MS in Psychology/Counseling is not enough

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FrustratedCounselor in Charlotte, North Carolina

66 months ago

Hi Lisa. If money is an issue, you should probably go for a MA in psy.nursing. I do not know of all the opportunities available to a psych nurse, so, you might want to research that. In the past, School Psychologists earn good money but with the down turn of the economy it may be hard to find openings. Counselors and psychologists are the first to go when their is a financial crisis in schools. If I knew 8 years ago what I know now, I would have gone for social work. They have the market cornered with Medicaid programs, jobs (private and community), and they can have a private counseling practice once they are licensed. They also use SWs in schools. By the way, I am a LPN (since 1974). I went back to school for counseling because I knew I did not want to go deeper into nursing, but I wanted an advanced degree. Based on several career and personality tests, I found I was best suited for counseling, the ministry, or a chef. I chose counseling b/c I wanted something I could do during my retirement years, which is fast approaching! I am also in Atlanta, but I did not want to invest the time they required to get my licensed when I had just gone through that in NC. I am going back to Charlotte this summer and set up a private practice. I will be 57 this month, so, hopefully, I will be able to do this for the next 15 or 20 years, which makes it worthwhile.

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FrustratedCounselor in Charlotte, North Carolina

66 months ago

I should learn to proof read---it is "when there is a financial..." and "...to get my license...."

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Dahlia in San Francisco, California

66 months ago

Hi Lisa,

I'm not sure what state you are receding within, and the possibilities to get counseling jobs would largely depend on this. California is saturated with many different types of counselors. I'm almost a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California (just passed the first board exam toward licensure). This is equivalent to an LPC in other states. (Although it might be a bit more comprehensive because we have to do 3000 clinical hours of training and can call ourselves psychotherapists). I live in the Bay Area where there are a lot of therapists. This makes it more difficult to find jobs and also there have been a lot of cuts in the non-profit sector. My long-term goal is to get my RN and work as a Psych nurse 3 days a week. I really enjoy counseling individuals outside the non-profit environment. Therefore I'm going to open a private practice as a psychotherapist 2-3 nights a week. But I also need to make a good living and that's why I thought it would make sense to combine psychiatric nursing with my MFT background and make most of my income in a hospital setting as an RN. I'm not sure what makes you feel fulfilled and what your competition for private practice looks like in your area... I do have a friend who became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and she works with great autonomy at the VA in San Francisco. She does a lot of intakes and Mental Status Exams etc. She almost functions like a social worker - but gets paid much better. This option could perhaps also work for you...

Best of luck to you,

Dahlia

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Lisa in Alpharetta, Georgia

66 months ago

Miss Dahlia-Hi
Can I get your personal e-mail address and discuss this topic in further detail? I would love to get the opportunity to talk with your Psychiatric RN Practioner friend who works @ VA in San Francisco. I don't know whether to go back to school and get a Masters degree as a licensed Social Worker or a Masters degree in Psych Nursing. My personal e-mail address is: lweave2@hotmail.com and my name is Lisa Weaver from Atlanta Georgia. Thanks for all your help!!!!!!
Lisa W.

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Lisa in Augusta, Georgia

66 months ago

I am a nurse pursuing a master's degree in counseling. Yes, nurses make good money and they are in demand, but I think as individuals, we need to determine what is important to us. Is it money or is it career satisfaction--or both? As a nurse, I work with women who have terminal cancer and at times it is rewarding. However, the politics, nasty physicians and the workload has burned me out. Also, nursing wasn't what I envisioned I would be doing for the rest of my life, but something I would do while being a single mother, trying to make ends meet. I am now ready to seek out what I wanted to do since I was a young adult which is counseling people. I'm not too idealistic to think that I won't encounter problems in counseling, but my message is this: if you really enjoy what you are doing (or even if that is important to you)I say, go after your dream and the rest will work it's way out. Life it too short to be in something you don't enjoy. Good luck to all.

