MS in Psychology/Counseling is not enough

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canuck in the south in Nicholasville, Kentucky

41 months ago

I am so fortunate to have found this website. Your comments really help solidify some of the frustration that I have been experiencing. I moved from Canada with an independent license with a BSW and MEd degrees. I have continued to pursue my doctorate and almost completed my doctorate in counseling psychology in order to satisfy the licensing boards. However, each time I reach a goal (ie) passing the NCC, and I feel like Dorothy bringing the broom to the wizard, that I am sent out to get 'something' else. It appears that the rules constantly change depending on board members, philosophies etc. My recommendation for your MSc in Psych is to not lose hope. Have you taken a look at Alberta, they license psychologists at the masters level? Also, consider www.ccacc.ca/en/ for licensing as well. Let's say I am not sure where my next move will be, but at this point of trying to figure out all the rhetoric on licensing, I will definately need therapy afterwards!

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moberlyhealth in Moberly, Missouri

41 months ago

Each state has different requirements for almost all professions. Including nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants and yes, there is even some disparity for physicians. Uniformity does not exist as of yet for LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCs nor for Licensed Psychologists. Though attending accredited programs, following the road map of national certification, documentation of clinical supervision and taking the licensure exams will definitely enhance portability.

Professional Counseling is a profession with many opportunities. We can now work for the Veterans Administration, School Systems, Social Service Agencies, Corrections, and the list goes on. A Licensed Professional counselor can bill insurance and even bill Medicaid, though we cannot bill Medicare. We do have many wonderful lobbyists working hard on the issue. Keep in mind Clinical social workers do have restrictions on the Medicare services they can bill for at this time and where they can provide those services at. Furthermore, it has only been within the last few years that Licensed Psychologists obtained their right to access all forms of insurance and their ability to fully access Medicare benefits. The key is not which field you choose but obtaining Clinical Licensure.

Be open minded about forensic work, (work in the legal arena) whether that means providing testimony as a vocational expert in disability hearings, receiving referrals from corrections or providing information to the court regarding family matters, the opportunities are there. Though forensic work (work in the legal arena) can be more demanding it typically pays much better.

Once you have earned your license you can begin applying to insurance panels, Medicaid, EAP programs, and community agencies that need providers. As a professional clinical counselor you are extremely marketable. www.bls.gov/oco/ocos067.htm#earnings

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moberlyhealth in Moberly, Missouri

41 months ago

bjvicemiller in Jackson, Mississippi said: 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.

Keep your head up! If you have already secured your license and degree, you will want to find a job that pays while as you accumulate your post-graduate supervision hours. Also, I would highly recommend reading “What Color is your Parachute”.
If you have not yet found your career in drug and alcohol counseling, try another field of counseling or allied health. You can do it!

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BGates0804 in Charleston, South Carolina

41 months ago

Lisa in Alpharetta, Georgia said: Hi, RN/Counselor from North Carolina, I'm interested in your blog because I've been a RN for 13 years and I'm done with the profession. I have been researching going back to get my Masters degree in some type of Counseling field or a Masters degree in Psychiatric Nursing. What are your thoughts? What about getting a Masters in Social Work or School Psychologist? What is your advice. Oh also, I'm 51 years old living in Atlanta, Ga.
Thanks,
Lisa

Lisa...saw your quote as I was researching being an RN and becoming an LPC. I graduate from an accelerated BSN program this December, and I plan to start my DNP degree next year part time while working as an RN full time. I will be studying for my DNP to become a FNP. I would also like to explore the possibility of becoming a LPC at the same time to give me further versatility in my practice. Please let me know your thoughts. My email is BGates.0804@gmail.com

Thanks....Brandon

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Debbie in Miami, Florida

41 months ago

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

I too share your frustration. I am an LPN in Florida working full-time as a hospice nurse. I recently graduated with my MA in counseling and due to my job, have not yet figured out how I am going to keep the stability of my nursing paycheck and work on the side as a counselor. I am a registered intern going after licensure.

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riosmom1 in Corvallis, Oregon

41 months ago

[QUFurthermore, it has only been within the last few years that Licensed Psychologists obtained their right to access all forms of insurance and their ability to fully access Medicare benefits. The key is not which field you choose but obtaining Clinical Licensure.

