated with the delay in being able to work in the field and accrue licensure hours after completing our exams. I wish we had known about this gap in completing the program and degree conferment going in. I think starting to reach out to employers and explain the situation, you may be surprised at how many are willing to look at your application now or at least give you a timeline on when you should reach back out and apply. Hopefully doing the job search assignment will help to generate some ideas and ease some nerves about this transition, which I know many of us have right now!
      Have a nice weekend 🙂

      Reply

  3. Tayler Weathers
    Jun 01, 2022 @ 15:08:37

    1. Through job searching and talking to people in the field, I’m realizing that my career won’t be exactly what I thought going in. When I was in high school and undergrad, everyone always told me that I wouldn’t make any money as a therapist, would be overworked and would probably burn out really quickly. I think this definitely used to be true, and still is some places – I interned in undergrad in some outpatient counseling offices that definitely underpaid their people, who had to do their best to avoid burnout because of all their extra responsibilities – but it doesn’t have to be. We do have the opportunity to work in places that pay a little bit better than I at least expected. So that’s exciting!

    2. I think since I’m planning to go back to Texas, my main concern is the timing of it all. I have it mapped out, but I may not be able to work until March (I think I can manage earlier, but there’s a lot of moving pieces), which is really frustrating. Having to be dependent on the Board’s approval of my LPC-A application (in addition to doing all the tests) takes a lot of time that feels prohibitive to getting in the field.

    Reply

    • Maya Lopez
      Jun 01, 2022 @ 18:07:19

      Hey Tayler,

      I completely agree! I had thought we would be very underpaid but so far looking at job options there is a lot of hope! plus going into private practice it will be easier to make more money so it is exciting! I also have the same issue as you with moving. It has been hard trying to plan things out when so much is in the air! I think I will need to go back to NY for a bit while I await the oral exam. best of luck figuring it out because I know how stressful it is!

      Reply

    • Alexa Berry
      Jun 02, 2022 @ 10:08:44

      Hi Tayler-

      I definitely agree with your point about wages being higher than anticipated. I think that the pandemic may have something to do with this- many places have been offering sign on and longevity bonuses due to losing clinicians to other companies. While it is unfortunate that there aren’t enough mental health professionals to go around, I do think there is a positive in it since counseling isn’t exactly one of the highest paying of the helping professions traditionally.

      Hope all goes well with your LPC-A license!

      Reply

  4. Alexa Berry
    Jun 01, 2022 @ 16:38:46

    My thoughts/ feelings regarding my next professional/ career steps after graduating are much different from what they were for the majority of the program. Throughout most of my time in the program, my intention and plan was to take a break between passing the oral exam and going out into the field. Since ending my internship, I find myself greatly missing my clinical work while I am in an unrelated position to bridge the gap between now and graduation. I now find myself looking forward to being able to apply for positions and get the ball rolling come this fall (& I am trolling LinkedIn daily). One concern I have about the time period in which I’ll be entering the field is the overall status of mental health within the community. It seems now more than ever we are in a mental health crisis that is exacerbating with long wait times and not enough mental health professionals to go around.

    In considering obtaining licensure, my concerns are mainly around accruing hours. Two years seems like a long time for that to be the minimum amount of time it can take to accrue hours towards licensure. Ideally, I would like to not work “full-time 40” and be more in line with the licensure requirement definition of full-time (35 hours/week 48 weeks/year) , but I anticipate it may be difficult to find an employer who would want a “full time-35”. I remember seeing something about a push for an entry level-license within the field and I definitely see the benefits to this- especially considering that once you are license eligible it can take months for a license to come/ be processed since many other human service professions also go through the same department which backs things up.

    Reply

    • Anne Marie Lemieux
      Jun 01, 2022 @ 17:39:48

      Alexa, I related to your comment that “Two years seems like a long time for that to be the minimum amount of time it can take to accrue hours towards licensure”. If I had it my way I would just crank it out in one year if I was able too. I especially feel this as I am older and feel a perpetual clock ticking about how much time I will have invested verses how many years I will actually practice. However, my therapist is at least 65yrs. old so it might be my own anxiety. We are getting so close to the finish line! I can’t wait to actually be licensed and practicing!

      Reply

    • Abby Robinson
      Jun 02, 2022 @ 10:19:59

      Hi Alexa!
      I feel a bit concerned, too, with the overall mental health status of the general population and trying to find a clinical job at the same time. I think I am a bit worried that I will be thrown into a mental health crisis and feel completely overwhelmed. Ideally I would want to ease into the position but it seems like our skills and services are needed more than that. It will be interesting to see what job interviews will be like during this time we are living in!