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Lisa in Alpharetta, Georgia

66 months ago

Hi Lisa the nurse from Augusta, Ga,-
I'm curious why you aren't pursuing a Masters Degree in Psychiatric Nursing. I am a RN too and I've never enjoyed being a nurse. Should I go back and get the Masters degree in Social Work or the Masters degree in Psychiatric Nursing? Can you really practise being a Therapist with the Masters Degree in Psychiatric Nursing? Thats what I am trying to research before I go back to school?
Thanks for sharing all your advice and experiences!!!
Thanks Again,
lisa W.

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Lisa in Augusta, Georgia

66 months ago

Hi Lisa, there's not a psych nursing master's program here in Augusta and I have the option of staying in the practice I'm currently working in providing counseling support to our patients and families. Or, go into private practice, which is definitely an option for me. My goals is to intergrate nursing and counseling. I thought about SW, but the closest program is in Columbia, SC and would be hard since I work Mon-Fri 40 hours a week. Another reason I haven't pursued psych nursing is b/c I'm not interested in working in a MH facility, which I was told most psych nurses work.

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Lisa in Augusta, Georgia

66 months ago

Lisa in Alpharetta, Georgia said: Hi Lisa the nurse from Augusta, Ga,-
I'm curious why you aren't pursuing a Masters Degree in Psychiatric Nursing. I am a RN too and I've never enjoyed being a nurse. Should I go back and get the Masters degree in Social Work or the Masters degree in Psychiatric Nursing? Can you really practise being a Therapist with the Masters Degree in Psychiatric Nursing? Thats what I am trying to research before I go back to school?
Thanks for sharing all your advice and experiences!!!
Thanks Again,
lisa W.

Lisa, to answer your questions (sorry I didn't earlier)--SW does have the niche when it comes to jobs. If you look on USA jobs (fed job website), they want social workers. Look into the psych nursing--it has been a while since I investigated that route, but when I did, was told that as a master's prepared psych nurse I would work in a MH hospital, which is not what I want to do. There are physician practices which like the idea of a multi-disciplinary practice, which includes counseling--something you may want to investigate. I hope this helps.

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Lisa in Augusta, Georgia

66 months ago

As a counseling student (MEd program), it concerns me that Social Workers have the job niche--can anyone tell me what it looks like for counselors? Are we gaining ground to be considered for jobs on the same level as social workers? Thank you.

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lisa46angel@verizon.net in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

66 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

Hi Pat,
My name is Talisa. I went to school to and graduated in Dec. 2001 with my Master's in School Counseling. In October of that year, my classmates and I found out that we needed to take and pass the Praxis prior to working in the school district. Those who were exempt, were individuals who had a license in another area of study. I took the Praxis more than 10 times (Math), missing failing the test by 2 or 3 points. I am currently studying for the NCC.
I am now working in the mental health field. I am a child therapist and I work with adults who are mentally ill, but my original plan was to work in the schools, have my summers off, and live happily ever after. I worked for the school district as a substitute, until they started closing schools.
My point is, find something that you can do, using the skills you learned in grad school. There is something out there, you just have to search for it. Unfortunately, the job markey is bleak, but if you are in this field, it is to help someone!
Good Luck!

Talisa R. M.Ed.
Child Therapist/Clinician

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DadMike in Baltimore, Maryland

66 months ago

Planters in Pomona, California said: 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![/QUOTE

Feds do pay well- but its hard to get in! Maybe Calif does treat LCSW-Cs better, but in most other places the above comment would be considered sarcastic! If this was purely a social work page, it would automatically be considered sarcasm! In MD, with an LCSW-C, you'll be lucky to START around 45-50,000 grand, then, depending on where you are, maybe somewhat upwards. My wife and I are state child welfare sups,LCSW-Cs, been there for 10 years, make in the 60s; school system social workers make a bit more, Feds ALOT more- these slots are FIERCELY COMPETITIVE, hospitals somewhat more, but they are often unflexible and you're lower than nurses (not that nurse should be low- I think that's terrible!!) in the hospital hierarchy; mental health and private agencies usually a pay good deal less. Managed care can pay well for insurance approvals, but my friends that have worked there get timed on their bathroom breaks!!

