MS in Psychology/Counseling is not enough

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Dahlia in San Francisco, California

44 months ago

I guess I disagree with the last statement -that the only degree that’s worth anything is LSCSW in social services. In my opinion, it would depend on what someone would want to focus on. I'm a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of California and after you obtain your license- your scope of practice will be broader if you focus on psychotherapy (one gets trained more in theories than how to do social-work and psychosocial assessments). I find it easier to advertise my private practice as a psychotherapist as an MFT. I treat adults, couples, and children. If someone would rather work in a hospital and do social work - this would clearly be the preferred field of study.

Best,

Dahlia

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DadMike in Maryland

44 months ago

Dahlia in San Francisco, California said: I guess I disagree with the last statement -that the only degree that’s worth anything is LSCSW in social services. In my opinion, it would depend on what someone would want to focus on. I'm a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of California and after you obtain your license- your scope of practice will be broader if you focus on psychotherapy (one gets trained more in theories than how to do social-work and psychosocial assessments). I find it easier to advertise my private practice as a psychotherapist as an MFT. I treat adults, couples, and children. If someone would rather work in a hospital and do social work - this would clearly be the preferred field of study.

Best,

Dahlia

Your state of employment is CRUCIAL. In Pennsylvania, no license is needed to be a therapist, and social work is a single-tier license. Scary for the counseling piece, and the pay is accordingly low. Over the border in Maryland, an MA in Psych can get an LCPC- but only after 2 years of supervised practice, and most employers won't touch an unlicensed MA, so it's hard for them- a lot of them are work BA-level jobs in Social Services; LCSW-C social workers dominate clinical treatment in Maryland, and Maryland has a 3-tier license system. You must be licensed to practice- we have alot of PA residents that get licensed and work in MD for the better pay! California sounds like a good place for an MA to practice. Every state is different, often surprisingly so. I encourage anyone going into mental health/social services to carefully research the state in which they wish to practice so their degree is best fit.

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Lisa in Atlanta, Georgia

44 months ago

Does anybody know about counselors or advisors working in an academic environment as an academic advisor advising college students about class curriculum? I think Universities like to hire therapist types. What have you heard? Thank you!!!!

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christinea5575 in Scottsdale, Arizona

44 months ago

Lisa in Atlanta, Georgia said: Does anybody know about counselors or advisors working in an academic environment as an academic advisor advising college students about class curriculum? I think Universities like to hire therapist types. What have you heard? Thank you!!!!

I have been looking into this field and it seems like any psychology or counseling background would certainly be a plus. The salary range may be low for someone with a masters degree and/or a licensed counselor. I think that different types of universities (online versus ground campus) classify this position differently. In a state university an Academic Advisor may function more like a counselor where some of the online schools seem to treat it as more of a customer service position. Good luck to you.

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socialwkr in Missouri

43 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Your state of employment is CRUCIAL. In Pennsylvania, no license is needed to be a therapist, and social work is a single-tier license. Scary for the counseling piece, and the pay is accordingly low. Over the border in Maryland, an MA in Psych can get an LCPC- but only after 2 years of supervised practice, and most employers won't touch an unlicensed MA, so it's hard for them- a lot of them are work BA-level jobs in Social Services; LCSW-C social workers dominate clinical treatment in Maryland, and Maryland has a 3-tier license system. You must be licensed to practice- we have alot of PA residents that get licensed and work in MD for the better pay! California sounds like a good place for an MA to practice. Every state is different, often surprisingly so. I encourage anyone going into mental health/social services to carefully research the state in which they wish to practice so their degree is best fit.

That is true, it definitely depends on your state! In Missouri LCSWs dominate the mental health field versus Licensed Professional Counselors because there are things that insurance will not pay for a LPC to do that a LCSW can bill for. It all comes to what a practice or agency can bill for, and they will hire the licensed individual who they can get the most bang for their buck (so to speak).

I think whatever degree we end up earning, schools need to be more honest with their students on what they can and cannot do!

Ultimately with everything in life, there are pros and cons. I think schools need to do a better job of providing both sides of the coin to potential students, so the students can make the best decision for themselves!

I think there is value in whatever people decide to do in life, as long as they have all the information on the table to make their decisions!

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socialwkr in Missouri

43 months ago

I forgot to mention that Missouri licenses Marriage and Family Therapists!

As I believe Dahlia mentioned it is all on what we want our focus to be as well!

In Missouri one has to have a master degree or higher with a major in marriage and family or equivalent. For the equivalent it is very specific about the courses and such. Supervision is also required too.

For those who want to specialize in private practice or other type agencies, the LMFT is an option too!

I think lobbyists have a big pull on who can do what (different professional licenses). I spoke with a LPC who said she wished LPCs were more organized in a governing body, because in our state NASW did a lot of lobbying against LPCs being able to diagnose and other things. They have Masters degrees with 3000 hours of supervision too, so I can definitely see the point she was making!

