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MS in Psychology/Counseling is not enough

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.
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@fjoosk 

It's pretty uncommon to get a job practicing psychology without a masters degree.  However, there are plenty of jobs that can use your skills learned, particularly sales, marketing and human resources because understanding human psychology is critical for those disciplines.  Companies that are developing intuitive software using artificial intelligence may also be interested in your skill set.  If you're interested in those fields, I would suggest starting there. 

As for skills in the non-profit or public sector, there are a few jobs like social worker or criminologist that you can get with a bachelor's degree.  If you want to work as a psychologist, you will have to get a masters degree and a license to command a position.  

What types of jobs were you looking for, specifically? 

~ Coach Chantel, Job Search Guide

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Mar 6, 2020 Solution by original poster
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I am 61 and I went back to get my masters in human services in my early 50's. I think it was a waste of time and money. One reason is that I took the non-licensing program and I refuse to go back to school at my age. I have not found a job working with my masters. It might have something to do with not getting licensed. But, there are so many licenses out there that I wouldn't know which one to go for. I looked into getting a BCBA certification and a College near me said I would have to take 8 courses. They suggest one course per semester. I would be in school for about 3 to 4 years. Also, the educational requirements is a masters degree which I have but I can't see myself at this age being in school another 3 to 4 years

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Feb 12, 2020 Solution by original poster
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Lisa you are so right! I would love to correspond with you and " pick your brain "! I DETEST nursing and it's time to get out! I'm completing the capstone portion soon to become a RN. I've been a LPN for many yrs and genuinely entered the profession to help others. Nursing has always been second nature to me but the politics caddy women low morale and mandatory overtime has literally burned me OUT!!!!! I'M GOING UP IN FLAMES!!! Yes the money is good and nursing has provided a decent life, but I can't wait to get out! The only reason why I'm finishing my RN program is because I'm at the very end! I've invested alot of money and time, but once I complete my program I'm changing careers! I have been told by many that counseling is my true calling! Mgmt in nursing could care less about the patient! It's disgusting and I didn't become a nurse for the money! I'm looking to pursue a MA in counseling and would love to someday get a phd. I just can't stay in nursing anymore, I'm miserable and I've worked in various clinical settings and the low morale doesn't improve even with the RN! No respect being yelled at and belittled by Drs and family's yet expected to wear MANY HATS! My email is *********** I'm in NJ Would love 2 chat
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Aug 6, 2019 Solution by original poster
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I would strongly advise that unless you know what you want to do, don't get a master's degree in counseling. The reason is it takes a few more years to become licensed and that usually costs money to pay for supervision by a licensed therapist on top of your tuition you're probably going into hock for. You can still get jobs with just the master's degree - they love you in nonprofits - but you will be swamped with work, lots of paperwork, paid lower than you should be and you might work with people drawn into the field to work alongside counselors who are in other lessor roles because they want free friendship with counselors and can't get work in regular companies. They want affirmation and to be listened to and may be draining and seek you out a lot. After all it's cool to be friend's with counselors, right? It may not be worth your while to get the master's degree in counseling like I did. I would link your education with topics you also learn that get you into management where you earn the best money or start your own nonprofit. Work in a nonprofit or company, learn the ropes, then open your own. Might be a better way to go.
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Jul 28, 2019 Solution by original poster
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I am certainly conflicted after reading this. I received my bachelor's degree in education a few years ago. I felt education wasn't where I was meant to be, so I am now back in school for nursing(I recently got my CNA license). Before deciding to go after nursing, I actually really wanted to do counseling/therapy; either MFT or Counseling with students at their schools.(I had applied to a MFT program and was rejected). Well I have been doing prereqs for nursing and indeed love it, but in the back of my mind I still feel counseling may be my true calling. I just don't know whether to go with nursing or counseling--if anything I would like to be doing both. What did you decide to do?
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Jul 17, 2019 Solution by original poster
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web site dictating requirements by state (specific coursework refers to a CACREP program, approx. 2 years)

www.counseling.org/docs/licensure/72903_excerpt_for_web.pdf

I personally recommend trying out your local LPCA organization for information on what is needed. Here is a link to the one for Georgia.
www.lpcaga.org/