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Curt in Madison, Wisconsin

65 months ago

I will be 47 in three days, lol. I start masters in counseling psychology this fall at Madison, WI. I'm interested in working with high risk youth and veterans. I here to dialogue. Those of you working in the field what are your chosen theory when doing counseling?

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suzan kometsi in Lesotho

64 months ago

thank you

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suzan kometsi in Lesotho

64 months ago

thank you for the job

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suzan kometsi in Lesotho

64 months ago

thank you for the job

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suzan kometsi in Lesotho

64 months ago

thank you for the job

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suzan kometsi in Lesotho

64 months ago

thank you for the job adverised

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NY in Bronx, New York

63 months ago

Hello,

I am thinkng about coming to NY after I finished my clinical doctorate in psychology in UK. Does anyone know if i can get a NY license to prcatice as a psychologists with a UK 3 year clinical doctorate qulaification.

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DadMike in Maryland

63 months ago

Curt in Madison, Wisconsin said: I will be 47 in three days, lol. I start masters in counseling psychology this fall at Madison, WI. I'm interested in working with high risk youth and veterans. I here to dialogue. Those of you working in the field what are your chosen theory when doing counseling?

Find out min. credentials for VA jobs and your local Juvenile Justice Dept.- MS in Counseling Pysch may not be the right credentials, could be perfect-- it varies alot from state to state!!

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DadMike in Maryland

63 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Find out min. credentials for VA jobs and your local Juvenile Justice Dept.- MS in Counseling Pysch may not be the right credentials, could be perfect-- it varies alot from state to state!!

Oopps- Except for VA- there MAY be some regional variation, but their standards are pretty uniform as they are Feds.

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Psych undergrad in Charlotte,NC in Cornelius, North Carolina

62 months ago

FrustratedCounselor in Charlotte, North Carolina said: Hi Lisa. If money is an issue, you should probably go for a MA in psy.nursing. I do not know of all the opportunities available to a psych nurse, so, you might want to research that. In the past, School Psychologists earn good money but with the down turn of the economy it may be hard to find openings. Counselors and psychologists are the first to go when their is a financial crisis in schools. If I knew 8 years ago what I know now, I would have gone for social work. They have the market cornered with Medicaid programs, jobs (private and community), and they can have a private counseling practice once they are licensed. They also use SWs in schools. By the way, I am a LPN (since 1974). I went back to school for counseling because I knew I did not want to go deeper into nursing, but I wanted an advanced degree. Based on several career and personality tests, I found I was best suited for counseling, the ministry, or a chef. I chose counseling b/c I wanted something I could do during my retirement years, which is fast approaching! I am also in Atlanta, but I did not want to invest the time they required to get my licensed when I had just gone through that in NC. I am going back to Charlotte this summer and set up a private practice. I will be 57 this month, so, hopefully, I will be able to do this for the next 15 or 20 years, which makes it worthwhile.

Hello, I live in Charlotte NC and I am getting my BA in psychology online, but would like answers to choosing the right school for my masters to practice in NC. I was told that NC frowns on online masters programs and will not certify you. I graduate in December 2010. We have closely related features,in that I am a LPN,CST,x 25 years and starting my dream career to become a child psychologist specializing in adolescent behavior. I would like to have my own practice some day here in NC if possible. Help!Thanks

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Lisa in Atlanta, Georgia

62 months ago

Dear Frustrated Counselor- Hi

How can we connect over the phone? I would love to brainstorm some ideas with you about me going back to school. I have thought about going back for a Counseling degree. Can we talk in further detail over the phone? You may contact me by my personal email: lweave2@hotmail.com

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Lisa Weaver

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BevKat in Port Hueneme, California

61 months ago

I too am an unhappy nurse. I was an LVN for years, now an RN and it's equally as bad. You know the details, so I don't need to explain. But now what? I am an out of work nurse and don't know where to turn. I think maybe private counseling, but when I try to learn my CA scope of practice, it is a bunch of legal jargon. I have a 2 yr certificate in Conflict Resolution and I am a great counselor. Personally, I think this is enough to open my doors. All comments and ideas are welcomed!