Be open minded about forensic work, (work in the legal arena) whether that means providing testimony as a vocational expert in disability hearings, receiving referrals from corrections or providing information to the court regarding family matters, the opportunities are there. Though forensic work (work in the legal arena) can be more demanding it typically pays much better.

Once you have earned your license you can begin applying to insurance panels, Medicaid, EAP programs, and community agencies that need providers. As a professional clinical counselor you are extremely marketable. www.bls.gov/oco/ocos067.ht

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riosmom1 in Corvallis, Oregon

41 months ago

Hello. I am new to this site. I am an LPC with 13 years experience, and recently laid off from school district of 7 years due to budget cuts... frustrated by lack of agency/hospitals/VA's, etc that DO NOT hire LPC, BUT hire MSW.. so thinking to take this time and go back to pick up that MSW.....

Thoughts?

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DadMike in Maryland

41 months ago

riosmom1 in Corvallis, Oregon said: Hello. I am new to this site. I am an LPC with 13 years experience, and recently laid off from school district of 7 years due to budget cuts... frustrated by lack of agency/hospitals/VA's, etc that DO NOT hire LPC, BUT hire MSW.. so thinking to take this time and go back to pick up that MSW.....

Thoughts?

MSW is much, much more versatile than LCPC in most states (Maryland's licens for MS in Psych); alot does depend on individual states.
Licensed counselors at the MS level in Maryland are getting hired in addictions (if the have dual certification in Addictions) as well as in out-patient mental health; Dept. of Social Services hires them as well- but they are paid as caseworkers, a Bachelor's level position.
MSW is still far more marketable in Maryland.
A big reason it's so hard for MS in Psych is that Phd's in Psych don't want the competition- in Maryland it was Phd's in Psych that fought against the LCPC harder than MSWs.

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

41 months ago

I have a friend who first had his Master in psychology...he is from CT. and has also practiced in FL. As he said....he really couldn't get any where with just the Masters. Had to go for a Phd. or PsyD. With this education, he has his own practice that does very well. He has various sub-specialties that make him marketable icluding but not exclusive to working with the impaired professional from the state boards/doing the psychological tests for various police depts/working with those with medical conditions that are life threatening to cope during the illness and the treatments.
And to the PhD's lobbying to prevent a lower educated person from doing things that a higher educated person does.....your point is what. The Phd or PsyD has the further education to do those things where the other perhaps, does not so why wouldn't they want to keep it at their level. Same holds true for the R.N./L.P.N. status.

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DadMike in Maryland

41 months ago

Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida said: I have a friend who first had his Master in psychology...he is from CT. and has also practiced in FL. As he said....he really couldn't get any where with just the Masters. Had to go for a Phd. or PsyD. With this education, he has his own practice that does very well. He has various sub-specialties that make him marketable icluding but not exclusive to working with the impaired professional from the state boards/doing the psychological tests for various police depts/working with those with medical conditions that are life threatening to cope during the illness and the treatments.
And to the PhD's lobbying to prevent a lower educated person from doing things that a higher educated person does.....your point is what. The Phd or PsyD has the further education to do those things where the other perhaps, does not so why wouldn't they want to keep it at their level. Same holds true for the R.N./L.P.N. status.

Phd/PsyD can do very well, and on average make more than social workers. If one has the funds and qualifies for a program, and likes psyhcology, it is an excellent way to go.
As for why I mentioned it-- this thread is about MS in Psych, and how difficult it is to work with an MS in psych. And repression of credentials for MS-level psychs within the field of psyhcology is a definte factor worthy of note. The Phd motive makes perfect sense to me- but it is still a factor.
The MSW is still a far more marketable and affordable degree than an MS in psych, and there are far more openings for MSWs than even Phds in Psych.
However, the Phd in pysch will make more money if the are able to find employment. It is harder and more expensive to obtain that credential- which is one of the reasons they make more money.
I agree with your points- I geuss where we differ is that I felt this dynamic was worth discussion.