Joining this group has given me bunches of information.
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Mar 19, 2019 Solution by original poster
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I have my National Counselor Certification (NCC) and have been trying to find a position to get my supervision so I can get my LAPC. I live in Georgia, but I completed internship in another state. I feel like I'm hitting a brick wall. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do I need a placement before applying for the LAPC?
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Mar 14, 2019 Solution by original poster
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For those thinking life coaching. Life coaching is not easy to get into that's the problem. I tired starting one and till date, I have no clients. I'm unsure how most life coaches finds clients and I wish someone would share
Dec 2, 2018 Solution by original poster
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The problem I has was not having direction. I thought I asked the right questions when enrolling in the Rockies. It didn't have all the courses I needed. I thought at the time I could just take the deficient courses at another university but they all want you to take their full program. I am pretty much screwed. I can't afford another program at this stage .
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Oct 1, 2018 Solution by original poster
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I do so wish folks would research these programs thoroughly prior to entering them. Seek outside sources of information, including listings of accredited schools published by professional organizations. So many of these for-profit programs are nothing but worthless diploma mills leaving people with plenty of debt and no career.
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Oct 1, 2018 Solution by original poster
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Nappa, you do not NEED to have a CACREP program degree in Illinois if you have completed a program with the same required coursework; it will go under individual review before the board and it takes longer. Go to page 22 of the application (follow link www.idfpr.com/profs/ProfCounselor.asp, open "licensee applications", open "Professional Counselor" and download PDF) and if you have had this coursework plus a 700hr internship, you are good.
Oct 1, 2018 Solution by original poster
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I got my MA in MFT and am currently studying to take the national exam. Lately, I've been seeing that many MFT's don't take the exam but go on to become Life Coaches. This way they have the training from Practicum through the school and some experience with real clients and can go on to start their own Life Coaching business immediately after school.
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Sep 18, 2018 Solution by original poster
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Hello
I’m looking to go to grad school for my masters degree to be a counselor. MFT to be exact but idk if it’s the best idea job market wise. My B.S Degree is in Health and Human Performance which was supposed to be a stepping stone to physical therapy or athletic training. But I wasn’t sure if I would be happy with that so now I’ve decided on counseling because I’ve always be able to talk to people one on one and get them to talk to me easy. I also have a really big heart and just want to help. I just don’t want to waste my time on another degree that I’m not going to be able to use but have to pay for. Please some advise?!!
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Sep 12, 2018 Solution by original poster
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I have to agree. This type of degree takes extensive research in order to find what you are looking for. There are so many programs out there that the only possible way to get into a good one is through networking with other people that are in the profession you are interested in and researching the program and school you are looking at. I wonder if there is a website out there that narrows this down or if it needs to be created.(hmmmm...an idea)
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Oct 26, 2017 Solution by original poster
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www.cacrep.org/directory/

This appears to be the best web site to check for cacrep approved classes in your area, just pick your state and it will give you a list of accredited programs in colleges. I live in North Georgia and have been doing research on this exact same thing. I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology (recently attained) am 47 years old and am not wanting to add another $65K to my already $60K+ bill. I have found that there is a degree that will help me to attain the job that I am looking for and it appears to be an M.ed in Clinical Mental Health (also offered in school counseling). In the area I am in, I have found that this degree is cacrep accredited from the particular collage I am looking at. Interestingly enough their MA in Psychology is not cacrep credited so make sure that not only the school is accredited but the program is as well. This program is under $30k here, they have internships and I have only met one person so far with this degree that is actually working as a counselor. I am furthering my research to find out how many people from this school get licensure and work in this field after their graduation.
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Oct 26, 2017 Solution by original poster
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Bottom line--research your program before you commit to training and financial expense. There are loads of useless programs out there offering degrees in psychology or other counseling-sounding fields that will give you no opportunity for licensure. This field is glutted with questionably-trained people trying to find work with little opportunity to do so. If your program is not accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting institution, you could be spending thousands of dollars for a worthless degree.
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Oct 26, 2017 Solution by original poster
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I got my Masters degree at the university of the Rockies. Problem is, unless you attend a special k-krep university you will be denied lpc.
I was told my degree was accredited by my college of course, and all this degree did for me was get further in debt by 65000!
Now I can't move ahead. The board told me that I had to get anot her masters degree. I am 48 yo. I can't get in debt another 65000 grande, nor want to start over. I mistakenly figured I'd have an option to take the few classes needed to then get eligible. Problem - I haven't found a college that will do that as they make you take the full curriculum. It's BS!
To go in debt that much more for a job where maybe I might make 50-55,000 is not wise.
I am exploring other options but in illinois the job market sucks. I have a CADC, and 20 years experience, and the ultimate humoring factor is I have a kid in her 20s as my supervisor....because she has the license.
I need some help in figuring what else I can do , cause their isn't any money in substance abuse counseling.
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Oct 25, 2017 Solution by original poster
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Hello,