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FrustratedCounselor in Charlotte, North Carolina

61 months ago

Psych undergrad in Charlotte,NC in Cornelius, North Carolina said: Hello, I live in Charlotte NC and I am getting my BA in psychology online, but would like answers to choosing the right school for my masters to practice in NC. I was told that NC frowns on online masters programs and will not certify you. I graduate in December 2010. We have closely related features,in that I am a LPN,CST,x 25 years and starting my dream career to become a child psychologist specializing in adolescent behavior. I would like to have my own practice some day here in NC if possible. Help!Thanks

I have now moved back to Charlotte and was able to immediately find contract work with agencies offering services to at risk children and teens. These clients must have a diagnostic assessment in order to receive services. I do assessments and one on one counseling. Although this is not my dream situation, I am elated to be able to do counseling again. The good thing about the nursing is it provides a steady income while you build a practice. I will always keep my nursing license. Adolescent behavioral health is a booming field. It sounds as if you are headed in the right direction. Good luck.

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Frustrated in Charlotte, North Carolina

61 months ago

I envy you. I live in Charlotte, NC and that is my dream job to work with adolescents. I would love to talk to you regarding the masters school and requirements for NC.

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FrustratedCounselor in Charlotte, North Carolina

61 months ago

You can write me directly at hameednelson@gmail.com. I went to UNC-Charlotte and finished in 2002. They have an excellent program. You can choose between community and school counseling tracks. The supervision during practicum and internship is excellent and it is a CACREP accredited program.

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Lisa in Augusta, Georgia

61 months ago

May I ask which track you completed--community or school?

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niece706 in The Little "A", Georgia

61 months ago

Lisa in Augusta, Georgia said: May I ask which track you completed--community or school?

So Lisa, you really ahte Nursing that much??? I myself, feel as if I am in a corner and can't get out. Diff. is I have a BS in Psych. and I can't seem to find anything relating to my degree (job wise). So, I felt as if Nursing would be the way to go, I wanted to enroll in that Masters of Clinical Nursing Program at MCG...But, wasn't sure if that would qualify me as an RN, from speaking with counselors there, they say yes, I will be able to take the NCLEX, and become an RN, Charge Nurse, etc. What is your take on it, other than the feeling of being burnt out? What is it exactly that causes all the nurses to feel burnt out, is it lack of nurses, the Doctor's attitudes, work hours/loads?? Can you just enlightened me a little bit. If you don't mind. I truly would like to know, and thanks in advance any and all assistance you are able to provide.

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niece706 in The Little "A", Georgia

61 months ago

aorry for the typos, ahte=hate

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niece706 in The Little "A", Georgia

61 months ago

sorry for the typos, ahte=hate

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BevKat in Port Hueneme, California

60 months ago

The thing that has me down on nursing is the authority figures and bureaucracy. They have so many bells and whistles and hoops to jump thru all the time, there is no time for your own judgment and actions. Everything has to be by the book. For instance, a boss says "from now on,(which means one more thing to do and I am already overloaded)if your pt has CHF, you need to make sure that the echo report is faxed to the PCP." or "from now on, if your pt is Medicare prime, you need to fill out this form and have the doctor sign it"...put the form on the front of the chart rt? then the MD doesn't see/sign it and you have to chase him down when you are supposed to be doing all the details of your regular job. Then they keep adding more and more stuff! One hosp has the nurses checking their emails every hour! AND they are assigned an area to clean (kitchen, nurses station, stock areas etc.)When do we have time to do all the other things? and if you don't...there's hell to pay. They used to care what I charted, now they just want me to chart what they want to hear. It is automaton nursing.

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Lisa Weaver in Athens, Georgia

60 months ago

My Conclusion is that NONE OF IT IS WORTH IT!!!!

I"M DONE!!!!!!