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

41 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Phd/PsyD can do very well, and on average make more than social workers. If one has the funds and qualifies for a program, and likes psyhcology, it is an excellent way to go.
As for why I mentioned it-- this thread is about MS in Psych, and how difficult it is to work with an MS in psych. And repression of credentials for MS-level psychs within the field of psyhcology is a definte factor worthy of note. The Phd motive makes perfect sense to me- but it is still a factor.
The MSW is still a far more marketable and affordable degree than an MS in psych, and there are far more openings for MSWs than even Phds in Psych.
However, the Phd in pysch will make more money if the are able to find employment. It is harder and more expensive to obtain that credential- which is one of the reasons they make more money.
I agree with your points- I geuss where we differ is that I felt this dynamic was worth discussion.

The dynamic was worth discussing.
From my perception of the folks who write into this forum, many don't appear to have done a lot of research into the various pros and cons of the professional levels of the field.
Sometimes it's like....why didn't you check these things out before you started the education trail for the profession.
Any and all info. given is good.

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DadMike in Maryland

41 months ago

Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida said: The dynamic was worth discussing.
From my perception of the folks who write into this forum, many don't appear to have done a lot of research into the various pros and cons of the professional levels of the field.
Sometimes it's like....why didn't you check these things out before you started the education trail for the profession.
Any and all info. given is good.

Yep- it's a shame. Too many people go to school thinking any degree means a good job. I know- I was one. And schools do NOTHING to discourage that type of thinking...they need folks to sign up for the classes!!
But with sites like Indeed, research is so easy there is no excuse not to do it.
I wish I had it back when I was in school, pre-Internet, Apple II+ era.
I LOVE social work, but I may not have gotten my BA in Psych. Had several years of 8 bucks an hour psych tech jobs and crisis hotline, with restaurant work (even 7-11) on side to pay bills....before I went and got my MSW. (never occupied anything that whole time....)
I hope all these folks can get a good job doing what they want!

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mm in Cannock, United Kingdom

41 months ago

I am UK based where counsellors are being trained up at an alarming rate, it seems everyone wants to be a counsellor. I just think that there are not enough jobs out there to keep running the courses at this rate. A diploma is nowhere near good enough in most cases and I feel that there is a great counselling myth. The only people who seem to do well are the people running the courses and counsellors who supervise the students who attend them.

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Freshly Minted Counselor in Lansing, Michigan

40 months ago

Wow, what a discussion! With all my extensive experience in the five months since I obtained my master's degree in counseling (haha!) I'll go ahead and share my observations and recommendations.

First, this is how I decided to pursue a degree in counseling. I knew I wanted to work as a therapist. Here in Michigan, there are basically four ways to go about it: psychiatry, psychology, social work and counseling.

Psychiatry is a medical degree so I ruled that out.

To have many opportunities as a psychologist, it seemed I would need a doctorate - and doctoral-level programs in psychology are intensely competitive and time demanding for someone like me working full-time, so that was ruled out.

Social work seemed to require spreading yourself a mile wide and an inch deep with an overstuffed client load, and I wasn't all that interested in the kind of social work that involves ... oh, forgive me ... nannying people into what they (or the state) thinks they need to do. So that was out.

I was left with counseling. While in Michigan licensed counselors can work in social-work type jobs, the philosophy behind counseling seemed more geared toward the one-on-one or group therapy that I yearned to do. I went into it realizing that Licensed Professional Counselors don't have nearly the same recognition as social workers or psychologists in this state, but it seemed an acceptable trade-off to do what I really wanted to do.

There are some other avenues, of course: life coaching, pastoral counseling and the like. To be honest, I didn't explore those options. (to be continued...)

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Freshly Minted Counselor in Lansing, Michigan

40 months ago

(... part 2)

Next, where to get the education. I strongly, and I mean STRONGLY advise against online education. Why? Think about it - we're learning how to work with people. How are you going to do that sitting at home ... in your pajamas ... looking at a computer. No! You need to be interacting with people, watching them react, seeing how people relate and how they respond to things you say. Just as importantly, brick-and-mortar schools provide access to networking that aren't possible online. So, make an effort to find out what kinds of in-person education is available in your area. And as a strictly personal preference, I would strongly warn against going to for-profit schools.