Things change, so as people lobby and tussle around in the legislator, we shall see!!!!

I don't think one degree is better over the other, but depends on what one wants to do with their degree which may play a factor in what they can and cannot do in their state.

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Dan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

42 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Your state of employment is CRUCIAL. In Pennsylvania, no license is needed to be a therapist, and social work is a single-tier license. Scary for the counseling piece, and the pay is accordingly low. Over the border in Maryland, an MA in Psych can get an LCPC- but only after 2 years of supervised practice, and most employers won't touch an unlicensed MA, so it's hard for them- a lot of them are work BA-level jobs in Social Services; LCSW-C social workers dominate clinical treatment in Maryland, and Maryland has a 3-tier license system. You must be licensed to practice- we have alot of PA residents that get licensed and work in MD for the better pay! California sounds like a good place for an MA to practice. Every state is different, often surprisingly so. I encourage anyone going into mental health/social services to carefully research the state in which they wish to practice so their degree is best fit.

Where does it say that you don't need a license in PA to practice counseling? Everything I read says otherwise, including:
www.cga.ct.gov/2011/pub/chap383c.htm

Thank you.

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DadMike in Maryland

42 months ago

Dan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: Where does it say that you don't need a license in PA to practice counseling? Everything I read says otherwise, including:
www.cga.ct.gov/2011/pub/chap383c.htm

Thank you.


Thank you for the correction- it seems my understanding of practice in PA was only partially correct.
Check out Section C. It's a list of exceptions, the most notable of which is practice in a hospital does not require a license. That is not the case in Maryland. Also, you don't need a license to be a counselor if you work for the State. in MD, if you're not licensed you can work at a DSS as a caseworker, but you are NOT allowed to call yourself anything other than a caseworker, even if duties are the same as a social worker or counselor. People have been fined by the MD Board for doing just that. Per the PA law, you can call yourself a counselor if offering services not therapy-related. It DOES license mental health counselors, though- and for that I apologize. I've looked at working in hospitals in PA years ago for mental health jobs and was told a license was not needed- hence I assumed PA was one of the few states that did not require a license; friends currently up there repeated the similar stories- but it appears that only applies to certain settings.

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NINA in Johannesburg, South Africa

42 months ago

anelisa in Bellville, South Africa said: i've got a BA degree in Pschology and now i do not find any job. i didnt get the average percentage to qualify for the honours degree.what i would ask is that is a psychology most important without any other degrees.

HEY

A B.A Is nothing you need an honours to register as a councellor and you need a masters to register as a pychologist.. i can advise you to try and register as a social auxilary worker bye finding a social worker to supervise you. or find another way out... other option is to rewritte the modules you got low marks for.

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very discouraged in Dade City, Florida

41 months ago

FrustratedCounselor in Atlanta, Georgia said: If you have skills working in addiction counseling you will have no problem finding work. I wish I had an interest in that area. I like helping women with life transition and grief issues. I have decided to move back to Charlotte in two years and set up a private practice in that area. Meanwhile, I am developing coaching skills and setting up a website to coach women in transition. If you really enjoy addiction counseling, develop that b/c u could either work at a multitude of agencies, both public and private; or, you could start a private practice and bid for agency, judicial, and state/local/federal government contracts; also, if you are a certified addiction counselor you can obtain a Medicaid number (you must now also have a NPI number to file for government payments; it is a one time thing and it is free) and service Medicaid clients. You can also apply to various insurance companies to be on their provider lists and file for payments. Good luck!

I live in Florida and have a BA in Psychology. I have been a case manager for 2 years,(i.e. 1 year working with menatally disabiled adults and 1 year working for an agency that required me as a case manager to make sure people who are on the system, i.e. food stamps etc. are trying to do something with their lives and they had to bring in proof of them trying to do that or I would had to cu prior going into being a classroom teacher. With all that is going on with Education- I seem to be going backwards in life. I have taught ESE students for 10 years dealing with at risk children. With all the changes in Education I have taught 2 years with children with Autism. I have now made up my mind,I want to get out of the classroom. I have been researching everything, anything I can to see how can I utilize my BA in Psychology and 12 year all together as an ESE teacher/ which classifies me as being their case manager working with Individual Education Plans.

