MS in Psychology/Counseling is not enough

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Pat Conway in Cumberland, Maryland

91 months ago

It is very frustrating to try to find a job now that most of Cumberland's institutions, where counselors are needed, demand a license. I was halfway through my supervision when I and several other counselors and Social Workers got laid off due to Medicaid non-reimbursements. I took a job as a Waiver Service Coordinator, but do not get supervised hours for counseling, obviously. Anyone out there as frustrated as myself, or on a positive wave, are there any suggestions to those who have been able to continue counseling in some way? Thank you for letting me vent.
PC

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T. Clervil in Brooklyn, New York

80 months ago

Carol Williams in Atlanta, Georgia said: I've been a counselor for 25 years. Recently it's become an up hill battle. Over the years I've seen the profession go through many changes. The most recent change being the loss of salary positions and the advent of the "contractual therapist". I've seen my income drop steadily even though I am eligible for all of the insurance reimbursements except for Medicaid (don't ask me why medicaid doesn't accept us). However, I still love what I do. My advice, get every certification and license you can! A Master's degree is not enough. Study for and take the NCC licensure for Counselors. I am currently studying for the Professional Lifetime Counselor certification. In addition, I have the
certifications for Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Gambling and child welfare. Hook up with your local legal system for referrals, e.g Probation Officers, Judges, Child Protective Services, police and Public Defenders. Stay away from any public funded programs yet learn how to write a grant. Good Luck! I seriously think a career in computers would have netted me a lot more money but not nearly as rewarding as counseling!

\

Great advice thanks a million and God bless!

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Melody in Macon, Georgia

72 months ago

Seems like we both are in the same situation. Graduated in November still haven't found the job I want. I currently have a job that pays less than what I was making with only a BA. I often wonder if I made the wong choice. i am considering any option at this point, thinking hard about just becoming a teacher.

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Lore in Buffalo, New York

71 months ago

I have my Masters in Mental Health Counseling and I have been working as a PACT (Parent and Child Trauma Program) Therapist for two years. I love what I do, I just hate the red tape. Change comes slow and painfully. I have just started my PsyD. I too wonder if I am wasting time and money and should look at leadership, human resources or another field where I can make a living.

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gcobisa in Bellville, South Africa

71 months ago

im worried and concerned about my degree. and im not sure i i should get a job if i had only a degree in psychology without masters.

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mary in Oakland, New Jersey

71 months ago

I too am frustrated! I am from Vancouver, Canada and I had been "counselling" in several capacities for the last 20 years. I worked for social services for 17 years while having my own private practice in individual and family counselling. I also worked in a high school for the last 3 years in Vancouver as counsellor for at risk teens and their families. The pay ranged from $28 to $100 an hour. In BC it is not mandatory to have a masters. I had a BA in Psychology and a 2 year clinical counselling certificate. I am now here in Oakland, NJ, finding it very difficult to find any related counselling positions without an MA. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Erin in Exeter, New Hampshire

70 months ago

mary in Oakland, New Jersey said: I too am frustrated! I am from Vancouver, Canada and I had been "counselling" in several capacities for the last 20 years. I worked for social services for 17 years while having my own private practice in individual and family counselling. I also worked in a high school for the last 3 years in Vancouver as counsellor for at risk teens and their families. The pay ranged from $28 to $100 an hour. In BC it is not mandatory to have a masters. I had a BA in Psychology and a 2 year clinical counselling certificate. I am now here in Oakland, NJ, finding it very difficult to find any related counselling positions without an MA. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Hi Mary
I think you should give a call to he psychology licensing board. They'd be able to tell you what you would need to do for them to license you and there may be some kind of counselor license that is easier get. In NH there's a professional counselor license that is easier qualify for than the psychologist license. Otherwise, the work you'd be eligible do is more of a case management nature than counseling. Or you could work as a tech in a psych hospital or residential facility. But those tend to be very low paying jobs. Not that you'll get rich counseling either...

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Wayne in Raleigh, North Carolina

70 months ago

Pat Conway in Cumberland, Maryland said: It is very frustrating to try to find a job now that most of Cumberland's institutions, where counselors are needed, demand a license. I was halfway through my supervision when I and several other counselors and Social Workers got laid off due to Medicaid non-reimbursements. I took a job as a Waiver Service Coordinator, but do not get supervised hours for counseling, obviously. Anyone out there as frustrated as myself, or on a positive wave, are there any suggestions to those who have been able to continue counseling in some way? Thank you for letting me vent.
PC

You have a lot to loose, as you still would have to have a lisence to practice any kind of counseling. Bottom line is you should just study and pass those tests.