Lisa Weaver

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BevKat in Port Hueneme, California

60 months ago

As far as counseling is concerned.... I tried to view my scope of practice on the California RN website but it is just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. I think in many states an RN license allows you to be a sole proprietor and open up your own business as a counselor, but I may be way off base and / or living in the dark ages.

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jlamorte in Mesa, Arizona

60 months ago

I am thinking about going to Capella Universiy and getting my MS in Psy. The Advisor was talking me out of the program to get my license . After reading all your comments it seems hard to get a job w/out a license. It is 21.000 for the degree. I really don't know what to do. 35,0000 to move forward with the degree with the license. Is it worth going and folling my passion. I am 44 years old and would have to take out loans. Is the job market worth it. Any words of wisdom out there??

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rmiller in Hernando, Florida

59 months ago

If it is your passion, go for it.... as far as the job market, it depends on where you are geographically. In Florida, it is difficult to get a good salary without the license. With a license, you have so much more options in terms of doing contract work, etc.....

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April in Sacramento, California

59 months ago

Hi Dahlia,

Thank you for your insights. I am very grateful to have come across this forum.

I am a new college graduate and I would love to inquire with you regarding your career path.

I have recently received a BA in psychology and I have been working in the field of behavioral psych for the last 5yrs. My current job title is a Field Trainer: training in-home tutors in the application/basic processes of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). However fulfilling the job, this is not my career of interest.

I am very much interested in crossing over to the mental health industry.

In the near future, I plan to go back to school and enroll in a counseling program, and eventually be licensed as an MFT - essentially the exact same career path you have chosen.

I am in the process of obtaining a mental health position that will provide/equip me with the knowledge and experience needed to better prime myself for my future.

I was wondering if you had any suggestions as to my next action step in career/personal development?

Also, after researching mental health positions at the BA level, some positions of interest are working with children/the youth diagnosed with a serious emotional disturbance - this seems to be the perfect crossover position for me since I have the in-home experience of working with children and their families.

What are your thoughts on this?

Do you happen to have company names/personal contacts that would be of interest to me? Also, what could I be doing on my personal downtime to better prime myself for my future? What is the "lesson plan" of an MFT? What do MFT's study/read?

Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
April

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Honey in Deland, Florida

59 months ago

I agree with rmiller in Hernando, Florida. I also live in Florida, and have completed my MS in Counselor Education. I can not find a job that pays well enough to support myself, and I owe a small fortune in student loans. Most jobs in this state require licensure. It is best to do a lot of research before you begin a program -- what kind of jobs are available in your state, what are the requirements, how long will it take you to get licensed after graduation, what hoops do you have to jump through, what do these jobs pay? I loved the counseling program I was in, and do not regret it, but I have not been able to make the transition to the counseling field. It's been almost a year since I graduated...

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niece706 in The Little "A", Georgia

59 months ago

Lisa Weaver in Athens, Georgia said: My Conclusion is that NONE OF IT IS WORTH IT!!!!

I"M DONE!!!!!!

Lisa Weaver

WOW,ok thanks for the great info!

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BevKat in Port Hueneme, California

59 months ago

Since I left nursing (yea!), I have been working as a hypnotherapist for smoking cessation. There are sessions where I do a fair amount of counseling and I really like that. Different states dictate what a hypnotherapist can do, but behind closed doors, it really is just a conversation. Besides, a good counselor guides and the client gets their own answers, so I am never "counseling" per se. I am also a Reverend. ANYONE can be a reverend online and then "legally" I can "counsel" or so it goes. There are a variety of ways to BE a "counselor" and do what you want to do.
When you are good at what you do, you don't need the degree, people will flock to you! History is full of accomplished people in all areas of life who are self trained etc. I hope this helps.
I've officially left nursing and I am pursuing my career as a metaphysician, spiritual counselor, psychic, hands on or off healer. Ironically, the local hospital has free Reiki training and the cancer clinic is the lab.