      Reply

    • Tayler Weathers
      Jun 04, 2022 @ 12:39:35

      Hi Alexa! I think I heard that there’s a limit on the amount of hours you can accrue per week (to enforce the 2 year timeline). I don’t remember what it is though!

      I also find that I miss my clinical work! I really thought I’d need more of a break from it, but I miss it a lot. I think school is more overwhelming than practice to be honest, because it doesn’t have the same time and mental boundaries for me. I agree that the status of mental health is a little scary, particularly to Beth’s point about being overwhelmed and avoiding burnout. People keep saying “oh well the agencies are desperate so you have all the leverage…” Let’s hope that’s true!

      Reply

  5. Anne Marie Lemieux
    Jun 01, 2022 @ 17:25:40

    What are your initial thoughts and feelings when you think about your next professional/career steps after graduating?
    I am excited to take the next steps after graduation. I want to make sure that I learn as much as I can through supervision and continue to learn and grow through my experiences. I believe this is a field that you can never stop learning and improving at. However, I am so excited to not have homework assignments. I love the learning process but attempting to balance family, friends, work, and school is challenging. I hope to eventually go into private practice working with children. This is a role that I take very seriously and I’m passionate about pursuing. However, the idea of going it alone is somewhat overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to me that I am gaining my clinical hours in an environment that values learning and is using evidence based practices. I have taken the long road to where I am headed but I am confident that my life experiences have allowed me to be more insightful and better prepared to serve clients competently. Overall, I am very proud of just getting to the finish line. I hope that I am serving as a role model to my children and sending the message that it is never too late to follow your dreams.

    (2) Simply share any thoughts or concerns you may have about obtaining licensure (e.g., licensure exam, application) as a mental health professional. I feel like I am still missing information on all the steps I need to take in order to make sure that I have everything I need in order to take and pass the exam as well as document my hours. This is the kind of stuff that I tend to not be good at. However, I am so invested in passing and ensuring that I have completed everything correctly that I know with the support of the Assumption staff and peers I will be fine. I am also possibly looking to get licensed out of state in at least NH and navigating that in addition to the MA requirements is daunting.

    Reply

    • Anna Lindgren
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 07:51:33

      Hi Anne Marie!

      I totally agree with the feeling of wanting to continue to learn after graduating and also being very happy that we won’t have papers to write (other than our documentation)! I also love what you said about modeling for your kids that you can change the course of your life at any age. I think that is such an important thing for kids to know. I know that when my mom changed her career path when I was in college, it got my wheels spinning about the possibilities that could open up over the course of my life. It also took the pressure off a little bit to know that I didn’t need to have everything mapped out, just the next step.

      See you next week 🙂

      Reply

    • Nicole Giannetto
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 16:02:37

      Hi Anne Marie. I agree that the steps we need to take before licensure can be a mix of confusing/overwhelming. This is why I think it is really helpful to have the documents that outline the steps, and highlight the necessary resources that we can use to ensure were are meeting the requirements before applying to take the exam.

      Reply

    • Laura Wheeler
      Jun 06, 2022 @ 13:37:34

      Hi Anne Marie,

      I think you’re absolutely right- your experience thus far (both personal and professional) is definitely going to be a benefit to you going forward! I have all the confidence in the world that you’ll be a wonderful and successful therapist with kids and will do great in private practice. Regardless of the route you took to get here, you still have lots of time for success in the future 🙂 I also worry that I’m missing something as far as being prepared for licensure but having now started this class I’m hopeful we’ll get our ducks in a row so we have nothing to worry about!

      Reply

  6. Beth Martin
    Jun 01, 2022 @ 19:25:34

    1) I think my main feelings are excited tinged with a fair bit of concern towards expectations for new clinicians. I loved my internship and found a population I’m really excited about working with. But as part of my internship, I’ve been engaging with learning communities and there’s a lot of talk about agency burnout. Clinicians I know going for licensure are talking about how their caseload has all but doubled over the past year, lots of people at agencies in my learning communities have left. It just doesn’t seem very sustainable right now. I know the pandemic has been tough and really strained agencies, but I don’t see that strain suddenly getting better, and the number of people training replacing all those that have left to private practice, or left the field entirely. We need 2 years of hours to get our license, and I think my population will be easier to interact with in agency work, but I am worried about advocating for myself, and maintaining a reasonable case load and staying in the field long-term when I see and hear about burn out constantly.

