|04-05-2012, 08:11 AM||#1|
Unable to work after graduation with M.S. in counseling
Hi all! I have some questions and am hoping for insight and advice.
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I am currently in my first year of three for my master's in Clinical MH Counseling. My husband is in his first year of optometry school. My dilemma is that when I graduate in May 2014, my husband will be finished with his coursework and be moving onto his externships/residency. He will have three separate 4 month externships in various places. We are hoping to go to Alaska for one and California for another. The problem is that I will have just graduated with my master's when we start this process of moving around for almost a year. Since we won't be in the same place for more than a few months at a time--I will most likely have chunks of time without a job. Not the best thing for the resume of a new graduate who hopes to get a counseling job once we settle down.
So I'm trying to figure out my options. At first I thought that maybe I could find short internships within the counseling field in the places we are at for my husbands externships. However, I'm worried that this would be really difficult to do.
Something else I have considered is to continue on with school and start an online program. I do want to get my PhD--but not sure an online program is really the route I want to go...Does anyone have any experience with online programs?
Something that recently occurred to me is that it may be possible to get some further certifications. Does anyone know of an online MFT certification program for post-masters? I have done the easy google search but I haven't come up with much.
Anyway--I realize I have a couple years to figure this out, but it has become kind of a stressful situation for me. I am just hoping to figure out a plan so that I can make use of that first year out of grad school.
I genuinely appreciate any advice or insight you may have. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my ramblings.
|04-05-2012, 12:12 PM||#2|
Join Date: Jan 2012
I wouldn't recommend an online PhD for this field, they are generally looked down upon and might not help. As far as getting a job, definitely look into state agencies (i.e. local community mental health centers) because they typically are willing to hire unlicensed and recently graduated clinicians. It will be hard in any setting to maintain a caseload for only 4 months, though . . . and it is probably not good for the clientele to have to jump therapists so quickly. Also, look into the licensure requirements for the different states your husband might go to . . . if they have reciprocity, you can get licensed in one state and then just transfer it when you move. Also, some states might require certain classes which you might have the chance to knock out now.
It's a good thing you are thinking about this now . . . you can prepare to have as many doors open to you as possible.
|04-05-2012, 02:13 PM||#3|
Join Date: Mar 2012
Hi, I definitely think it is good you are thinking about this now. California has not had counseling licensure up until recently, but they do now. Take a look at this chart from ACA:
The thing with counselor licensure, is reciprocity between states is not an easy thing... they may say it is, but often it is not, so you want to make sure you know what the requirements for licensure are for each state you plan on living in. This could be very tricky.
One consideration is how much time you will have between the end of your degree and when you plan on moving. If you are able to do your internships and have time to be hired even for a short while where you are now before you move, that could be in your favor. Another option... I wonder if you were to extend your training a bit... would your grad program allow you to do your internship(s) in another state? If it is possible maybe you could do an internship in CA and then another in Alaska, and while still remaining connected with your grad program for disatnce supervision. It could be complicated, or not. But it is something that came to mind.
Something else to think about... networking with places in CA and Alaska now. Maybe there are some ways you can build some relationships and connections in those states now that could lead to opportunities for when you are ready.
If it weren't for licensure this wouldn;t be such a tricky situation.
I think also, talk with your professors and advisor in your program about all this to see what they recommend.
While an on-line program sounds tempting, I'd highly recommend against it for the counseling field - there is no replacement for in person contact... especially for a PhD.
I'm sure there are more options and angles to the situation than I have thought of but I hope that I have offered something that will be helpful in some way.
Last edited by js1221; 04-05-2012 at 02:16 PM. Reason: spelling
|04-06-2012, 05:11 AM||#4|
Join Date: Dec 2010
That is a tough situation - and it is great that you are thinking ahead and figuring out your best approach to continue your work towards licensure while your husband does his rotations.
If I found myself in that situation, I would accept that ZERO of my hours would count toward licensure, but that 100% of my experience would make me a better candidate when my husband settled down somewhere.
I really don't know any MH facility that will hire you for 4 months - and certainly other than a crisis line, I can't imagine any work that could be done with clients with a 4 month commitment. Maybe others will have some ideas.
Do you have to work for pay? If so, what do others in that situation do when they need to get jobs for 4 month stretches? Network with other spouses and find out how they did it.
Take the long view - do what you have to do during this time of his training and your time will come.
If you don't have to work for pay - volunteer - get as much experience as possible - search the threads here for the multiple suggestions for all the things people have done to get hands on experience working in the helping professions.
I wish you all the best!
|04-10-2012, 10:35 AM||#5|
I really appreciate all the advice and suggestions. My husband and I are able to do another year of student loans so it may work out that I will be looking for jobs/internships that may not pay but will offer experience during that awkward limbo time.
The situation is a little tricky, but I think I will still be able to make the most of it. It is possible that I will have about 6 months in the same city we are at after graduation and maybe get to work a solid job for that time. I would just have to make the most of the other 8 months as we move around.
Again, thank you. I am feeling a little bit better and hope to work on some networking asap.
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