Now, school accreditation. I imagine it would be a lot easier picking a CACREP-accredited program. My state seems to prefer them, and they bring something of a national standard to counselor education. But my school wasn't CACREP-accredited. What this means was that I had to jump through a few more hoops in getting my state license. So far, that's all it's meant, but I can't lie - I wish my program had been.

I just mentioned licensing, and that's the next big thing. I personally can't conceive of how you would go about starting a career in this without having a state license. Not only do employers demand it, but I believe (and someone tell me if I'm wrong) that you can't get liability insurance without it? I do know that if I were a client, I would have serious misgivings about going to someone who wasn't licensed by the state.

Now, that all-important job. I don't have one. It doesn't take a genius to know the economy is HORRIBLE. Opportunities are few and when they arise, I'm competing against people with 5, 10 or more years of experience. I hate to say it's impossible to find a job, but it's starting to feel that way.

But I'm not despairing. More on that in a minute...

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adamkins in Mumbai, United Kingdom

40 months ago

its good...

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Freshly Minted Counselor in Lansing, Michigan

40 months ago

(hopefully the last part)

I don't know about other states, but in Michigan, holding a limited license professional counselor qualifies you to start your own practice. I know that starting a business should be something that one enters into cautiously and with a lump of capital, but seriously - I'm collecting unemployment now and I don't have much left to lose.

Here's my plan. As a "freshly minted counselor," insurance panels won't deal with me. So what! There are tens of millions of people in this country that insurance companies don't deal with, either. The uninsured are screaming for access to mental health care. This is an opportunity. I plan on offering low-cost counseling to the uninsured on a sliding-scale basis. Depending on household size and income, my rates will start at $5 and top out at $50. I know I'm not going to get rich quick - or even at a turtle's pace - at this rate. Doesn't matter. I'll be working, helping others and doing what I wanted to do when I decided to become a counselor in the first place. And after a few years when I'm fully licensed, I can revisit getting on insurance panels.

So, to sum it up:

1. Decide carefully what flavor of "helper" you want to be.
2. Carefully choose your school
3. License! Why wouldn't you?
4. Don't be afraid to strike out on your own.

A big caveat here. Like I said, I'm all of five months out of school, so the chances that I'm ridiculously naive are astronomical. But I'm willing to take a chance. Because what's my other option? Sitting around hoping someone gives me a chance? Doing something for equally low pay that I'll hate doing?

We all learned about locus of control, didn't we? Work it!

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DadMike in Maryland

40 months ago

Freshly Minted Counselor in Lansing, Michigan said: (hopefully the last part)
We all learned about locus of control, didn't we? Work it!

I wish you the best of luck! Please keep in mind many states don't recognize or license the degree of "Counselor"- Maryland being one- you have to be an MSW, MS/Phd in Psych, or Psychiatrist. Is there a professional counselor's (non-MSW, non-psych) organization you can tap into?
If you're of a religious bent, the pastoral route may be a good bet with a counseling degree. Other option- Life coaching is vague enough that could be a go-- check your state for rules and regs. What is life coaching? Who the heck really knows- it's defined in all sorts of ways-- but many people are making money at it w/o any related degree at all!! Addictions may be another treatment option... Sadly, standard mental health-type therapy is not very lucrative any more-- insurance industry has strangled it, esp. HMOs. You can still earn OK money at it-- but it's far from what it used to be, and there are alot less jobs.
One advantage the MSW has, at least in Maryland, is that you can be licensed with only an MSW, no experience. It's a lower tier license, but it's a license. It's a tremendous advantage over those with other mental-health related degrees.

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

40 months ago

Wow! I like your thought processes and assessments. The one thing good about being on insurance panels is your name is listed in their provider book and it's a way to get referrels but the insurance route can be a killer with all the paperwork to be filed and the small amount of money they pay. I know quite a few folks who do the sliding scale and it's worked for them but don't undercut yourself, find out what is usual and customary. I know that if I were looking for a counselor, I'm looking for a license connected with that person....it shows they took the board and knew the information/to me it gives credibility. I wish you loads of luck and best wishes....you will do well.

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Rebi in Gaithersburg, Maryland

40 months ago

I received my M.S. in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins in 2001. At the time and subsequently, I had to work full time so I wasn't able to get any supervision. Now I am retired from my job and sincerely want to do something with my degree. Is it too late to get supervision and try to get certified/licensed? The only supervision I had was a few hundred hours in my last year at a child/adolescent facility? Thanks.