    2) Feeling fine about the licensing exam – it’s new, but we’ll have time to prepare as we have those three/four months after we finish but don’t have our degrees yet and don’t have to worry about school. I’m still getting my head around the application itself, but again, that’s something I can make checklists for and prepare for.

    Reply

    • Connor Belland
      Jun 02, 2022 @ 13:48:24

      Hi Beth,
      It is definitely scary going into a field with so much burnout. People keep telling me they need more clinicians but then also seems like they are trying to scare us aways saying it’s not easy and we will experience burnout at some point. I think it’s important to establish our own professional boundaries and know your limits early on and stand up for yourself before you get to the point of burnout.

      Reply

  7. Abby Robinson
    Jun 02, 2022 @ 10:30:36

    (1)
    My initial thoughts after graduation in starting my career are serious uncertainty. After having a pretty large caseload at my internship, I starting having concerns about having an even bigger caseload as a full time clinician post grad. I think for my home life/career balance, I would be too overwhelmed having a big caseload that would be required at some agencies, so this is something I need to address when applying to jobs. I am also worried that this would limit the amount of jobs that I would be able to apply to, as I imagine most positions would have a minimum caseload requirement.
    (2)
    After contemplating all options after post grad life, and wanting a smaller caseload- I am worried about the timeframe in which we have to obtain a MA license. I am worried that it would take me a much longer time to get my license which would limit the positions and salary I would have. I’m basically contemplating should I just have a big caseload during the two year period post grad to get my license sooner, or would spreading it out over a few more years be a better option? I need to explore the pros and cons to each route.

    Reply

    • Connor Belland
      Jun 02, 2022 @ 13:41:14

      Abby, I definitely feel you on the caseload concerns. It is very scary thinking about managing a large caseload. I think that is something you should try to work around with job applications but at the same time I think we may just have to suck it up and do a bigger caseload for the two years before licensure. It will be a struggle but just think we won’t have school to worry about also.

      Reply

    • Elizabeth Baker
      Jun 05, 2022 @ 23:58:06

      Hello miss Abby!

      We’re definitely in the same, if not similar, boat with caseload fears. I’m one to say, there’s no rush to getting to a certain point in life, just as long as you’re going at your own pace; but I do understand the urgency of wanting to get the licensure hours done as soon as possible. You and I are riding the uncertainty train together, I’m sure we’ll be directed to a decision whether it’s another part-time passion, hunkering down and keeping that work-life boundary SUPER clear for the next two years, or whichever/whatever it may be. Who knows, the experience might be much different than already experienced, since we won’t have the priority of school anymore? But just know, someone’s riding the same train as you!

      Reply

  8. Connor Belland
    Jun 02, 2022 @ 13:24:31

    1. My initial thoughts and feelings about beginning my professional career after graduating are definitely mixed. On the one hand, I am excited and grateful that I have made it this far and that it is almost over. I have never not been in school in my life since I started in preschool so I cannot wait to be done. I am excited to finally create my professional identity and start making some money doing something that I enjoy. On the other hand, It makes me nervous sometimes when I think about becoming a full blown professional. I am just glad that I am finally getting to the point where I can actually do something with my psychology degree where I am making a difference and helping people but actually getting paid to do it.
    2. I am not too concerned about obtaining licensure, I just can’t wait for it to happen so I can get into private practice and start making some real money. Two years feels like a long time to wait to get it so that’s probably going to drag. I also hope those two years won’t burn me out from the career right before I’m to the point where I can make real money doing it. I should not wait too long after finishing the program to take the licensure exam so that I don’t forget what I have learned. But I also need to give myself enough time to prepare for it so that will be and interesting balance, I am thinking early next year would probably be good. Overall just can’t wait to do it!

    Reply

    • Beth Martin
      Jun 02, 2022 @ 15:06:03

      Hi Connor,

      That worry about burning out before we can start even looking at private practice is real! Like you said in another comment, making sure we have firm boundaries etc should help with that, but its mildly terrifying when you have clinicians telling you that it’s rough out there. I am excited to finally be done with school too – it sounds like you’re really passionate about working to help others, and I hope you can find a position that matches that energy!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

    • Tayler Weathers
      Jun 04, 2022 @ 12:39:07

      Hi Connor! I totally relate to nerves about being a full blown professional. While I think the pre-licensure hours are kind of frustrating because they limit our money, I think they reassure me a little that we’ll have two whole years of supervision (and can get more supervision later!) before we have to do it fully “on our own.” Plus, my internship professor always talked about her supervision that she had, and I know some modalities like DBT have consultation groups to help support you as a professional! This is what I’m telling myself to help with nerves… Plus we’ve already done it!