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very discouraged in Dade City, Florida

41 months ago

very discouraged in Dade City, Florida said: I live in Florida and have a BA in Psychology. I have been a case manager for 2 years,(i.e. 1 year working with menatally disabiled adults and 1 year working for an agency that required me as a case manager to make sure people who are on the system, i.e. food stamps etc. are trying to do something with their lives and they had to bring in proof of them trying to do that or I would had to cu prior going into being a classroom teacher. With all that is going on with Education- I seem to be going backwards in life. I have taught ESE students for 10 years dealing with at risk children. With all the changes in Education I have taught 2 years with children with Autism. I have now made up my mind,I want to get out of the classroom. I have been researching everything, anything I can to see how can I utilize my BA in Psychology and 12 year all together as an ESE teacher/ which classifies me as being their case manager working with Individual Education Plans.

sorry,,,,I could not finish my venting time....but any how, I just don't know what to do. I wished I had a good school counselor to have guided me better. BA in psychology is worthless. I would love to go into the medical field someway,,,not a nurse though. I would love to do research. I want to go toward the medical field somehow with being a nurse. any advice any one ?

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

41 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Thank you for the correction- it seems my understanding of practice in PA was only partially correct.
Check out Section C. It's a list of exceptions, the most notable of which is practice in a hospital does not require a license. That is not the case in Maryland. Also, you don't need a license to be a counselor if you work for the State. in MD, if you're not licensed you can work at a DSS as a caseworker, but you are NOT allowed to call yourself anything other than a caseworker, even if duties are the same as a social worker or counselor. People have been fined by the MD Board for doing just that. Per the PA law, you can call yourself a counselor if offering services not therapy-related. It DOES license mental health counselors, though- and for that I apologize. I've looked at working in hospitals in PA years ago for mental health jobs and was told a license was not needed- hence I assumed PA was one of the few states that did not require a license; friends currently up there repeated the similar stories- but it appears that only applies to certain settings.

I'm a retired R.N.in FL. and have a friend in PA. who just got his Masters and is going to be doing Family and Marriage Counseling in private practice. His focus will be with adoptees and adoptive parents. He told me he does not need a license//only if he wants to be on insurance company panels which he doesn't plan to do...self pay on a sliding scale is the way he plans to go. I guess I don't really understand why a person wouldn't want to be licensed/it shows you know your field and clients down a days want to see that//see the credentials before choosing someone to see. A friend who has his PhD in psycholgy did the Masters route but as he said, it usually doesn't get you any where; you need the PhD or PsyD. Some of the fees you folks are talking about for your education sounds as if perhaps you went to "private" schools where the fees are always higher.

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very discouraged in Dade City, Florida

41 months ago

Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida said: I'm a retired R.N.in FL. and have a friend in PA. who just got his Masters and is going to be doing Family and Marriage Counseling in private practice. His focus will be with adoptees and adoptive parents. He told me he does not need a license//only if he wants to be on insurance company panels which he doesn't plan to do...self pay on a sliding scale is the way he plans to go. I guess I don't really understand why a person wouldn't want to be licensed/it shows you know your field and clients down a days want to see that//see the credentials before choosing someone to see. A friend who has his PhD in psycholgy did the Masters route but as he said, it usually doesn't get you any where; you need the PhD or PsyD. Some of the fees you folks are talking about for your education sounds as if perhaps you went to "private" schools where the fees are always higher.

Thank you for replying back,,,,,do you know of anyone or anything about doing research trials with a BA only?

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

41 months ago

I hate to burst any one's bubble but I have seen changes as far as social workers in the hospital setting. Many of the hospitals, at least in FL. are turning to R.N. Case Managers. So please, you all, check thoroughly in to every aspect before choosing your educational path....from requirements of your state for licensing and/or certification, need for that particular profession in today's times, whether your school is a certified school in your state, whether the school has counselors who knows what is going on in your chosen profession and is willing to be truthful with you rather then get you into the program so they can make money off of you.

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very discouraged in Dade City, Florida

41 months ago

sorry,,,,,but when I look on line for all different kinds of information, RN's do clinical research. I did find an University that will pay 14.50 an hour, partime for infectious disease research.25-30 a week with a BA in Psy. I was thinking about doing that, but I do work full-time (teacher). But, with education in the county I work in, we have a 60 million short fall on our budget. They feel it will be 5-7 years until the district may get the budget together. We as teachers, are getting another, 3 years in a row a pay decrease. I feel I'm going backwards in my life. I'm 41, and I started my family late. I have 2 kids, (5 years and 3 years old). I want to go back to school for them. I want to do more for them. If I was single, I would be some what content. I have a FRS investment, so I have to take that in consideration, (13 years). I don't want to lose that, so maybe one day I can retire. I thought about the BSN program,but me being a nurse.....ummm, I can't even handle vommit. Yes, I want out of the classroom and go toward a medical field in some kind of way. If you don't mind replying again, I'm sorry to bother you. Thank you for all of your advice.