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Terri in Surrey, British Columbia

58 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 am currently taking my Addictions Skills Certificate at Vancouver Community College, and hope to continue to get my diploma at VCCT. I was wondering if you left Vancouver because of the lack of jobs in Vancouver, or was there another reason?

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DadMike in Maryland

58 months ago

BevKat in Port Hueneme, California said: Since I left nursing (yea!), I have been working as a hypnotherapist for smoking cessation . There are sessions where I do a fair amount of counseling and I really like that. Different states dictate what a hypnotherapist can do, but behind closed doors, it really is just a conversation. Besides, a good counselor guides and the client gets their own answers, so I am never "counseling" per se. I am also a Reverend. ANYONE can be a reverend online and then "legally" I can "counsel" or so it goes. There are a variety of ways to BE a "counselor" and do what you want to do.
When you are good at what you do, you don't need the degree, people will flock to you! History is full of accomplished people in all areas of life who are self trained etc. I hope this helps.
I've officially left nursing and I am pursuing my career as a metaphysician, spiritual counselor, psychic, hands on or off healer. Ironically, the local hospital has free Reiki training and the cancer clinic is the lab.

Yikes! That works good, until you run into the first flake that SUES YOU...and you don't have insurance, because you weren't credentialed. Hope that does not happen to you, but I had to put it out there since fresh graduates are coming to these posts. Therapists and counselors are sued all the time- must remember you are dealing with people with issues, some quiet serious- that's why the are seeking help to begin with! But does not mean they will always like you, esp. if you're pushing them to confront what's holding them back.

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Struggling counselor in Nashville, Tennessee

56 months ago

I owe $90,000 for a MA in counseling degree and can't get a job in counseling. I'm broke and desperate-- and I was the best student in my class. On top of that, I had a fantastic internship and I worked very hard. I networked like crazy; I had so much passion for my career.

If you are in the U.S. and are considering an MA to be a counselor, just don't do it. Wait until the market changes. Don't end up like me. I can't get a car or start a family and I have to work whatever jobs I can get. I'm getting older and I had to short-sell my home.

My biggest regret in life is that MA degree. It's worthless and has left me broke and miserable. I know that sounds dramatic-- but at this point it truly is dramatic. The $10 an hour I make now isn't enough--plus the only job I could find won't even hold water on my resume. I don't know what the future brings anymore.

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lf6708 in Parkville, Maryland

54 months ago

First and formost, I am so greatful to have found this web site. I feel like I am the only one out there who is so frustrated (frustrated is an understatement). I can't believe what has happed to this field. I need to vent and at least I have found other that can relate. I have been in the field of mental health and addictions counseling for 30 years. "Back in the day" the big thing was to "finish your undergraduate" degree, a masters degree was really a big deal. Well I got my masters degree in human services (it seemed to be pretty versitile due to the emphises on addictions). At the age of 52 I began a doctoral program in clinical social work ($130,000 later, this amount is my entire school loan, Oh, I forgot, I have been paying out of pocket since 2006, $1,400.00 per month, since I have exhausted student loan benifits). My plan was to apply for licensure after I completed my PhD. Well, I have been working in Philadelphia, and New Jersey for the past 10 years and recently moved to Baltimore MD. My husband and I have seperated (he literally left me without anything, but that's another story) Since I am from Baltimore and have many good close friends here, I thought it was a good place for me to be, I really needed the support of friends and didn't have that in Philly. The bottom line is "things have changed here" and I cannot get a job without a license or certification. AND, in order to accomplish this, I have to take 27 credits on the masters level to meet CACREP accredidation and that's for the Professional Counselor Licensure, the addictions "certificate" requires an additional 21 credits. Here's the clincher, untill I complete these courses (maybe $10, 20, or 30 thousand dollars later) I am considered a "trainee" which puts me in the same catagory as someone with a GED and 15 CEU's, we are all lumped together. So when I apply for a job and I am not licensed, I say on my resume "I am a trainee" AND I have 30 years experience AND almost a PhD? WTF?