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FrustratedCounselor in Atlanta, Georgia

69 months ago

Pat Conway in Cumberland, Maryland said: It is very frustrating to try to find a job now that most of Cumberland's institutions, where counselors are needed, demand a license. I was halfway through my supervision when I and several other counselors and Social Workers got laid off due to Medicaid non-reimbursements. I took a job as a Waiver Service Coordinator, but do not get supervised hours for counseling, obviously. Anyone out there as frustrated as myself, or on a positive wave, are there any suggestions to those who have been able to continue counseling in some way? Thank you for letting me vent.
PC

I understand your frustration. I have the NCC and I am a LPC in the state of NC, however, when I moved to Atlanta, Georgia I did not have enough supervision hours to get a GA license. No one will hire you without that license, but you need the job to get the supervision. I love the field of counseling, but I wish I had known how hard it would be to practice it. The few jobs that offer supervision are VERY low paying. Carol is correct---get as many certifications as you can, but without a license it is a uphill battle. I am thinking about coaching, which requires you work for yourself. Good luck to you.

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FrustratedCounselor in Atlanta, Georgia

69 months ago

Darlene in Champaign, Illinois said: Looking for jobs, I stumbled on this site. I have a master's in human services and mental health counseling and worked in KY for three years. Recently moved to IL and am biting my nails. I am NCC, but that apparently is not enough; was working on licensure in KY when I had some lifestyle changes that landed me in TN, then here in IL. I'm in serious limbo right now and need to find work. For the first time I'm considering anything else that will bring income, and it seems such a frustrating waste of my precious time and efforts to work so hard toward a goal that now seems so elusive. I know I must keep trekking, but it's very discouraging at this point in my life.......

Since my situation is almost exactly the same as yours, maybe we can be of support to each other. I am so glad I found this forum b/c I thought it was something about me or this city (Atlanta) that was the problem. I cannot find help with the NCC or ACA. I do not have enough money to join the GALPC. All of these organizations that want your membership cannot help when the laws from state to state are different. If you check out companies and organizations that cater to youth who have been placed out of the home you will probably find work without a license while they supervise you toward licensure. The pay will be dismal, but depending on your financial situation, you may be able to make it without a second job. Luckily, I had worked a licensed practical nurse while I was going to school to be a counselor. I am currently back into nursing as a home health nurse, but I have done that for 21 years and would like counsel before I retire 12 years from now---my clock is ticking. Counseling is a mid-life career change for me, which adds to my desperation and frustration for having to qualify for a second time for a license. Georgia law requires so much, yet they have a lousy mental healthcare system. Keep the faith and good luck.

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Pat Conway in Cumberland, Maryland

69 months ago

To Frustrated in Georgia,

You mentioned coaching. Forgive my ignorance, but are you speaking of another aspect of counseling or coaching in a school situation or perhaps coaching people in a non MI way.

I appreciated your response.

Pat Conway
Cumberland, Maryland

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FrustratedCounselor in Atlanta, Georgia

68 months ago

I was speaking of life coaching. There is also career, business, and spiritual coaching. Life coaching would allow me to work with the type situations I had wanted to work with as a counselor.

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Eolyn Kimbro in Columbia, Maryland

68 months ago

Pat Conway in Cumberland, Maryland said: It is very frustrating to try to find a job now that most of Cumberland's institutions, where counselors are needed, demand a license. I was halfway through my supervision when I and several other counselors and Social Workers got laid off due to Medicaid non-reimbursements. I took a job as a Waiver Service Coordinator, but do not get supervised hours for counseling, obviously. Anyone out there as frustrated as myself, or on a positive wave, are there any suggestions to those who have been able to continue counseling in some way? Thank you for letting me vent.
PC

Dear Pat,

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I was working in a nonprofit organization in Baltimore when the funding for my position ran out (I was working as a career counselor after doing my internship there for graduate school) Right now, I'm looking for work in the same field of career/employment counseling. I'm also considering going into life coaching. Or maybe consider rehabilitation counseling. You don't need lixense, as far as I know. Anyway, I wish you the best of luxk in your career search.