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DadMike in Maryland

41 months ago

Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida said: I'm a retired R.N.in FL. and have a friend in PA. who just got his Masters and is going to be doing Family and Marriage Counseling in private practice. His focus will be with adoptees and adoptive parents. He told me he does not need a license//only if he wants to be on insurance company panels which he doesn't plan to do...self pay on a sliding scale is the way he plans to go. I guess I don't really understand why a person wouldn't want to be licensed/it shows you know your field and clients down a days want to see that//see the credentials before choosing someone to see. A friend who has his PhD in psycholgy did the Masters route but as he said, it usually doesn't get you any where; you need the PhD or PsyD. Some of the fees you folks are talking about for your education sounds as if perhaps you went to "private" schools where the fees are always higher.

Hmm- I also had heard you don't need a lisence in PA, and was told so myself when inquiring into some jobs; but I was schooled on the law by another poster, and it seems you DO need a license to practice- just not in every setting. But thank you for confirming I wasn't just hallucinating when I was told a license wasn't needed!!
I agree, though- being licensed offers status and protection. In MD licensure fees are over 200 over 2 years just for the license; it costs several hundred to take the test up front; those fees aren't associated with schools- they apply to all, and are charged by the MD Board of Social Work Examiners, the state govt. licensure agency.

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DadMike in Maryland

41 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Hmm- I also had heard you don't need a lisence in PA, and was told so myself when inquiring into some jobs; but I was schooled on the law by another poster, and it seems you DO need a license to practice- just not in every setting. But thank you for confirming I wasn't just hallucinating when I was told a license wasn't needed!!
I agree, though- being licensed offers status and protection. In MD licensure fees are over 200 over 2 years just for the license; it costs several hundred to take the test up front; those fees aren't associated with schools- they apply to all, and are charged by the MD Board of Social Work Examiners, the state govt. licensure agency.

I meant "every" 2 years.

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

41 months ago

Our school systems in Fl. and the teachers got screwed.
I know there are nurses working in research but from my limited knowledge of that area of nursing, they do want the nurse to have a BS in nursing/some places will take you straight out of school though I don't approve of that as I feel the new graduates need at least one year of nursing patients before moving on to other things/and the research is mainly found at "teaching" hospitals like Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami.

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Anonymous in Greenville, Michigan

41 months ago

Melody in Macon, Georgia said: 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.

I make less pay with an M.A. than I did without it.

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Anonymous in Greenville, Michigan

41 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'm in the same boat. I am applying to jobs that are related to those I did before I got my degrees (I have 3 of them!!). Sad. Very sad actually. I make less money WITH degrees than I did without them. People with high school diplomas make more than me. What is the purpose of getting an education if you can't find a job that covers expenses & the cost of student loans?? I constantly weigh my choices - did I make a mistake taking on all of this debt???

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Anonymous in Greenville, Michigan

41 months ago

Kathryn in Alexandria, Virginia said: Great response from MSMHC- definitely make sure you do thorough research before signing up for a graduate program. I also might suggest that if you have decided that you'd like to be a counselor for your career, you investigate both counseling and social work graduate programs. I have two graduate degrees in community agency counseling (M.A. and Ed.S.) and did not realize until mid-way through my program that, in Virginia, LCSW (licensed social worker) requirements were much easier to complete than LPC. Having a license in this competitive job market is really essential, and it's a multi-year process for the LPC track folks. I'm not there yet, and the difficulty I've had finding full-time employment in my area was quite surprising.

In short, do lots of research, visit the national and state counseling association webpages (they will have links to licensing credentials, graduate schools, etc.), before you make a decision or commit to a graduate program.

I've been interviewing for over a year. Most want a license, additional trainings, my being able to speak a foreign language, and experience in the field. The ante keeps going up.

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Anonymous in Greenville, Michigan

41 months ago

Kathryn in Alexandria, Virginia said: Great response from MSMHC- definitely make sure you do thorough research before signing up for a graduate program. I also might suggest that if you have decided that you'd like to be a counselor for your career, you investigate both counseling and social work graduate programs. I have two graduate degrees in community agency counseling (M.A. and Ed.S.) and did not realize until mid-way through my program that, in Virginia, LCSW (licensed social worker) requirements were much easier to complete than LPC. Having a license in this competitive job market is really essential, and it's a multi-year process for the LPC track folks. I'm not there yet, and the difficulty I've had finding full-time employment in my area was quite surprising.

In short, do lots of research, visit the national and state counseling association webpages (they will have links to licensing credentials, graduate schools, etc.), before you make a decision or commit to a graduate program.

I've been interviewing for over a year. Most want a license, additional trainings, ability to speak in a foreign language, AND experience in the field. The ante keeps going up.

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DecisionMade in Richmond Hill, Ontario

41 months ago

Thanks for all your comments everyone. You have helped me to finally make a decision and stop agonizing. Also, you've all helped me feel better about that M.Sc. in Social Psychology I almost completed. They say regret is a waste of time but I can't help it. I so deeeeeply regret all the money I spent, money I didn't make, and intense work and stress I endured while in graduate school, and I have felt terrible in various ways about not completing my degree. I left a career in television to go back to school because I wanted to help people. Too late I realized I was in the wrong program. My degree would not qualify me to be a psychologist.