      Reply

  9. Elizabeth Baker
    Jun 02, 2022 @ 16:42:02

    1) Overwhelmed is how I am feeling when thinking about my next professional steps after graduating. I am concerned about working full-time in terms of mental stability while working with a full caseload, however I am curious to see how my coping skills will shine once I start working! I am also worried about supervisors, as I desire a supervisor who truly understands their position and is not only doing the bare minimum. One who will guide me to improve my therapy skills, and who is actually aware of my strengths and weaknesses. One who can work alongside me and also support strengthening my skills instead of telling me, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” as I feel, just because something is not broken, does not mean there is no room for improvement. On the other hand, I am excited to see how I will thrive once I overcome my “new clinician” jitters! I am also looking forward to continuing down the path of identifying my professional identity/personality as a mental health clinician.

    2) I am actually looking forward to the licensure exam, but of course, I worry about my recall ability as I tend to second guess myself even when I know the answer/response. I am always just like, “But what if…” Thankfully, at my internship, there was a clinician who was an Assumption alumni, who provided our group with tips for preparing for and taking the licensure exam. I am also looking forward to my creativity once I am licensed! (i.e., being a part of or developing my own art therapy or music therapy group/program)

    Reply

    • Cailee Norton
      Jun 06, 2022 @ 12:35:31

      Elizabeth,

      I fully empathize with your feelings of concern after graduation. It’s so hard to imagine what it’s going to look like when we’re out in the field, especially knowing how overwhelmed and bogged down many of us felt during the spring semester in balancing work, school, internship, and life. I think we’ve learned a great deal about the importance of balance and boundaries in the workplace, and I think in exploring what those look like for you could be really helpful. I find it interesting what you said about the supervisor, and I think it’s an important point! There is definitely a concern that the supervisors that take us on are doing too much and may not be there to fully support you. I hope that we all find good organizations and people to work with that will support us and help us to hone our skills. Best of luck!

      Cailee

      Reply

  10. Anna Lindgren
    Jun 03, 2022 @ 07:59:23

    When I think about this next step after graduating, I feel excited and ready! I think of it almost as an extension of being in school since we won’t be really on our own yet. My goal is to find a place of employment that offers lots of learning opportunities, a supportive supervisor, and decent pay. My long-term goal is to open my own practice, and so I’d like to gain an understanding of what goes into opening and managing a private practice.

    My thoughts about licensure are that I’m a little nervous I will miss something or have to take the exam more than once to get licensed. I also am wondering about the timing of when to take the exam. Part of me thinks it would be better to take it pretty soon after completing the program while everything is fresh, but I’ve also heard it’s better to take it after you’ve been practicing for a bit and gained more experience.

    Reply

    • Alexa Berry
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 09:29:38

      Hi Anna-

      I liked your perspective about us not really being on our own yet! It can be scary to think about going out into the field but having a supportive supervisor can definitely combat those feelings. In regards to timing of when to take the licensing exam, I am having a similar conflict. I’ve heard from a lot of people to take it right away, heard from some who have waited and not done so well, and others who have waited and studied on their own and passed too. I would be interested to look more into whether or not you have to pay to re-test if you don’t pass the first time. I surely do not want to shell out another ~$275 if I don’t do so well the first go around.

      Reply

    • Nicole Giannetto
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 15:58:28

      Hi Anna! I am also considering the pros and cons for when I should sit for my licensure exam. I have heard from some that it can be beneficial to do it soon after graduation as the information learned can be more easily retrieved from memory. On the other hand, through waiting until you have accrued your clinical hours, you can be exposed to much more knowledge and experience that you can benefit from having when you sit for the exam. I think this decision will depend on the individual, and I still need time myself to figure out the best option for me.

      Reply

    • Alison Kahn
      Jun 05, 2022 @ 17:33:55

      Hi, Anna!

      I had mentioned in my blog post that I want to take the exam shortly after graduating so everything is still fresh in my mind, but your comment about practicing for a bit to gain experience makes so much sense! Especially after seeing the sample questions last week in class and how practice-oriented they were. Definitely something to think about!