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There Are Options in Atlanta, Georgia

68 months ago

Hi, everyone! My name is Willie Jacks and my wife is an Licensed as a Professional Counselor here in Georgia. GA is one of the most difficult states to be licensed in. I know of several of my wife's colleagues who were licensed in other states, but do not counsel here because there licenses were not recognized and/or directly transferable. Having said that, I want to suggest some options for those here (and in other states) that hold graduate degrees and are struggling.

One option is making a career change to Human Services/Human Resources. With personal stresses on the U.S. workforce increasing, most companies will welcome a trained Therapist into their ranks as a Human Resources staffer. The pay is significantly higher and your graduate degree in Counseling is equivalent to a "Human Resources/Human Services" degree. Even if you don't have a lot of experience, it's possible to still have a fast track to Management.

Another option is becoming a Life Coach. Though it requires some additional training and certification, if you live in an area, like Atlanta, where the economy is vigorous and the drive to be successful financially is strong, then it can be a very rewarding and lucrative move.

Chaplaincy or "Soul Care" is yet another avenue. Hospital/Prison Chaplains are certified by the Association Of Professional Chaplains and their requirements aren't quite as stringent as state licensure. Having said that, the process is rigorous. The upside is that you can make a pretty good living as a chaplain, especially if you're open to military service. If there is a downside, it's that hospitals have cut back on their Chaplaincy Departments, so you may find that the market is a bit more competitive. Depending on your personal/ professional goals, this may be an option for you.

Hopefully, these three areas can be options for some of you who feel a little discouraged. It's not over. Things will get better if you believe they'll get better. I promise.

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MASHANYE ELLY in Johannesburg, South Africa

68 months ago

HI, everyone, i'm a psychology student who love psych with all my heart and think iam prepared to give all my time for the well-being of my people becouse, i'm someone who believe that i'm what i'm becouse of other people. then, my notion in life is to create a happy environment to who so ever who may need one.in addition, i'm a generous and loving person who believe that with the qualities, abilities and capabilities that i have i can help my people to realise that no one is useless in life and we are all capable.BUT,i don't know how i'm i going to get work as a psychologiest bcz is like there r no jobs in this career. plz anyone with infor... help me bcz i still trying to get a degree in psych and tell if there r any chances to get work work with an honoures degree.

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MASHILA in Wynberg, South Africa

68 months ago

I am doing B.PSYCH degree in the university of limpopo and i am intending to be a trauma counselor in the near future, but my problem is many people are complaining about not finding jobs in the counseling field unless you have a masters degree. I am frustrated about whether i am in the right way or not, i really want to work after finishing my honours degree.if you have any comment pertaining this letter send me you suggestion to this email adress(mashilageorge@yahoo.com)

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unemployed Lisa in Alpharetta, Georgia

68 months ago

I received my M.S. in psychology in 1994. I have worked for over 10 years invarious positions such as needs assessment, adolescent and child therapist and in the student assistance program. Basically I am unemplyable beacuse I dont have an LPC or any license.

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lesly in Grand Prairie, Texas

68 months ago

unemployed Lisa in Alpharetta, Georgia said: I received my M.S. in psychology in 1994. I have worked for over 10 years invarious positions such as needs assessment, adolescent and child therapist and in the student assistance program. Basically I am unemplyable beacuse I dont have an LPC or any license.

It seems as the economic situation becomes more critically impaired, its also becoming more & more difficult to land a job even related to psych w/o licensure & certification. Even if you have them, very little people across the country are hireing anyway. Its tough right now & wont be changing anytime soon with the many layoff scheduled after january 1st. I personally had to leave the field and venture into the health field as an admin partner in a local partner which pays peanuts but im thankful to be working as I had been unemployed for several months. I encourage everyone to broaden their horizons and look for something b/c their is not much out there. If you want the most accurate info for your state call the dept of licenses for your state and they will guide you, but remember a license doesn't guarantee you a job these days. Good luck everyone.

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divinebovine85 in sydney, Australia

68 months ago

A friend of mine actually took a home-study counseling course and got a diploma. He had a job while studying this course because he can't give up his job.... at least not yet. He was able to study without pressure and at his own free time.

You can actually look for these courses online or you can check this out www.inst.org/counsel/become.htm

He's now working for an institution and according to him, there's no job better than being able to help suicidal people feel that there is a purpose in life.

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silent_buttlerfly

68 months ago

Hi everyone! I was just accepted into a Masters in Counseling program at my local state university, and I am very worried. My BA in Anthropology served useless to me. Now, I am worried not only for future job prospects, but social anxiety. I have had social anxiety since I was in the 7th grade, and I'm not sure if I would get used to talking to people.