I had been searching for online counselling psych programs and wondering if I could transfer my graduate work. Then I checked out requirements for licensing. Eeeeeeek!! What an insanely stupid system in both the U.S. and Canada. Are there any other professions where you can only use your qualifications to work in one state or province? Where you spend gazillions on your education and then earn barely more than minimum wage.

I officially give up on the fields of psychology and counseling. Maybe I'll just do a few documentary exposes of higher education and the qualification process for psychologists and counsellors.

Thanks for saving me more years of wasted time and money. Now I'll put my time to better use, by getting creative and thinking of alternative ways to make money and help people.

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

41 months ago

As the nurse here, I'm really floored by all the problems you all have and are going through.
Most of the folks I know that have gone the counseling way...whether it be via social work or as a psychologist didn't seem to have these problems.
A psychologist friend got his masters and realized he was going to have to go on and get a PhD or PsyD to get anywhere.
When changing professions, you have to talk to people actually in the field. They will be truthful vs. the guidance counselors who have a vested interest in your attending the school.
You need to get your facts and figures...schools/programs/costs/requirements to practice/need for your specific specialty.
I myself believe in the licensing process and will not use anyone without one. It on the most part gives you ceditability.

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DadMike in Maryland

41 months ago

DecisionMade in Richmond Hill, Ontario said: Thanks for all your comments everyone. You have helped me to finally make a decision and stop agonizing. Also, you've all helped me feel better about that M.Sc. in Social Psychology I almost completed. They say regret is a waste of time but I can't help it. I so deeeeeply regret all the money I spent, money I didn't make, and intense work and stress I endured while in graduate school, and I have felt terrible in various ways about not completing my degree. I left a career in television to go back to school because I wanted to help people. Too late I realized I was in the wrong program. My degree would not qualify me to be a psychologist.

I had been searching for online counselling psych programs and wondering if I could transfer my graduate work. Then I checked out requirements for licensing. Eeeeeeek!! What an insanely stupid system in both the U.S. and Canada. Are there any other professions where you can only use your qualifications to work in one state or province? Where you spend gazillions on your education and then earn barely more than minimum wage.

I officially give up on the fields of psychology and counseling. Maybe I'll just do a few documentary exposes of higher education and the qualification process for psychologists and counsellors.

Thanks for saving me more years of wasted time and money. Now I'll put my time to better use, by getting creative and thinking of alternative ways to make money and help people.

Masters' in social work is the way to go for almost all mental health and helping professions. Social work jobs pay decently to well, there are plenty of them, and if you're in an accredited program the degree transfers state to state- but licenses don't always transfer- you may have to sit again for a new test if you move to a different state. With an MSW, you can work addictions, mental health, public child welfare, private therapy, homeless shelters, etc.

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Lisa in Atlanta, Georgia

41 months ago

This message is to the nurse who is a counselor. I am a RN too & I have been curious about going back to get my Masters degree(LPC)? What degree do you have to be a counselor & what exactly do you do?
Thanks- Lisa in Atlanta

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lisa in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

40 months ago

Anonymous in Greenville, Michigan said: I'm in the same boat. I am applying to jobs that are related to those I did before I got my degrees (I have 3 of them!!). Sad. Very sad actually. I make less money WITH degrees than I did without them. People with high school diplomas make more than me. What is the purpose of getting an education if you can't find a job that covers expenses & the cost of student loans?? I constantly weigh my choices - did I make a mistake taking on all of this debt???

I hear all of you. I called my licensing board in Wi before going to grad school. The guy said why bother going to grad school, as long as I did not call myself licensed counselor. I did not listen, went to grad school...racked up assoc costs as well as opportunity loss for years when I could have worked as an RN (which I already had along with an education degree). Now, four years later, I see the error of my ways. I make at least $30,000 less if I worked as an RN. It really is so sad that the people who can do so much good in the world make such crappy pay. I am thinking of working for UPS! The pay and benefit are better than a graduate degree in MFT!! I must say it did help me "differentiate" and maybe in the long run was cheaper than my own psychotherapy sessions! People WILL sue, as the previous therapists mentioned and you can get reported to the licensing board if they don't like the results. I hate to rain on the parade...but it is a reality to consider.

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anonymous in Athens, Georgia in Athens, Georgia

40 months ago

I am older now and back in the field of Social Work after having left it ten years ago. I am having trouble finding a position in Social Work, although I have my MSW and I am licensed. Although I only have 5 years experience in the field, I have been fortunate to have had a really varied work experience in Social Work. However, I don't know if it has been because of my age now or the economy with a flooding of applicants that I am just not being offered a position, even after interviewing. Can anybody help me as to what the reason might be.