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DadMike in Maryland

40 months ago

Rebi in Gaithersburg, Maryland said: I received my M.S. in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins in 2001. At the time and subsequently, I had to work full time so I wasn't able to get any supervision. Now I am retired from my job and sincerely want to do something with my degree. Is it too late to get supervision and try to get certified/licensed? The only supervision I had was a few hundred hours in my last year at a child/adolescent facility? Thanks.

You're best bet-- hook up with Maryland Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene website and check out rules and regs for LCPC licensure. I doubt it's too late- but read up on the rules and regs there, or give them a call, to be sure.

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Rebi in Gaithersburg, Maryland

40 months ago

Thanks. I think I will call them because the website seemed to be very confusing and disappointing. If I could only turn back the hands of time and do things differently.

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Al in Tarrytown, New York

40 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: I wish you the best of luck! Please keep in mind many states don't recognize or license the degree of "Counselor"- Maryland being one- you have to be an MSW, MS/Phd in Psych, or Psychiatrist. Is there a professional counselor's (non-MSW, non-psych) organization you can tap into?
If you're of a religious bent, the pastoral route may be a good bet with a counseling degree. Other option- Life coaching is vague enough that could be a go-- check your state for rules and regs. What is life coaching? Who the heck really knows- it's defined in all sorts of ways-- but many people are making money at it w/o any related degree at all!! Addictions may be another treatment option... Sadly, standard mental health-type therapy is not very lucrative any more-- insurance industry has strangled it, esp. HMOs. You can still earn OK money at it-- but it's far from what it used to be, and there are alot less jobs.
One advantage the MSW has, at least in Maryland, is that you can be licensed with only an MSW, no experience. It's a lower tier license, but it's a license. It's a tremendous advantage over those with other mental-health related degrees.

Your information is a bit outdated, all 50 states now license counselors (though the titles vary). Here is the link for the state board that governs licensure in Maryland

dhmh.maryland.gov/bopc/html/licenseeinfo.html

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Al in Tarrytown, New York

40 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: You're best bet-- hook up with Maryland Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene website and check out rules and regs for LCPC licensure. I doubt it's too late- but read up on the rules and regs there, or give them a call, to be sure.

Oops! Spoke to soon! But if you know about the LCPC in Maryland, what did you mean when you said they don't license counselors?

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DadMike in Maryland

40 months ago

Al in Tarrytown, New York said: Oops! Spoke to soon! But if you know about the LCPC in Maryland, what did you mean when you said they don't license counselors?

I'm here to help people- not one up them. That's why I provided a link, and didn't stand on my statements alone.
Intelligent, wise people acknowledge-- things change.
It used to be only an MS in Psyhocology. However, per THE LINK THAT I SHARED an you referenced it is now broader, based more on specific coursework.
So thank you for the correction.
Hopefully you're one-upmanship is as helpful to folks as my link. :)

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Rochelle in Lawrenceville, Georgia

40 months ago

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

Hi. Check out this website. www.lpcaga.org/. Click on licensure questions.

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B in Watertown, Massachusetts

39 months ago

I graduated recently with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: School & Community from a university in Massachusetts. I hold an initial Guidance Counselor certification. I am LMHC eligible and seek to accrue the required post-graduate work and supervision. Since my clinical and guidance internships were in schools, I was hoping to find a Guidance position at a school. However, I have not been able to land a Guidance job as I'd hoped. I did not want to substitute teach for two years, so I began looking for clinical positions and found an in-home therapy job, only to be let go at my three-month evaluation for mysterious reasons. I think the clinical director wanted a licensed clinician, as a less experienced individual had originally hired me. So, I'm stuck unemployed looking for 35k-45k range jobs and have found that I do not qualify for most positions without LMHC. I am frustrating considering how hard I have worked and the load of debt that I must pay off while not being able to find a job with a living wage. I do love the field and feel I have a great future as a counselor. I know eventually I'll find something, but the system feels so out of whack. Salaries just don't line up with the barriers to entry into the field. Master's level individuals should not have to work two and half years post-masters after two years of internship in $20K fee-for-service bust your ** extremely high-pressure positions. It is what it is. I have to keep telling myself "shoulds" do not matter in this cutthroat world. I'm better off than a lot of folks right now, even if I am unemployed. Many of us may just have to take fee-for-service jobs and get licensed.