If anyone doesn't mind giving me advice on this matter. I'd greatly appreciate it.


I am a recent graduate with a Masters in Clinical/Counseling Psych. I am in the process of trying to obtain my associate license (LAPC) for those familiar with the licensure process in the state of GA. And I'm having a rough time.

I've been looking for a job that can provide me with the supervision I need, preferably contract work but my main issue is finding a place of employment that understands the process of licensure and the job duties aligned with what the state wants.


If anyone has any advice of where I can apply, please let me know! Thank you!
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Sep 6, 2017 Solution by original poster
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I'm currently fresh out of graduate school with a masters n psychology but not certication no license a ytbi g I was t aware the program was like that when I signed up now I'm stuck trying to find a job n my field is frustrating I've moved from la to Atlanta n it's even more frustrating do u guys m ow what it will take for me to get license or a certification without haveubg to go back into school forever
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Aug 16, 2017 Solution by original poster
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Hi! I've been an LPN for 14 years and I have been contemplating going back to school to work in psych. I want to counsel but i'm not sure if I should pursue specializing in nursing or go to college for some type of counseling degree. I really don't know much about it but i'd like to make a change. You're input would be greatly appreciated.
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Aug 5, 2017 Solution by original poster
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I had to expand "outside" the field to part-time life coaching and learning a personal development program based on neuroscience breakthroughs (since neuroscience is "hot" and actually amazingly helpful) that actually creates cash clients out side of insurance. But you have to be somewhat business-minded.
Nov 2, 2016 Solution by original poster
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My advice is to take a practice GRE. Compare your score to the cutoffs for a PhD program. If your scores aren't comparable, look at masters programs or a different field of study. Doctoral programs in psych are some of the most competitive graduate programs imaginable.
Sep 24, 2016 Solution by original poster
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Good Evening,