      Reply

    • Laura Wheeler
      Jun 06, 2022 @ 13:43:33

      Hi Anna,

      I definitely share your feelings about what to look for in a place of employment after graduation. Coming off of a year-long unpaid internship definitely makes the financial aspect feel a little more important. Like many others have said, I am also slightly worried about burnout, but mostly in the sense of maintaining work/life balance, so adequate time off is another big things I’m looking for in my job search. As for your feelings about the exam, I have been so focused on getting it done that I felt absolutely sure I’d be sending in my application to take the exam right at the two year mark, but I wonder about what you mentioned regarding having some more time in the field first. I actually work with several people who didn’t pass on their first try so maybe I’ll try to get some more information about when they took it and how that might have impacted their preparations. Either way, I’m sure you’ll do great!

      Reply

  11. Yen Pham
    Jun 03, 2022 @ 11:36:40

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

    After graduation, I want to take a break for about a month or two to go back to my hometown to visit my family in Vietnam. It’s been 4 years away from home, I miss the atmosphere of family gatherings and the smell of food that my mother cooks. Next, I think I will return to the US if my documents are stable, and I will look for a job in New Orleans for about a year or two to gain more experience before I decide to return to Vietnam to collaborate with sisters in the community to open a small clinic to serve the poor. Although I have a clear plan, I am still very worried, nervous, and fear because I know my English is limited, as well as the cultural difference when working with clients from many different ethnicities.

    (2) Simply share any thoughts or concerns you may have about obtaining licensure (e.g., licensure exam, application) as a mental health professional.
    When thinking about getting a license to practice, the first thing that comes to my mind is the difficulty of this test. I’m not good with multiple-choice questions. I also think about the amount of time, commitment, and money. I have taken some time to consider what state I plan on getting licensed in, but I am wondering if I must get a license in the US when it maybe not works when I return to my country.

    Reply

    • Alison Kahn
      Jun 05, 2022 @ 17:36:41

      Hi, Yen!

      I have to say that it is so impressive that you have been away from home for so long, I can’t imagine how hard that must be! I am also thinking about taking time off from academia after graduating. Self-care is a must!

      Reply

    • Cailee Norton
      Jun 06, 2022 @ 12:30:59

      Yen,

      I hope you fully enjoy your trip back home! It’s so important to be able to visit back to familiar settings (especially with family and good food). I understand your concerns in terms of moving forward, but what you are able to bring the community is so vital. Your plan sounds very exciting for the future, and I wish you all the best!

      Cailee

      Reply

  12. Nicole Giannetto
    Jun 03, 2022 @ 15:54:21

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

    As I consider my plans for after graduation, I often go back to the idea of experiencing working in an outpatient setting. I currently work in an inpatient setting, and my internship was doing In-home therapy, so I am interested in getting exposure in other settings in the field. I am curious to learn more about the expected case load that is expected by outpatient clinicians, as well as about the structure of the work environment, since I have not yet had an experience so similar.

    (2) Simply share any thoughts or concerns you may have about obtaining licensure (e.g., licensure exam, application) as a mental health professional.

    One topic that I had always been curious about was about licensing in other states. I have previously worried whether or not I will want to continue living in Ma, or if someday I might move out of state. Because of this I am interested in learning more about the differences between state licenses for LMHCs. It isn’t that I plan on moving out of state, but I believe I would like to have more confidence that it can be feasible if I do choose to.
    I am also very appreciative that we have the chance to go through actual practice exam questions as a class. I find that this is a helpful way to learn the material and get a feel for the flow of the licensure exam.

    Reply

    • Yen Pham
      Jun 04, 2022 @ 10:48:11

      Hi Nicole,

      I agree with you that discovering a new experience environment during the work process is a good opportunity for us to gain more life and work experience. Working with inpatient and outpatient clients will give therapists different experiences and experiences to improve themselves to increase success when providing treatments to clients.

      Reply

    • Brianna Walls
      Jun 05, 2022 @ 20:18:13

      Hi Nicole, I think it is great that you were able to have the experience of working in inpatient settings as well as in-home therapy. I think it would be great for you to also be able to experience outpatient therapy. I think it’s important for everyone to have a taste of different settings so that they can figure out what they would like to do long-term in their career.

      Reply

  13. Carly Moris
    Jun 03, 2022 @ 16:09:39

    1. I am excited to be able to work as a counselor after graduation. I know that I eventually want to work in private practice, but I’m not entirely sure what my next steps are going to be. I know that I want to work in out patient with adults and older adolescents (16 and up). But I’m not sure on any other details. I want to find a job that will pay well and help me grow as a professional. I had an amazing supervisor for my internship who I learned a lot from. so I hope to find that in whatever organization I work for after graduation. I wonder if anyone knows if its normal to be able to sit down and talk to your potential supervisor as a part of the interviewing/hiring process?