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

40 months ago

My assessment would be....you have been out of the field a long time. In nursing of which is my field, out that long and you have to go back for refresher courses even if you kept your license active and did continuing education hours. If it's your age, you will never find out but I don't really think it is. Yes they could hire in new grads. to the field and "pay less" but they are only going to pay you for 5 years experience because you haven't wporkled more then that. Things are different out there and and they want someone with current experience and no the changes.

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Sara in Richmond Hill, Ontario

40 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,

I read somewhere that with an MSW you can work for yourself as a counselor. If this is true, then I would not have to worry about getting someone else to give me a job, right? But I see here many people frustrated about the difficulty of getting hired. Is there something I don't know about working for yourself as a counselor? I just want to set up my own office and counsel people a few days a week. Are there obstacles to this?

Thanks!

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DadMike in Maryland

40 months ago

Sara in Richmond Hill, Ontario said: Hi,

I read somewhere that with an MSW you can work for yourself as a counselor. If this is true, then I would not have to worry about getting someone else to give me a job, right? But I see here many people frustrated about the difficulty of getting hired. Is there something I don't know about working for yourself as a counselor? I just want to set up my own office and counsel people a few days a week. Are there obstacles to this?

Thanks!

In US (in Canada I have no idea!!!) alot varies state by state.
In Maryland, you can be an indepent therapist with an MSW and an LCSW-C level license. But independent therapists can have a hard go at it, from the folks I know that have done it- insurances tend to dicker and reject payments over little things, bombard you with paper work for minor bills, etc.; in Canada, with a different healthcare system-- maybe it's not so bad? And if it is a solo practice, they often run into challenges of crisis coverage, being ill when a client needs to see them and they don't have a back-up, etc.
I would do a great deal of research on your local small business and social work laws in Ontario, and consult with a local NASW-type organization in Canada before you decide what to do.

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Bria in Lithonia, Georgia

40 months ago

For the past 3 days i have been reading forums about nursing and anything within the health proffession to get an inside scoop of how people really feel about Nursing and the health field. I have been nothing but discouarged hearing about peoples financial situations, and how bad the economy is. and now am confused as what direction i want to take in my life and career. I am only 19 years old and is my 2nd yr of college. I dont want to wait till ive done all 4 years in college to realize i wasted my time and money sticking to something i may not like. I NEED GUIDANCE. i need people to tell me the truth and NOT what i wanna hear. I DONT wana hear how the money is GOOD .i want the truth . IS nursing a avenue i wana take? i want to do something in the health field but dont know exactly WHAT . i thought nursing would be cool. but i guess not :( i jus dont wana waste time and money.

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

40 months ago

I still believe that nursing is a calling not just a job. You have to really care about people and want to help them at some of the worse times in their life. You will have difficulties like any other job.....the administration who feel you can do "one more thing" or a "policy" that sounds nuts to everyone but the one who came up with it. Remember, we are dealing with "sick" people who don't understand what is happening and why and you often will see the worse sides of their personalities as well as family members. There will be aggrogant, ego swollen doctors cross your path. You will perhaps have to work a shift other then "days" and you will be working holidays......hospitals are a 24/7 operation. But you will have rewards....holding a brand new life in your arms/saving someone from death/or being the person holding some one's hand as they die when they have no one else. It's not an easy profession but can be rewarding. The pay is decent/there are so many areas to work so that if you find one is not for you, there are others that may be a better fit. It's easier to get a job within your own community or if you move to another state. I would like to see you do some volunteer work at a hospital or nursing home and observe what is going on around you to see if you like what you see and whether you are comfortable with "our world".......R.N. for over 40 years

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Bria in Lithonia, Georgia

40 months ago

Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida said: I still believe that nursing is a calling not just a job. You have to really care about people and want to help them at some of the worse times in their life. You will have difficulties like any other job.....the administration who feel you can do "one more thing" or a "policy" that sounds nuts to everyone but the one who came up with it. Remember, we are dealing with "sick" people who don't understand what is happening and why and you often will see the worse sides of their personalities as well as family members. There will be aggrogant, ego swollen doctors cross your path. You will perhaps have to work a shift other then "days" and you will be working holidays......hospitals are a 24/7 operation. But you will have rewards....holding a brand new life in your arms/saving someone from death/or being the person holding some one's hand as they die when they have no one else. It's not an easy profession but can be rewarding. The pay is decent/there are so many areas to work so that if you find one is not for you, there are others that may be a better fit. It's easier to get a job within your own community or if you move to another state. I would like to see you do some volunteer work at a hospital or nursing home and observe what is going on around you to see if you like what you see and whether you are comfortable with "our world".......R.N. for over 40 years

thank you for your opinion. I have been looking into doing some internships. But you jus dont understand. some people probably arent as mentally strong as you deal with the nursing proffession for over 40 years. i think ive been discouraged about the stories of people getting lawsuits against them and people financially struggling from grad school and etc etc etc. Nursing SOUNDS like a rewarding job BUT lets face it. DOES the good outweigh the bad things when it comes to nursing?