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jlamorte66@yahoo.com in Mesa, Arizona

54 months ago

OMG all I can say is soo sorry and hang in there. I bet your great and people will flock too you.

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christinea5575 in Scottsdale, Arizona

54 months ago

This forum is extremely helpful and VERY eye opening as I'm just finishing up my BA/psych and have wanted to pursue a career in counseling since I graduated from high school. It seems clear that it's NOT the field to go into, even the average salaries are low ($34k for an addiction counselor, yikes) considering the fact that you must have a MA/MS which we all know is expensive and time consuming.

Can anyone offer any insight into a straight MA in Clinical Psychology as well as Forensic Psychology. These both seem to offer higher average salaries (not that money is everything) and hold a lot of interest for me in terms of the actual work itself.

Thank you, and best of luck to everyone :)

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DadMike in Maryland

54 months ago

The only helpful thing I can think of for everyone with an MA in Psych who is unable or unwilling to get a PhD in it is to get a job in a local Dept. of Social Services- they pay isn't great, but you usually get good bennies and leave and such, and when the budget crisis ever lifts you may get money to get an MSW to rise up in ranks. What killed the MA in Psych is twofold- Phds did not want the competition, and do what they can via professional orgs to keep the MAs down; and MSWs dominate the clinical fields of case management and direct counseling; in Maryland it is possible now to be licensed as a MA in Psych, dramatically improving your job opportunities- but you need to find somewhere to practice for 2 years to get it. An LCSW-C social worker can supervise you, though, for license credits. We have many MAs working in our office- they are payed the same as unlicensed MSWs and BA-level folks, but the job is better than what most can find until they can get licensed. And in MD all DSS sups MUST be LCSW-Cs.

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southernbelle in Lugoff, South Carolina

54 months ago

Lisa in North Augusta, South Carolina said: 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?

Actually in SC as an LPC you can get reimbursed by insurance companies but NOT Medicaid. I have had no problems with finding a job with LPC rather than LMSW or LISW. Currently working for a psychiatrist in a private practice.

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MFT in LA in Los Angeles, California

53 months ago

Dahlia in San Francisco, California said: 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

Hello All,

I have been licensed as MFT in L.A. for five years and DO NOT speak Spanish. You will top out at 51 grand a year. You will not find work if you do not speak Spanish!!!!
I do not reccomend working for DMH. The productivity pressures make little sense, and is not a reflection of good work.
I do not recomend anyone go into this field. The work to become licensed compared to the pay, DMH, need to speak Spanish, and current recession for private practice does not make it worth while.
BESIDES the fact that working with mostly personality disordered people in DMH is exhausting and not at all rewarding.
I am moving into supervising, and this has been a pay increase of 8 grand more. Not worth it!!!!! Please tell anyone in Cali. who does not speak Spanish not to get this degree.

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christinea5575 in Scottsdale, Arizona

53 months ago

MFT in LA in Los Angeles, California said: Hello All,

I have been licensed as MFT in L.A. for five years and DO NOT speak Spanish. You will top out at 51 grand a year. You will not find work if you do not speak Spanish!!!!
I do not reccomend working for DMH. The productivity pressures make little sense, and is not a reflection of good work.
I do not recomend anyone go into this field. The work to become licensed compared to the pay, DMH, need to speak Spanish, and current recession for private practice does not make it worth while.
BESIDES the fact that working with mostly personality disordered people in DMH is exhausting and not at all rewarding.
I am moving into supervising, and this has been a pay increase of 8 grand more. Not worth it!!!!! Please tell anyone in Cali. who does not speak Spanish not to get this degree.

Thank you for sharing this information...I had heard that CA is a tough state for MFT, just getting licensed and now hearing the reality of salary etc. I have been nothing but discouraged about going into this field.

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MS in Psychology/Counseling not Enough in Alpharetta, Georgia

53 months ago

In my opinion the only degree worth having in social services is the Masters of Social Work. After supervision, you can sit for the LCSW which seems to be the only degree that EVERYone prefers in mental health. It is necessary to speak Spanish almost everywhere.

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