    2.
    One of my biggest concerns with licensure is reciprocity between states; and if I would need to stay in the same state till I obtain a license before being able to transfer it? I’m not sure where I want to end up living. But with the current housing market I can’t afford to move out on my own, and my partner still has another year of school. So this leaves an odd gap year for me. I’m going to start working in CT, but I don’t know if I should finish my license there; or move states part way through and see if my supervision hours will transfer? What I do know is that after commuting 1:30-2 hours each way for my internship this past year, I don’t want a long commute to work. So unless I live on the border, living in one state and working in another is out. I am also hoping that with the rise of telehealth there will be a move to a federal standard for licensure.

    Reply

    • Yen Pham
      Jun 04, 2022 @ 10:54:47

      Hi Carly,

      I am very happy that you have a good supervisor and that you have learned a lot during the internship. Like you, I also have a good supervisor and I also learn a lot from him. Hope you and I will find a steady job as we planned.

      Reply

    • Brianna Walls
      Jun 05, 2022 @ 20:14:32

      Hi Carly, it is interesting that you bring this concern up about receiving your licensure in a different state. I personally plan on staying in Mass. but I am sure there are plenty of students in the program that are looking to obtain their licensure in a different state so I think it is something that should be addressed in the program at Assumption.

      Reply

  14. Alison Kahn
    Jun 05, 2022 @ 17:31:11

    When I think about my next professional career steps, I think about stepping out of the residential world and using my degree in an outpatient setting. That said, after listening to my peers discuss their experiences in the outpatient world, I get a bit nervous and overwhelmed about the size of the caseloads. I would really enjoy an opportunity to do research in my “spare time” and continue to build mastery in DBT so that I can use it as one of my main treatment models in practice.

    Regarding the licensure exam, I have never been particularly good at standardized tests, so I am a little worried. I would like to take the test soon after graduating while everything is still fresh in my mind.

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Baker
      Jun 05, 2022 @ 23:48:10

      Hello Alison!

      I’m with you regarding full caseloads in an outpatient setting! I think those who have more experience with outpatient clinics would have similar fears about the caseload intensity when working in a residential/in-patient clinic. I took a DBT course last semester and the content was very interesting, definitely something you can use with various diagnoses. I wish you the best of luck!

      Reply

  15. Brianna Walls
    Jun 05, 2022 @ 20:10:11

    1) When I think about graduating, I experience mixed emotions. I am excited and happy to be completing the program but at the same time, I am extremely nervous. I have been in school for around 20 years, so it is weird for me to think I will be done in just a few weeks. However, I am looking forward to graduating and starting my career. For my internship, I worked with individuals with co-occurring disorders, and I enjoyed working with that population. I think I would like to continue working with that population, but I am also open to anything.
    2) Regarding the licensing exam, just like any exam I am nervous to take it, however, completing those practice questions in class was extremely helpful. If I continue to practice, I think I should be fine to take the exam. I am curious to know whether it is recommended to take the exam as soon as possible or to wait and take it after you have accumulated all your hours?

    Reply

  16. Cailee Norton
    Jun 06, 2022 @ 12:27:32

    My initial thoughts about starting my professional career feel extremely mixed. On the one hand I’m really excited to really be in the field I’ve studied for so long for, and to feel like I’m achieving the goal of helping others that originally got me interested in this career. On the other hand, I’m nervous about the work load, if I know enough about what feels like a metric ton of information, and if I can achieve the work life balance that is critical to my success. This nervousness is completely normal, and knowing that helps me to feel more prepared than I did when I entered into this program. This all being said, I’m very ready to begin this journey. I crave the feeling of making a difference, and I know that in reality everything will work itself out in the details.

    I think in terms of the licensure exam I feel pretty at ease about it. I know several people to have taken that exam as well as the LICSW exam at my site during internship, and from what our conversations were based around I feel that with the right balance of studying and self-care (simply to ease that nasty test anxiety), I think I feel prepared to take it on. I know it may be a challenge, but with the classes we’ve taken as well as the experiences I’ve had at my site, I feel that this exam will feel familiar to things we’ve already faced be it in case conceptualizations, the oral exam prep class we’ve all taken, and in real life situations at our sites. Perhaps it’s because I know it’s a bit away that is making me feel so at ease, but I think that the preparation for it has been ongoing since we began at Assumption and that helps to ease the nerves a bit.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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