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

40 months ago

The nurses usually aren't the ones "sued". In my time in nursing....I have never known a nurse or of a nurse that has been "sued". I feel the good in nursing outweighs the bad BUT I come from a different era and mentality on nursing. Some of the ones coming into nursing today just don't have that "core" to be a nurse.....just looking for a decent paying job and if that's it, you probably should think of something else. Might be wise to take to the school's counselor to see what is out there that may be a match for you and then talk to people in that field. In any job'profession, you only get out of it what you put in. There is no utopian job out there......every job has it's problems. Good luck to you in whatever you deceide to do.

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Bria in Lithonia, Georgia

40 months ago

Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida said: The nurses usually aren't the ones "sued". In my time in nursing....I have never known a nurse or of a nurse that has been "sued". I feel the good in nursing outweighs the bad BUT I come from a different era and mentality on nursing. Some of the ones coming into nursing today just don't have that "core" to be a nurse.....just looking for a decent paying job and if that's it, you probably should think of something else. Might be wise to take to the school's counselor to see what is out there that may be a match for you and then talk to people in that field. In any job'profession, you only get out of it what you put in. There is no utopian job out there......every job has it's problems. Good luck to you in whatever you deceide to do.

thank you very much.

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2 in Rockford, Illinois

40 months ago

Talisa in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: Hi Pat,
My name is Talisa. Frustration is not the word! I have had my Master's since Dec. 2001. Two months prior to graduation, I found out that PA along with many other states required us to take the Praxis Exams. I have taken the math 12 times, failing within 2-4 points of passing. I am now working in the Mental Health areana. All I can say is to keep plugging at it and if you really like counseling, the pay will not really matter! I am planning to go after my Ph.D. What can I loose?

your spelling and grammar!

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DadMike in Maryland

40 months ago

Bria in Lithonia, Georgia said: thank you for your opinion. I have been looking into doing some internships. But you jus dont understand. some people probably arent as mentally strong as you deal with the nursing proffession for over 40 years. i think ive been discouraged about the stories of people getting lawsuits against them and people financially struggling from grad school and etc etc etc. Nursing SOUNDS like a rewarding job BUT lets face it. DOES the good outweigh the bad things when it comes to nursing?

Something else to keep in mind- if you are writing from the nation of Georgia, American postings may not be the best comparison. Nursing may be a great field in Europe right now- could be worse!- but the American medical system is unique to itself. If you're interested in becoming an American nurse or social worker or counselor, you're in the right forum! If not, check out some European forums before you make up your mind.

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MJes in Madison, New Hampshire

39 months ago

Hey guys. Not sure if any of you could help me, but I've seen some people from GA on here and would love your advice. I live in NH, and am graduating next month with my Masters in Mental Health Counseling. I completed a year long internship with 45 hours of supervision.

My family lives in GA, and I am considering moving there. However, the licensure process looks very intense! I have the opportunity to work at the place where I did my internship and become licensed in NH.

I am wondering if I should move to GA after graduating, try to find a job, and try to go through the licensure process there, of if it would be easier for me to become licensed here in NH and then try to become an LPC in GA. It does not seem that easy to transfer a license from another state into GA.

Any advice much appreciated! :)

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

39 months ago

You got a job offer where you are at...take it. Get your license in that state and get some work experience under your belt. You can see later if you want to move back home.
Don't give up a sure for a "maybe".

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Sara in Richmond Hill, Ontario

39 months ago

boo in Hopkinsville, Kentucky said: First you have to learn how to spell. And, seriously, you want to go from that degree to this degree, and with anxiety in speaking to people? Be real. That's all we counselors do is talk and interact with people. My suggestion is stick to a profession where less interaction is more.

Boo,

First you have to retire from the counseling profession. You have a harsh and immature way of communicating. Second, you need to know that some of the world's most famous geniuses have been very bad at spelling. Spelling ability is not a reflection of intelligence, and on internet forums, it is a non-issue.

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DadMike in Maryland

39 months ago

Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida said: I agree with you Sara.
Perhaps Boo needs to think of another line of work. He is interacting with people with difficulties?!
Way too harsh with his response with someone needing to vent and gain some insight from others as to professional choices.

My personal observation over the last two decades in social work-- there are 2 predominate groups of people that come into the helping profession- one group that genuinely cares and wants to help people, the other group that uses the guise of "helping" as a vehicle for criticism and control.
My gut is "Boo" is in group two.

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hameednelson in Charlotte, North Carolina

39 months ago

Amen!

