Where are my therapist/psychologist bees?

posted 1 year ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
910 posts
Busy bee

What would you like to know? I got my Ph.D. in clinical psych in 2004, so maybe programs have changed since then. I’ll be honest, my program was hell. It was run like a fiefdom and the APA came in my 4th year and told the university that our program head had to go or they would pull our accreditation. Things improved after they put in a new program head, but I was on my way out at the point anyways. 

Grad school is a lot of work. If it’s really what you want, then it’s worth it. But you have to be committed. My cohort had 11 people when we started – 8 of us finished. 

As far as work, I do a lot of psych testing, so I limit myself to 20 contact hours per week. I go to the gym twice per week and see that as a necessary part of self care. I love what I do and I find it rewarding, but I wouldn’t suggest going into large amounts of debt to do it, bc the pay isn’t all that great (its not bad, but it’s not MD money). I went to a state-school that was APA approved, so I received in-state tuition and a stipend after my first year. My ex was working, so we paid for my grad school without incurring debt. I strongly recommend not going to a for-profit school – it won’t be financially worth it. 

Let me know what other questions you have. 

Post # 4
Member
2688 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Currently in school training to become a clinical psychologist πŸ™‚ and previously suffered from anxiety and depressive disorders (not so much an issue now as when I was younger). 

I have found that my work (and previous work in the field before I started grad school) and my own issues don’t really overlap at all. I am completely able to put my own difficulties out of my mind when helping clients. 

Like you, I am very excited for my future (and current) professional life! This is something I’ve known that I wanted to do since a very young age, and how insanely competitive my program was to get into just makes me that much more grateful to have this opportunity to help others.

Post # 5
Member
910 posts
Busy bee

queenbatgirl :  yes, at times, it does take a toll on me. It’s become easier over the years to compartmentalize, but there are days I’m wiped out and have nothing left to give. My Fiance is aware that I have days like that and gives me my space, and my kids are old enough to understand that mommy had a tough day at work and needs to be alone. 

I have a private group practice. I do a lot of psychological testing – evaluations for ADHD, autism, learning disorders, personality and mood disorders. That work is in high demand and pays well if you can write quickly. 

Post # 6
Member
1206 posts
Bumble bee

I’m a school psychologist (master’s level, I don’t have a PhD). I really like my work alot, but like many other professions, you can certainly suffer burnout, so self care is important! On the west coast, school psychologists are in demand so there are lots of openings if the profession is of interest to you. I will tell you though, it’s NOT therapy or much counseling, so if your heart is set on doing those things, school psychology is not for you. I do a TON  of testing/ evaluations and report writing. Some school psychologists run groups for students on topics such as friendship skills, or managing stress or something like that, but it’s not the bulk of what I do.

I do evaluations to determine if students are eligible for special education services within the school setting.  I often review private reports, (possibly like the ones that psyche1978:

writes)!  as those reports  can make good recommendations on how to support a student with (for example) an autism spectrum diagnosis or ADHD or whatever within the school setting.

In terms of self care, I make sure that I have time at the gym or just alone time to binge on Netflix or read a book or whatever. I also have girlfriends (many of them coworkers) who I like to meet for happy hour just to let my hair down and relax. I’m not especially good at compartmentalizing so I find when I am overwhelmed at work, it certainly does bleed into other areas of my life. I am fortunate, though, bc I have a good family and good friendships. I think this is key πŸ™‚

If you want more detail about school psychology, you can always message me πŸ™‚

 

 

Post # 7
Member
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Hey there! I’m a licensed therapist (currently doing a lot of play therapy but I have pretty diverse experience working with adults in several modalities as well), and a clinical social worker with a MSW. My Bachelors level experience was more research oriented. I’m using my phone but would be happy to share my experience or answer questions using a real keyboard πŸ™‚ 

Post # 10
Member
575 posts
Busy bee

I’m a masters level counselor (in my state I’m a LCPC). I did my undergrad in psych and got a MA in forensic psych (I now have a shit ton of debt!). With my degree I’ve done case management for courts as well as addictions counseling but right now I’m working as a mental health professional at a prison. I love it! I do individual work, group therapy, and crisis interventions. This particular job doesn’t affect me too much as I’m usually able to separate home from work life easily but sometimes the dudes are so personality disordered that you’re like “wtf??” 

For self care I like to just hang out with friends or read or go to happy hour or watch Netflix! I have my own MH issues but I also have my own therapist πŸ™‚ Let me know if you have any questions !

Post # 12
Member
1582 posts
Bumble bee

I am a mental health therapist in schools (middle school and high schools).  I LOVE the work.  It is taxing.  The schooling and licensure process was long and arduous (8 years from starting school to full licensure).  I don’t make a lot of money becauuse I’m in non-profit.  You can make more money do psych or private practice mental health therapy.  But there’s pros and cons to everything.  

Here’s my truth.  I don’t know anyone in the field who hasn’t had some form of trauma or mental health issues in their current or past.  I wish that people who endure didn’t so frequently find themselves in helping professions, because they are demanding.  I wish for survivors to have jobs that earn them a livable wage, without tons of debt, without having to always give.

I create balance for myself by knowing my limitations, saying no, having clear boundaries, being honest and direct, and impeccable with my word.  I rely on teams and don’t take on trying to “save” annyone.  I do see the work as a privilege but it’s also not all in my control.  

Good luck on whatever you decide!

Post # 13
Member
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Kaneohe, Hawaii

queenbatgirl :  I remember your post! I’m Canadian so maybe a bit different but my MA is in Counselling Psychology. I chose that route because I was more interested in real life application of the theories vs research etc. I have OCD and Anxiety and prior life trauma, parents divorce, being an immigrant/ minority etc. I agree that I know a lot of psychologists that have prior life experiences which just means that they get it. It’s great that you’ve come to this realization and my only advice if to narrow it down a bit more. Sooo what population do you want to work with, what setting, specializations (play therapy, art etc). When I went to school there were tons of electives such as school counselling, career or marriage and family counselling. I thought they helped a lot of us figure out what our passions or niches were at the time!

Post # 14
Member
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Kaneohe, Hawaii

Sorry just saw your last post about polpulation and work setting. Maybe research specific organizations, see what their qualifications are and chat with someone to do a job shadow?

Post # 15
Member
1209 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015 - Malibou Lake Mountain Club

queenbatgirl :  mazel tov! 

I am a LCSW, county worker. I love it! I work with adults who acquire mental health care in residential facilities.

I loved my Graduate school cohort; they were my strong back bone and we all were there with each other through the hard and good times of grad school and life. Many of us were not only going to school part time, but working full time plus doing our internship. We still keep in touch after some good years. Also, one big thing is dont be scared to ask questions or “bug” your professors. We sure as hell did.

my self care during that time was going to the comic book store (where i then met my husband, lol). 

My advice for you is to remember that you cannot want something more or work harder than the client. This will for sure help with reducing/avoiding burn out. Also having my own therapist has been a GODSEND

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