Can anyone tell me what it's like to really work in that profession? Is the one-on-one couseling a mellow environment? Do most counselors have their own office? Also, are there any resources that would explain the nature of the job a little better? Thank you! I would really appreciate a responce.

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FrustratedCounselor in Atlanta, Georgia

68 months ago

What I have found is that most of the jobs in counseling require a lot of social contact. To avoid that, I suggest that you make sure to do your internship with someone in private practice. Usually it is set up as a group practice. Once you get in there for your Practicum, stay there for the duration of your internship. Ask if they will keep you on as a partner while providing supervision. This is a good way to do a lot of one-on-one and also get that hard to get supervision. Be aware that any counseling program will require group work experiences, which means more than one on one. I went to UNC-Charlotte and they strongly advised that we seek individual counseling so that we would know what the experience was like as a client. Most colleges have free counseling services for their students. I suggest you use that service and work on your social anxiety. It is managable, even if you have to resort to a SSRI (prescribed by a MD). I am replying to your situation because I am also a bit shy and prefer one-on-one situations---which, by the way, I am still seeking. I did my internship in school settings so that I would be well rounded. That was a mistake. Do your internship in the setting in which you want to work. I cannot emphasize that enough. To understand the nature of the job better, go to counseling.org---the site or the American Counseling Association. Also, NBCC.org---the National Board of Certified Counselors site. Hope this helps. Keep me posted.

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loveyraven in Phoenix, Arizona

67 months ago

MASHILA in Wynberg, South Africa said: I am doing B.PSYCH degree in the university of limpopo and i am intending to be a trauma counselor in the near future, but my problem is many people are complaining about not finding jobs in the counseling field unless you have a masters degree. I am frustrated about whether i am in the right way or not, i really want to work after finishing my honours degree.if you have any comment pertaining this letter send me you suggestion to this email adress(mashilageorge@yahoo.com)

Ihave a BA in psychology and a MS in psychology. The truth is if you want to practice you must be licensed. However I found it difficult to find jobs in mental health w/o a masters. I could work for CPS or MHMR for lik e$28K a year but that don't pay the bills. I make $45K a year plus overtime and clear $50K my first year out of school, but I am not in mental health just yet. As long as you have a bachelors you can find a good job, they just want the degree. A Bachelors in psych shows employers you are well rounded and no who to interact with people. They like that. But realistically mental health jobs as a bachelors level don't pay very much. I suggest the Masters and get licensed. I saw Dallas county community college hiring for an LPC starting at $60K year....go to monster and see what types of jobs you want and see what they require then what you need to do to get there.

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loveyraven in Phoenix, Arizona

67 months ago

Carol Williams in Atlanta, Georgia said: I've been a counselor for 25 years. Recently it's become an up hill battle. Over the years I've seen the profession go through many changes. The most recent change being the loss of salary positions and the advent of the "contractual therapist". I've seen my income drop steadily even though I am eligible for all of the insurance reimbursements except for Medicaid (don't ask me why medicaid doesn't accept us). However, I still love what I do. My advice, get every certification and license you can! A Master's degree is not enough. Study for and take the NCC licensure for Counselors. I am currently studying for the Professional Lifetime Counselor certification. In addition, I have the
certifications for Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Gambling and child welfare. Hook up with your local legal system for referrals, e.g Probation Officers, Judges, Child Protective Services, police and Public Defenders. Stay away from any public funded programs yet learn how to write a grant. Good Luck! I seriously think a career in computers would have netted me a lot more money but not nearly as rewarding as counseling!

\

I agree I worked as an intern for a MSSW for a year during my senior year. While she didn't make a whole lot she did social studies for custody hearings. they paid $1000 per side. But they are indepth and time consuming but a good supplement for her therapy practice. So was on the approved list for the court so I agree getting with you area court system is good too. Get in with lawyers, they love doing psych evals and using them for expert witnesses.

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Master in Counseling without a License in Duluth, Georgia

67 months ago

I can't figure out the exact process to getting my license in Georgia. I have tried to contact the boards but no one is willing to sit and talk to me to tell me the exact process. I've had my Masters in Counseling since 2006 but without a license its so hard to find a decent job.
All of the Human Resource jobs that I see require years of experience and the only experience I have is in mental health.