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Ana in Durham, North Carolina

39 months ago

so why is it so hard to be licensed in GA? I'm currently considering applying for colleges in GA to get my MA or MS in Mental Health Counseling or Psychology. Is the licensing the same for both or different? From these posts it almost sounds like I should really consider another state for licensure.

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Lanell in Riverdale, Georgia

38 months ago

I have a Bachelor and Masters in psychology but my masters program was not licensure ready. Does anyone know what you would need to do in oreder to get a LAPC or LPC in the Atlanta Area? Or has anyone gone through a simular situation and was able to get their license another way? Please share...

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RL in Brooklyn, New York

38 months ago

I wrote this in another forum, but felt that this forum was better.

I have a Mental Health Counseling Degree and honestly that is one of the biggest mistake of my life. As of right now I am trying find a job. Everywhere I look, they are looking for people with paid experiences. In addition, they are looking for people with a license. The way that Mental Health Counseling work is that I need to complete 3000 hours at a "qualified" job and take the test to have a license. Right now, my future is not looking to bright with that degree. I wished I could go back in time, and instead of studying psychology, I would have studied science.

Advice to those thinking about getting that degree, make sure that you will have a job available

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LLittle in Bogota, New Jersey

38 months ago

Interesting forum. I am wondering if someone could advise me on how to write the MA, NCC, LPC or should it be writtern MA, LPC, NCC. Please advise thank you in advance.

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damadol in Pune, India

38 months ago

nice reading about all psychology guys putting their heads together to solve the employment.
i wish there was licensing in india too. that would have lent some job-worthy status to the profession. i am a B.A psychology with decent grades. i went to work in a bank at an executive level and enjoy working there. but i seriously feel had there been sufficient job opportunities for psychology grads i would have continued into my M.A and worked in a therapeutic setting rather than moving completely away from my major.

B.A psy grads can find job in business also but i believe the real flavour of psy is either in treating people or engaging in fruitful research. none of which seems monetarily rewarding atleast in india.
i am sad to see that practitioners in US too are complaining. i guess we have to show to the world what we guys are really worth.

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Abby in Mchenry, Illinois

38 months ago

Counseling in illinois is a joke at this moment. There are barely any job openings and now jobs that used to hire LPC's want an LCPC because they now that people are desperate. This field is an embarrassment and people should not waste their money on paying loans. I worked my butt of for three years getting a 4.0 GPA and got a case management position right after graduating. Even with my LPC I cant get a counseling position because I dont have the experience. This is ridiculous and I would not ever advise anyone to go in to this field because it is truely a waste of money and time. I am truely disappointed in Illinois and this field.

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Abby in Mchenry, Illinois

38 months ago

RL in Brooklyn, New York said: I wrote this in another forum, but felt that this forum was better.

I have a Mental Health Counseling Degree and honestly that is one of the biggest mistake of my life. As of right now I am trying find a job. Everywhere I look, they are looking for people with paid experiences. In addition, they are looking for people with a license. The way that Mental Health Counseling work is that I need to complete 3000 hours at a "qualified" job and take the test to have a license. Right now, my future is not looking to bright with that degree. I wished I could go back in time, and instead of studying psychology, I would have studied science.

Advice to those thinking about getting that degree, make sure that you will have a job available

I went for my Master's in COunseling and I too feel this was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

38 months ago

The biggest thing I see not happening is checking out all the pros and cons before entering an educational program as well as what the standards are that need to be met to actually work in the field. There would be a lot less disappoinment if some research was done.

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Squids in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

38 months ago

It's the same old story - reality versus expectations. I don't think anyone on the street could have predicted the economy a few years ago and the effect it's had but here it is - graduates unable to get experience without licensure and unable to get licensure without experience. All the more reason to make very thoroughly researched decisions on what's best for ourselves from this point on, even if that means not using the graduate degree in the counseling field. There are other fields it could be used in. It's a tough world out there. Either we adapt or our careers die.