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futurepsychologist in Atlanta, Georgia

39 months ago

I'm 30 credits from completing my Bachelors in Psychology and I'm not completely sure what type of psychologist I would like to be. The hard part is that there are no opportunities for undergraduates to intern or get any experience. I feel as though I'm wasting my time because every job I see states you must at least have a masters degree to apply. I'm great at counseling and listening to others but it looks at though only my friends will benefit from it. I have contacted hospitals and mental hospitals only to receive rejection after rejection.

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DadMike in Maryland

39 months ago

futurepsychologist in Atlanta, Georgia said: I'm 30 credits from completing my Bachelors in Psychology and I'm not completely sure what type of psychologist I would like to be. The hard part is that there are no opportunities for undergraduates to intern or get any experience. I feel as though I'm wasting my time because every job I see states you must at least have a masters degree to apply. I'm great at counseling and listening to others but it looks at though only my friends will benefit from it. I have contacted hospitals and mental hospitals only to receive rejection after rejection.

I interned on a sucide hotline- best training and experience I could have possibley had. Sadly, the job market for a BA in psych in the mental health field is NOT good-- you may be able to get a state social services job or a an orderly's position at a mental health hospital, but a straight counseling job that pays anything decent with even a Master's in pysch is near impossible, if not completely impossible, to find. You're also far, far better off with an MSW vs. a Master's in Psych, and you can still work in counseling- in fact, MOST therapists are MSWs.

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Hopey in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

39 months ago

I'm finishing my last class in Community Counseling (M.S.) with 700 supervised hours under my belt. I went across the border to get the degree (in Alabama) and it's disheartening to realize that I will have to take four more classes in order to meet just one of the Mississippi licensure requirements.

So I have 2500 supervised hours to go, no NCC yet because I haven't graduated and I can't take the exam, 700 hours already done. I'm networking like mad locally and scanning usajobs as if it's a religion. Using all my contacts with people and yet, no one here wants to hire someone with 10 years' experience in hospice and stage IV cancer, plus a year in academic counseling and career counseling. Why not? It forces all of us to apply for bachelor's-degree positions, thus forcing someone else out on the street, which I feel terrible about. Not to mention, bachelor's degree positions don't pay squat.

Single mom since marriage disintegrated while I was commuting three hours a day to get the counseling M.S.

Would welcome any suggestions. I'm pretty discouraged and would welcome any encouragement or helpful ideas. I've sent out 150 resumes, had four interviews, rejected one job that required relocation (my son's graduating high school this year, I can't leave him and he can't leave his school after all we've been through). The job I rejected offered $18,000 (ouch, can't pay my school loans and eat on that), 40 hours/wk (I didn't mind that at all) plus four nights a week on call, which is why they wanted me to relocate since I live 45 minutes away. I don't regret turning it down but I know some of my cohort have landed jobs making anywhere from $31 - $35,000/yr across the border in AL. It's frustrating! Is it my age? I'm 52 and female. I may end up letting my ex stay with my son while I relocate out of state to another place I know has openings. I just don't want to do that right now.

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bjvicemiller in Jackson, Mississippi

38 months ago

I decided that I wanted to be a drug and alcohol counselor after going through many drug treatments myself. I was actually kicked out of the last one, and I am still clean. I will have 10 years in December. I went through a state and national licensing program on weekend for a year, and I did 6,000 intern hours. I also had to take a written test, which I passed top of the class I sit in; although I was in the top 5% nationally. I had to type a portofolio, which was approximately 45-65 pages long, and I had to develope my own case (not using a patient I had when I was interning). I then had to present that case study orally for the state board, which consisted of 5 people. The best part of the story is: the day I took the written test a lady that's working at the facility I interned at failed it, another counselor there had to start filling out PGA's; because he can't hear, another one as far as I know may not even have a high school diploma. The head counselor doesn't even have the license that I have. I have 2-3 semesters to have my BS in psych, but for almost 2 years I haven't been able to find a job; and even worse it's damaging my marriage.

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cassandra in Midland, Texas

38 months ago

I have 2 years left in my sonography program at my local college and one of my courses is psych. I have lately been so very interested in psychology and was seriously thinking of changing my major. I would ideally want to work with addicts and people with disorders. However im 24 ... will i really need a masters in psych in order to have a fulfilling job? any kind of input would really be helpful!!

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DrSnipes

38 months ago

You can get certified by your state addiction certification board without a masters usually. allceus.com/Approvals lists many of the state substance abuse boards

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Anthony in Brooklyn, New York

38 months ago

Taking into account the length of this post, I can clearly see like the counselors provide counseling to other counselors. Does it require any additional education?

I strongly believe that the entire Idea to certify the person who has spiritual strength, mental skills, experience and abilities to teach others hot to live through, and learn from, hard situations in life is absurd.

If you love helping other, can see and feel the fruitful results of your help as well as receive deep emotional satisfaction by doing this, MS in Psychology/Counseling is not necessary.

May the force be with you ;-)

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