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Larry in Portland, Oregon

66 months ago

silent_buttlerfly said: Hi everyone! I was just accepted into a Masters in Counseling program at my local state university, and I am very worried. My BA in Anthropology served useless to me. Now, I am worried not only for future job prospects, but social anxiety. I have had social anxiety since I was in the 7th grade, and I'm not sure if I would get used to talking to people.

Can anyone tell me what it's like to really work in that profession? Is the one-on-one couseling a mellow environment? Do most counselors have their own office? Also, are there any resources that would explain the nature of the job a little better? Thank you! I would really appreciate a responce.

I have social anxiety as well, though I have found that it has lessened considerably as I have aged. It can still be a struggle. I believe it is also a strength in that, many clients will come in with anxiety of one sort or another. Being able to offer help that is also informed by personal experience can add power and hope (that you have gotten through it), to your intervention. If it is a pretty severe problem for you, you might be best off to start with seeing a counselor to address the issue, and go from there. Group work is more anxiety ridden than one on one work, My MA program required group hours and it was anxiety provoking, but I was able to manage the anxiety and have found it to be less so the more I have done it. Most of the jobs out there would involve your own office, though some work in intensive family work which involves going to the client's home. I have done both, and find that I feel more at ease in an office. Hope this helps,

Larry

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Larry in Portland, Oregon

66 months ago

Glad to have found this forum. I'll add my story. I had just started my second job and was working on my hours for my Oregon LPC when I became ill, was hospitalized for several days, was laid off, went bankrupt because of my medical bills, and haven't been able to get back into counseling since. How much easier this would be if there were one nationally recognized license.

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Lisa Sharp in Plattsmouth, Nebraska

63 months ago

I recently got a job counseling in another state, under supervision. Now I find that to get full licensure I need yet another couseling course. What is the fastest way to take a mater's level course in Human Services. Any suggestions?

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Margo in Bandera, Texas

62 months ago

Might try the local MHMR. They are found in the towns and cities most everywhere. The councelors are always in short supply and overworked. An area they need VAST improvement in is the groups area. Too often the people in the group are leading the group, and do not want to. Too often the group 'devolves' into a one group for all needs, and is not too constructive. Perhaps grants could be found for you to lead the groups. Also too many councelors just go through the ropes, and result to bullying and disrespect when they get uncomfortable with the client. They are too entrenched within the smaller towns and do not desire to go against the status quo, even when it is wrong. They could use good people like you.

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Pat Conway in Cumberland, Maryland

62 months ago

I want to thank everyone who has found themselves in my situation.
However, maybe it was all for the best. I found a job in a Recovery and Wellness Organization as a Recovery Coach. I facilitate groups (mental illness and polysubstance abuse) It does not pay great, but I am using my skills and love working with the MI population. I have a great deal of imput as to the activities, sessions and am allowed to "help" individuals if they come to me. It may only be a short talk, but I get the satisfaction of knowing I am helping others.

Pat Conway

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Jean Luc Picard in London, United Kingdom

62 months ago

Hi from the looks of things, some positions in the US require more qualifcations than the job, requires, I planning my seven years experience working with clients and service users with different support needs and issues here in london, uk, which include mental health, substance abuse, addiction issues,with the bachelors degree in Sociology and Psychology, that I currently doing at school, I also plan to do a masters in either dual diagnosis. health/applied psychology. which should allow me to be competitive in the states/canada. Anybody have any useful contacts in regards counselling, drop me an e-mail at mmarkmatrix4@aol.com

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Auberry in Elk Grove, California

62 months ago

I have a BS and MS in Psychology. I taught parenting classes, which did not require licensure. I worked through schools and community social organizations. My problem is that this work quite often extends into helping parents one on one which constitutes more of a counseling setting. I checked in the state I am now living in to see if I needed licensing to do parent education. I do not. But now I am getting so many more parents who are involved in custody issues and am being asked to go to court as an expert witness or in the capacity of counseling either the parents or children. Does this put me into the category of counseling where I would need a license as compared to being a parent educator where I do not? I have nothing against getting a license. I just do not know what license I can get with the degrees that I have. I've talked to the state licensing board and they start talking going back to school for four more years plus 3000 hrs of supervision for an MFT,etc. but I don't really want to be an MFT. I just want to do the parent/family education/relationship work that I do. I need to know more about what happens or what do I need to be prepared for to write evaluations for these families that are in custody disputes. I can't really tell whether I'm within the law or not!