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Squids in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

38 months ago

It's the same old story - reality versus expectations. I don't think anyone on the street could have predicted the economy a few years ago and the effect it's had but here it is - graduates unable to get experience without licensure and unable to get licensure without experience. All the more reason to make very thoroughly researched decisions on what's best for ourselves from this point on, even if that means not using the graduate degree in the counseling field. There are other fields it could be used in. It's a tough world out there. Either we adapt or our careers die.

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Squids in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

38 months ago

My apologies! Not sure why this posted three times. :(

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

38 months ago

No one could have predicted the economy but to complain you need "X" number of supervised hours/and this requirement or that to get licensed.....you need to know these fine points before you enter the field. The boards of licensing don't often change the rules that frquently so you should have a clue of the requirements for the profession you chose to pursue.

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Squids in Pearl, Mississippi

38 months ago

I wasn't really talking about licensure requirements but I know my graduate program was very clear about the backend burden. The occupational handbook listed counseling as onew fields that sgowed cont'd growth over the next 10 years.

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Squids in Pearl, Mississippi

38 months ago

Sorry, my texting isn't that great. : p

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Shaquita Fanning in Columbus, Georgia

38 months ago

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

Were you able to find out the process for getting licensed in GA? I will be completing my MA in Forensic Psychology and I would like to know what the next step is from there.

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Rbass1 in Atlanta, Georgia

37 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.

Me too! So ridiculous!

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CindyP1234 in Round Rock, Texas

37 months ago

How is the job market for LPCs in the Atlanta Metro area? Are licensed counselors are having difficulties finding employment.

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Sue in Grand Rapids, Michigan

37 months ago

counselor intern in Marietta, Georgia said: I'm in the last stages of completing my MA in community counseling and will get my license when I'm done. Based on what Ive been reading, is the MSW the way to go? If so, how do I transition w/o breaking my account again? Thanks!

Well, I tried this route in Michigan. None of the classes here transfer into the MSW program . . . it's a start from the ground up, 2 years Master's level to get an MSW! It seems like many of the classes overlap but the advisor had a big ego about "his program". Good luck

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Sue in Grand Rapids, Michigan

37 months ago

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

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

Look carefully at the posts on this site. You may want to reconsider and go for your MSW. Good luck

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Tebra in Trenton, New Jersey

37 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.

"thinking hard about just becoming a teacher" Same thing withthe teaching profession AND never thing teaching is "just teaching" you are in for a ruder awakening than with counseling.

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Lanell in Riverdale, Georgia

37 months ago

Well from what I have learned (the hard way) is that if you want to go into the psychology field do the research first. Get on the web and look at all the current job postings for the positions that you're interested in or even just to get an idea of what types of positions that is available in your area. Then look at the education/licensure/and experience requirements of the positions (it can be complicated). That would give you a better idea of where you are and what you need to accomplish to get there. Take a look at your state's (or whatever state you plan to work in) composite board website to figure what the requirements are to get the license you need because these schools will tell you anything to get you enrolled (and majority don’t even know themselves) and make sure your school offers what you need to attain all the key elements in the program to get the licensure. I wish I was told this before I jump into the field I would have been more prepared, but I don't regret my decision because I love what I do. Helping people.

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Lanell in Riverdale, Georgia

37 months ago

Sue in Grand Rapids, Michigan said: Look carefully at the posts on this site. You may want to reconsider and go for your MSW. Good luck

Well from what I have learned (the hard way) is that if you want to go into the psychology field do the research first. Get on the web and look at all the current job postings for the positions that you're interested in or even just to get an idea of what types of positions that is available in your area. Then look at the education/licensure/and experience requirements of the positions (it can be complicated). That would give you a better idea of where you are and what you need to accomplish to get there. Take a look at your state's (or whatever state you plan to work in) composite board website to figure what the requirements are to get the license you need because these schools will tell you anything to get you enrolled (and majority don’t even know themselves) and make sure your school offers what you need to attain all the key elements in the program to get the licensure. I wish I was told this before I jump into the field I would have been more prepared, but I don't regret my decision because I love what I do. Helping people.

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Rebi in Gaithersburg, Maryland

37 months ago

I couldn't agree with you more. Great advice for those thinking about psych/soc fields as well as counseling.

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