My advise to you is to go for it my friend. The economy changes from time to time but psych jobs are always going to be out there. I have a masters in human services counseling and when I look back at it, I should have majored in social work since they are so closely related. To be a psychologist may take up to 10-13 yrs depending on if you want to be an PhD or a Psy.D.
In Texas, the counseling market here is somewhat good but in the west coast it is better. The mean pay in Texas is about 45-50K tops in a salary position but for those who are unlicensed counselors, the pay is significantly low 30-35K. Social workers in Texas range about 50K depending on experience and settings; if you can find a job as a new graduate.
The pay for a psychologist after the years of schooling and the mandatory intern year, the pay is only 70K maybe 75K but your loans will be 200K+. It takes a lot of money to be called "doctor". Think about it really closely and see if you are going to be able to handle such debt coming out of school and taking the EPPP. Take care and be in good healh
Sep 24, 2016 Solution by original poster
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Hi all, I am an RN for years, I am finishing LMHC this summer. But I still want to continue being a nurse. I went to school for counseling for many circumstances but I enjoyed it, I could see the different side of patient care other than from nursing. My question is if I get my LMHC license, can I still keep my nursing license? (I didn't think of this at all) before I joined the school.
Jul 17, 2016 Solution by original poster
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I wouldn't waste my money on a bsn, what does it add to the rn's resume? a bunch of academic classes that have nothing to do with medicine? BSN is a theory based approach to nursing, which is worth very little. It is basically like psychology is a theory based methods of studying the mind...the only class they give you though is biopsychology, which actually describes the different portions of the brain and how we learn and remember, etc. the rest is a theory based on a man's thinking like freud, jung, rogers, etc.
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May 12, 2016 Solution by original poster
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I would ignore those entry level jobs anyway, they are most likely contract workers where you are only paid commission for sales. Here in texas they would hire you at the local prison with a masters in psychology, but you had to pass the lpc exam within 6 months, and there were always people with 5 years experience interviewing for the same job as well...
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May 12, 2016 Solution by original poster
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Hi Melody in Macon - I am a psychologist / clinical social worker with a background in sociology as well. I hope its OK that I share this here. If you are at all entrepreneurial I can tell you about a neuroscience breakthrough that has captivated my interest and that I believe will be in high demand once its in the public and professional awareness. I am not sure if we can share direct contact information here. But please respond to this if you are interested in learning more and I'll see what I can do. I am very excited to inform aspiring professionals about this, because I truly believe it will make an astounding difference, not only for clients, but for the public as well.
May 12, 2016 Solution by original poster
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Like many postings here, my degree is worthless in today's job market. My University career counselor told me a couple of months ago it was 'my bad' that I didn't read all the fine print prior to seeking enrollment or investigate the employment possibilities available to me without a Masters. I consulted a lawyer about the University promoting false advertising cuz my school marketed my degree program using completely false statements...but he told me what my career advisor told me. Tough luck Chuck! I'm all maxed on my financial aid...don't even qualify to interview (so say the pile of 'no thanks' emails) for entry level Admin jobs even though pre-degrees I was a mid-level manager for over 32 years. I wanted to believe so badly in the American dream that a college education with a 4.0 GPA matters to hiring authorities that I ignored the trends right before my eyes. Add age discrimination that everybody talks about but does nothing to prevent, and the gvt will be garnishing my SSI until I die. Not a single job in my area or government calls for a Masters in anything. High School or GED plus 10 years experience. When some clerk with a GED shoots me a 'no thanks you don't even qualify for an interview email' my blood boils. WTF happened to wanting an educated staff in the workplace? Hoping the minimum wage goes up to $15 soon so even I can live working 2 PT jobs and pay off my student loans over the next 25 years. I don't usually make mistakes or regret my decisions. However, Higher Education was a dream I should have never fulfilled and regret every day of my life since graduation. I cannot counsel. I don't qualify for a supervised internship. I cannot fulfill with my multiple psych degrees any State guidelines for license as a counselor. Should be illegal for Universities that don't offer their graduates a pathway to license to continue to rip people off.
Dec 1, 2015 Solution by original poster
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I am so glad I am not the only one with the LPC problem, not that I would wish this on anyone. I moved down to TX 3 years ago from MI after working in career counseling and case management. After jumping through TX's hoops, finally got my LPC license last October, but have not been able to get an LPC position! Actually, I forgot, I did have one for 2 months and was fired because the psychiatrist, whom I saw maybe 20 min a day and who did not do any of my training, did not like me and and had my supervisor fire me! I am still recovering from the shock and depression of never been fired before just because somebody didn't "like" me. I have been out of work for over 4 months, am out of unemployment, and about to take temp jobs. I either don't speak Spanish or don't have the years of counseling experience that everybody wants because I switched my career focus from career counselling to clinical. Big mistake I guess on my part!

Anyway, I too am regretting the 80,000 in student loans I took out for this degree. I did my internship hours with a hospice, focusing on childrens' and adult grief. I had NO idea that LPC's are not medicare billable, and only recently became medicaid billable. My school neglected to inform me of this! Hospices do NOT hire LPC's nor do nursing homes. I can't even get into a school down here because TX requires a license in "School Counseling". All the areas I want to work in and have experience in, I CAN'T! I am starting to look into online programs that will accept at least some of my credits and try to get a MSW. I'm 57 yrs old and had hoped that at this age I would be in my last job and planning on my retirement. I know God has a plan but it is very discouraging right now.
Oct 15, 2015 Solution by original poster
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I thank you so much for this comment. I am also on a journey of career change. Nursing is no longer a career where I can help people emotionally. There is little time to spend with my patients and their families instead, I spend most of my time charting and running back and forth... It's just too much for me now. After 20 years I've decided to take the route I've been running from because of money. I now choose to pursue counseling. Money wise it's frustrating but there is an abundance of satisfaction and happiness in helping someone overcome. Working with women to empower them to be more than they are as well as giving guidance and direction to our teens are the two areas I want to journey into.
Oct 8, 2015 Solution by original poster
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