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Lisa in North Augusta, South Carolina

62 months ago

Hello to all! I just found this site and wow--good information and advice! I have been a nurse for over 10 years but just got accepted to an M.Ed program for community counseling. The program will prepare me to take the LPC exam once I graduate and fulfill my post-grad hours(that is the goal). I am very excited because being a counselor is something I've always wanted to do, but was lured by money and availability of employment with nursing. After working in an academic setting in a maze of red tape for many years, I am ready to work independently, in a private practice setting. After speaking with a few MSWs, I got the impression that going my route (MEd/LPC) isn't as marketable as the MSW or reimbursable by insurance. Is this true?

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FrustratedCounselor in Atlanta, Georgia

62 months ago

At this time that is absolutely true. I am a LPC in NC and most of the jobs are for MSW. It is changing slowly, but they have the market cornered. The counseling route is good if you plan to have a private practice, but not for a job. Also, the license portability of counseling is a nightmare if you move to another state that requires more than your home state. Luckily, I had my practical nursing license to fall back on, but it is not what I want to do. Good luck to you. Be sure to pick your internships at a location you would like to work! That is the best way to insure not only work, but supervision toward licensure.

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Jean Luc Picard in London, United Kingdom

62 months ago

To frustrated counselor, I read with interest your posting , this morning, I have to say, that it making me continually evaluate my long term career goals of working in the states as a counselor, also I have experience as a outreach worker here in London, UK, so I am making sure to have a plan b, as well as plan a. I currently finishing the first year of a joint honours degree in Sociology and Psychology at Middlesex University. And I already planning at doing a Masters in either, Dual Diagnosis, Mental Health, Applied or Health Psychology. Since I have experience as an outreach worker working with diverse client base, including mental health, physical health, HIV/aids, drug and substance abuse, addiction issues.

So I going to work hard in terms of making myself competitive,prior to me graduating from school, and graduate school,I believe that their are career opportuntities, the market will still be recovering from the aftermath of credit crunch in 2011/2012. plus aging population.

So anybody out their with both postive/negative experiences, with tips and advice to share, please drop me a e-mail: mmarkmatrix4@aol.com. I will respond, look forward to hearing from anyone.

Mark from london,UK

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FrustratedCounselor in Atlanta, Georgia

62 months ago

Jean Luc Picard in London, United Kingdom said: Hi from the looks of things, some positions in the US require more qualifcations than the job, requires, I planning my seven years experience working with clients and service users with different support needs and issues here in london, uk, which include mental health, substance abuse, addiction issues,with the bachelors degree in Sociology and Psychology, that I currently doing at school, I also plan to do a masters in either dual diagnosis. health/applied psychology. which should allow me to be competitive in the states/canada. Anybody have any useful contacts in regards counselling, drop me an e-mail at mmarkmatrix4@aol.com

You are covering all of your bases, so, you will be OK. Just make sure you keep addresses and contact information of all supervision, work experience, education, license/certification---anything related to your journey into and through the mental health field. You will need all of this for licensure here and each state is different. Also see the reply I posted to your latest post.

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Jean Luc Picard in London, United Kingdom

62 months ago

Hi Frustrated Counsellor, I have just come in and interview for a job, working with families, here in london,over the summer break, I may do a summer school, their is a short intro to counselling course at my university, happening in July, I may do it to get some extra credits.

I will defintely heed your words of wisdm, what about anybody else what are negative or postive experiences, share them, maybe we can help each other, drop me a e-mail. Mark, from London.UK

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elyn in Atlanta, Georgia

60 months ago

unemployed Lisa in Alpharetta, Georgia said: I received my M.S. in psychology in 1994. I have worked for over 10 years invarious positions such as needs assessment, adolescent and child therapist and in the student assistance program. Basically I am unemplyable beacuse I dont have an LPC or any license.

I am in a similar situation. I finished my Counseling Psych degree in 1996 and have been in GA for 3 years. Depending on the number of hours in your program, you may want to consider getting an associate's license in another state. Georgia's process is incredibly complex and there is no way to answer any questions. New Jersey on the other hand appears to be very straightforward. If you have 60 hours you can sit for the exam. If you pass you can apply for licensure at the associate's level, no supervision required to sit for the exam.

