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Getting PostGrad Therapy Hours

Discussion in 'Mental Health and Social Welfare' started by HesitantPsyD, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. HesitantPsyD

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    Hi All,
    I have an MA in Counseling, and am licensed as an LPC (the intern level license) in Illinois. I'm looking for a way to get postgrad supervised hours in a way that will let me avoid doing 100 percent case management and won't get me killed. Let me explain...
    My last job, with a respected agency in Chicago, had me doing basically had me doing social work case management 100 percent of the time in people's homes with no real therapy, and I had a box cutter pulled on me in addition to another incident where a colleague of mine and myself were put in a position of having to transport a manifestly violent, psychotic client to the hospital. No offense to social workers and case management in general, but I did not sign up for this when I went to school to become a counselor. I want to do therapy in a relatively safe environment, and based on the jobs I actually have gotten (I worked for the same agency before graduating in similar work), I don't know if this is possible. I'm having some post traumatic issues based on what has happened in the past, and don't know if I'm prepared to do 2plus years of this kind of stuff to get fully licensed, and even if I did I would still have no postgraduate therapy experience to speak of when applying to counseling jobs. How in the world does one get therapy jobs postgrad and pre clinical licensure. Does it even happen, or is it an impossible dream?
     
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  3. MAClinician

    MAClinician Masters level clinician
    2+ Year Member

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    I am not familiar with IL but most commercial insurance companies only reimburse licensed counsellors or clinicians. Medicaid and Medicare allow unlicensed masters level folks to bill. Therefore until we get licensed we are limited to positions that accept those insurances. Inpatient hospitals or schools may hire LPC, it depends on your state/area. Might want to explore those options?
     
  4. HesitantPsyD

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    I guess I was subtly trying to imply that the current system for going from provisional licensure to clinical licensure is deeply flawed at best, and borderline fraudulent from the perspective of a budding counselor at worst. That last part might seem hyperbolic, but in my experience, and based on others I know from other schools, schools are suspiciously vague about licensure, how to negotiate it, and the postgrad prospects of actually doing counseling pre clinical licensure. This is no accident. Say what you will about doctoral psychology training and the flawed internship and postdoc match process, but at least there is some generally agreed upon procedure and apparatus for getting necessary hours for licensure. Counseling, by comparison, is a mess... nothing standardized, no common procedure, and one often has to do mainly another profession's job (i.e. social work) to get "counseling" hours. The counseling profession, instead of instituting such an apparatus, has effectively horned in on social work, purposely conflating the two disciplines to get some of their graduates licensed. This does a disservice to counselors and social workers. I wonder how much this silence from schools is based on tuition dollars that might be lost if prospective students knew what they were getting themselves into, especially considering what we counselors (and social workers) make.
     
  5. cybertsiren

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    chippedlogic likes this.
  6. cybertsiren

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    Hi I thought I'd vent about this too. I just had to file complaints with IL State because the private practice I was at would not credit me for indirect hours. At this point I realize they didn't want me to get my license because they actually said they couldn't pay me more, and they felt if I left they would lose my clients. They dragged their feet on signing of pn hoyrs ultimately TELLING me they gave me credit for indirect hours but SENDING the form sealed by certfied mail. When I asked for a signed copy of the hoyrs portion they refused. That's when I suspected they hadn't recorded indirect hours. One of my supervisors actually said it should take six years to get licensed in a private practice.
    I too didn't want to do home visits or transport clients. But my colleagues bit the bullet and took hospital case management jobs and now they are finished. I share yoyr disappointment in the field as I was offered the chance to work for free while the owners collected $125. from the client. It's scary that these people are therapists.
     
  7. cybertsiren

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    So, I finally got my hours after requesting mediation and engaging an attorney. I did want to share in the hope someone reading can be spared. My boss was clearly NPD. We assess for personality disorders with clients but not with supervisors or those with whom we interview. WHY? I see a lot of grandiose narcissists in this field and they're becoming easier to spot. They usually are self promoting. They always run for office in the local chapter, or start a non-profit which provides only exposure for the them. They give workshops everywhere where they re-state other people's research without having completed any direct research of their own. They have only a superficial knowledge of psychotherapy and usually choose the least difficult orientation or specialty. They contribute nothing original to the field, and in fact often try to claim credit for the ideas of another. They are very competitive and feel intense envy at the successes of another. In my case, my boss needed six years to acquire her clinical hours. She experienced malignant envy that I, or anyone, should be licensed in fewer than six years so she felt compelled to sabotage my forms.

    This brings me to my final point. I have seen lately an increasing number of graduates from on-line universities who are licensed for a couple of months and suddenly start group practices with several sites where they employ interns and LPC's to do the work for free or very little, while not providing any expert supervision. These so-called employers have little direct experience in the field; how can they supervise anyone? It is the height of grandiosity! But isn't that the point? They must elevate themselves above others, even the unsuspecting interns and LPC's who are just trying to finish their credentials. When it comes to insurance, these bosses submit a claim for a service they did not directly provide even if it is in violation of their agreement, because they are so grandiose, they don't believe they will be audited! But this field has become somewhat of a scheme. The person on the bottom supports everyone over them. Beginning therapists must complete CEU's and pay supervisors, while working for other therapists who want to pay practically nothing for their services. I do understand in a way how this anger is continuously passed on to the next generation of therapists. It is displacement of anger.

    My advice is to be prudent and cautious about applying with these pop-up practices just opened by newly licensed colleagues who are looking to make a quick buck running a business. It is smoke and mirrors. I don't ever want to feel the shame I did to admit I worked for these people. Sooner or later, people will discover they are crazy, and wonder how I could have worked there. UGH!!
     
  8. foreverbull

    2+ Year Member

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    As an aside, there are multiple threads in here about how MA level graduates in counseling have flooded the market in the Chicago/Illinois area. Too many programs and not enough jobs to gain hours after graduation have seemingly led to a situation such that some graduates are now willing to work for free there just to get licensure hours. All anecdotal, of course, but if folks are willling to work for free after getting a graduate degree, that should raise a huge red flag about the state of things there. I wish these programs would be more honest about the lack of job prospects....

    If ANYONE is considering pursuing an MA in counseling/clinical psych in Chicago, read the threads in here first and talk to recent graduates so you know exactly what you're up against in a saturated market.
     
    chippedlogic likes this.
  9. Goobernut

    Goobernut LCSW
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    Yes, I'd like to point out again that this is most likely a state issue. I don't mind doing light case management. However, my degree is in social work and I don't want to do what OP described either!!! In OK there are many agencies that will hire you as a therapist and employ you as a full time therapist. Some of my cohort did just that and they were licensed in approximately 24 months. The LCSW requires 4000 hours, with 3000 of those directly related to clinical work, to be completed in no less than 2 years. That 3000 can include indirect hours however. Most supervisors self police this and only apply these hours in relationship to therapy or actual clinical work. Several of my cohort are with community mental health agencies. It's pretty easy for those under supervision to get their hours here. Now I've heard that LMFT boards are very strict with what they consider direct hours, and most pursuing that license take about 3 years to get a license. I took 27 months for my LCSW. I perform both therapy and case management (integrated behavioral health model) so it took me extra time, and clearance that brief psychotherapy related to health behaviors would count as clinical time. I love my job and don't do any of the things the OP described. I just graduated in 2015.

    Completely different states though...
     
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  10. chippedlogic

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    I have met several Illinois masters level grads in the past few years that had troubles finding jobs even on the ba level. They moved to neighboring states!
     

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