This week, our blogpost is for new therapists and what our team of seasoned professionals want you to know. We’ve all been through graduate school, getting our first job, getting our second (third/fourth/etc) job, registering with the State, getting licensed and much, much more. There are some things we want all new therapists out there to know and it’s all outlined below.
My biggest tip for new counselors is to move away from the thought that you aren’t going to make any money. We are programmed from the beginning to think of ourselves as civil servants who aren’t going to make any money. We are told to take an agency job, right away, without concern that they are paying us pennies. We aren’t taught to negotiate a salary. We aren’t taught to think of ourselves as a hot commodity. Therefore, there is a mentality I’ve seen where therapists don’t always see their value and worth and it impacts them in their jobs and private practices. It definitely impacted me when I set my fees for the first time and they were way too low for a licensed professional and not reflective of my value and worth.
If you plan to work as an unlicensed therapist in an agency for a long time, you probably aren’t going to make a lot of money. But if you step outside of your comfort zone and do a variety of things, that your license affords you, then you will create the income streams that you want. The possibilities are endless for an ambitious and creative therapist. I’ve seen therapists do the following: start a private practice, host workshops, create online packages, provide consulting, sell therapy products, provide CEU’s, create weekend courses, coach people, teach at local universities, write reports and assessments, and the list goes on. There are bountiful opportunities for therapists, both licensed and unlicensed and our profession needs to start focusing on the possibilities, as opposed to the little money we initially make/made in our first agency job.
If you are interested in learning more about what I wish they told me in grad school, you can read my article here:
Amanda Landry, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-378-5381 or email her at email@example.com.
When looking back at my graduate school experience, I remember thinking I graduated thinking I knew it all and was ready to take on everything that would come my way. I look back now and realize I knew a lot, but it was book smarts, and practicum experience. I am appreciative of every experience I have had, but thinking I knew everything was wrong. I would definitely suggest some following advice to graduate students today.
- Enjoy graduate school and get the best practicum experience possible
- Network with your classmates and those you meet along the way
- Join Associations and get active
- ASK QUESTIONS and don’t be shy about it!!!
- Realize that others advice or criticism is not to hurt you but to help you
- Try to learn something new every day!
- Find a Qualified Supervisor that fits you, free does not always mean perfect!
An important thing to remember is find an area you love in the field, and have it as your goal to work towards. In the end be happy and enjoy what you do, remember you why you chose to be in this field, it might be small moments but those moments make all the others worth it.
Ilene Glance is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alabama, and went on to get her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She has worked with all ages and populations ranging from 5 year old to 80. She is an active member in the American Counseling Association, and has received trainings and certificates in addictions, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Enhancement and Motivational Interviewing. She also is currently a NCC and CCHMC Certified Counselor.