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Jean Luc Picard in London, United Kingdom

59 months ago

Hi guyts, I have been busy working over the summer, here in london, uk, I was working as a project worker, managing two semi independent schemes for people with alcohol abuse issues, I about to start a part-time job working clients who are high support, and have alcohol and substance abuse issues..

Drop us an email

Mark

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dr.snipes in High Springs, Florida

59 months ago

elyn in Atlanta, Georgia said: I am in a similar situation. I finished my Counseling Psych degree in 1996 and have been in GA for 3 years. Depending on the number of hours in your program, you may want to consider getting an associate's license in another state. Georgia's process is incredibly complex and there is no way to answer any questions. New Jersey on the other hand appears to be very straightforward. If you have 60 hours you can sit for the exam. If you pass you can apply for licensure at the associate's level, no supervision required to sit for the exam.

You might also try getting a national certification through NBCC www.nbcc.org/certifications/ncc/Eligibility.aspx

Several states accept the NBCC exam as their state qualifying exam, so once you are an NCC (Nationally Certified Counselor) you can probably try applying in your state.

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vvr in San Antonio, Texas

58 months ago

Darlene in Champaign, Illinois said: Looking for jobs, I stumbled on this site. I have a master's in human services and mental health counseling and worked in KY for three years. Recently moved to IL and am biting my nails. I am NCC, but that apparently is not enough; was working on licensure in KY when I had some lifestyle changes that landed me in TN, then here in IL. I'm in serious limbo right now and need to find work. For the first time I'm considering anything else that will bring income, and it seems such a frustrating waste of my precious time and efforts to work so hard toward a goal that now seems so elusive. I know I must keep trekking, but it's very discouraging at this point in my life.......

I am a masters student getting ready to take the NCC and get a practicum going in Texas. I found out that you can move and still send your internship hours back to the state you were working on your licensure in. Check with your state board (Where you had your hours sent to) and see if they will accept internship hours in the state where you are located now. Good luck

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dahlia in San Francisco, California

58 months ago

Lesly in Brooklyn, New York said: I have had my BA in Psych now for a little over a year and I first started working in a HR department of a fortune 500 company doing staffing placements but was let go 3 months ago. That was painful because now that I need a job, I cant find one willing to pay me what I was making. With my back against the wall, I'm not sure if I should get my Masters in Psychology or I should get my MBA in business administration with a focus on human resources. Let me know if you have any ideas.
I am also confused with the licensing and certification process and how it differs from state to state. I did however find a website that can help me find the answers called NAMP.com so check it out it may help some of you too.

Get your MBA if you are looking for job security and for human resource jobs. I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology and I am almost licensed as a marriage and family therapist. It is very difficult to get a job that pays well in this profession and I need to make money and help other people to feel happy. I might go for an RN in psychiatric nursing instead. If you like business jobs or human resources an investment and time toward an MBA seems wiser.

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Jean Luc Picard in London, United Kingdom

58 months ago

Well, from the looks of things, I think I need look at working in Canada, as I currently about start my second year doing a bachelors degree in Sociology and Psychology - Joint Honours here in London, UK, I am also working a couple of days a week working with people with drugs and alcohol abuse issues, I have been offered work in Canada, I plan to do my Masters in either Mental Health,Dual Diagnosis, Psychosocial studies. I plan to work as an outreach work/counselor working in mental health /addications. Their are opportunties their to work for health authorities in BC, Alberta etc. working inn

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Lisa H. in Augusta, Georgia

57 months ago

dahlia in San Francisco, California said: Get your MBA if you are looking for job security and for human resource jobs. I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology and I am almost licensed as a marriage and family therapist. It is very difficult to get a job that pays well in this profession and I need to make money and help other people to feel happy. I might go for an RN in psychiatric nursing instead. If you like business jobs or human resources an investment and time toward an MBA seems wiser.

I just wanted to comment on this--I am currently an RN and a part-time student in a community counseling program. My advice is this--the money is good, but only YOU can know what is important to you. For some, it is job satisfaction, for others, making money is the main satisfaction. I have been an RN for over 11 years and although the pay is good, the morale is horrible. The work is back-breaking and the hospitals cause their own shortages...you simply have to love being an RN! I say go after what you love and the money will follow. Good luck to all.

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FrustratedCounselor in Charlotte, North Carolina

57 months ago

You are absolutely right, Lisa. I have both a nursing license and a MA in counseling. Since moving to GA and not being licensed here in counseling, I have worked as a nurse and I am so unhappy with it although the money is excellent. I cannot wait to go back to NC where I am licensed as a counselor and can work in that field. Nothing makes me happier than sitting next to someone and asking, "How can I help you today?" I think you have to look beyond a regular job to make money in counseling. If you have the proper license (LPC), you can get your NPI number and become a provider for various insurance companies (Cigna, BCBS, Aetna,etc) and also become a Medicaid/Medicare provider by submitting an application with your state. Once you save some money, you can look into retaining a marketing agent and a PR person. It may also help to offer coaching. To do all of this requires that you establish a niche, so decide what areas of counseling you want to do and learn all you can about that or those area(s). For instance, I am interested in working with women in the areas of grief and forgiveness. I also I plan to coach women who are experiencing blocks in their growth to having a more joyous life.

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Lisa H. in Augusta, Georgia

57 months ago

Hi--I would very much like to correspond with you further--would you provide your email--mine is lhatch@mcg.edu. Thank you. Lisa

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MSMHC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

57 months ago

I have read through the comments on this forum and all I can say is that people have to do their research before enrolling into any program. You need to make sure you fully understand your states licensure laws and not think that if you go to one program and become licensed in one state that you will not have any problems getting licensed in another state. Each states have their own laws and this can and does change from state to state.

Just because you are enrolled in a MA program in Counseling or Clinical Psychology doesn't mean you will be automatically qualified for licensure. Some states are very specific on this matter. You need to make sure that your degree program meets state requirements. Do not think if your degree program is only 48 credits and the state requires 50 credits that you simply can take another class and make up for it. Some states are very specific that this will not work and you will need to do another Master's degree program that meets the 50 credit hours.

You will not find work with just a Bachelors degree in counseling or clinical psychology. Most states now require you need at least a Master degree or are moving towards that requirement. If you live in another country and want to come to the US, be advised that finding work with just a Bachelors degree will be next to impossible at the counselors level.

Lastly, do your research before picking up and moving to another state if your currently licensed as a LPC. Do not think that since you're licensed in one state you can easily become licensed in another. There were a couple of people that responded that found this out the hard way.

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Denturemint in Greenwood, South Carolina

56 months ago

I hope this is the right forum. I'm interested in going into psychology...and I'm aiming at being a clinical psychologist but I don't know. It seems that every field I have an interest in is a disappointment in job forums. I want to help people and make "decent" money. I don't have to be rich, I just don't want to work from paycheck to paycheck like I do now, after all that schooling. I researched the field "heavily" and it just seems so overwhelming. It seems like with the Psy.D., APA certification AND state lisence, you might as well have went to medical school. I just turned 36 and I feel like I am too old to do the school thing "again". But they say the 3rd times a charm....they better be right.

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Dahlia in San Francisco, California

56 months ago

Hi there,

I'm almost a licensed Marriage, and family Therapist (Masters degree in clinical/counseling Psychology with 3000 clinical hours of training). My colleague and dear friend has been a licensed Clinical Psychologist for about 13 years. You can make decent money - but you won’t be making more than 70.000-80.000 a year. This seems awfully low after consuming heavy student loans. If I were to do it again - I would go into a traditional medical field, such as being a specialized nurse (psych nurse), medical doctor, or a nurse practitioner. They make much more money and better job security. Additionally, they tend to receive more respect when working at hospitals, than do Psychologists, LCSW's, or MFT's. These programs of study are unfortunately more difficult to get into - but you will be making more money and have better job security.

Good luck and it seems like a smart idea to investigate…

Best,

Dahlia

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Planters in Pomona, California

55 months ago

MBA and MFT is a waste of time and money. Go for the MSW with LCSW. It has the best pay at $90,000 a year in state and federal government. MBA is the most overrated degree. LCSW is where the money is at!

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Lisa in Alpharetta, Georgia

52 months ago

dahlia in San Francisco, California said: Get your MBA if you are looking for job security and for human resource jobs. I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology and I am almost licensed as a marriage and family therapist. It is very difficult to get a job that pays well in this profession and I need to make money and help other people to feel happy. I might go for an RN in psychiatric nursing instead. If you like business jobs or human resources an investment and time toward an MBA seems wiser.

Dahlia- Hi, I am a RN and I want to go back to school to be a therapist. If I went back to school to get my Masters degree in Psychiatric Nursing could I be a therapist? Or would I be handing out psych meds in a Psychiatric Hospital? What are your thoughts?
Thanks,
Lisa

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