Thinking of going back to school for masters in counselling

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Thinking of going back to school for masters in counselling

Postby Dainaofthesaints » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:20 pm

Hi,
New here. Just discovered Barbara's work and the fact that I am a scanner a couple days ago. Coincindentally, I also a few days ago had a whim (which at the moment feels like a calling) to go back to school and get a Masters in Mental Health Counseling.

I honestly never had the thought before in my life to go get a masters in counseling. But as of right now, I've already in the last 3 days picked the best school for my situation, researched the field, and hypothetically planned the next few years of how this will all work out(funny, i know).

I went to university in 2008 for pre-med and religious studies, mixed up my major a few times, and ended with a Bachelor of Integrative Studies with concentration in Holistic Medicine and Religion, and a minor in Bio. Well, long story short, I never figured out anything I could do with that degree. I thought of going to naturopathy school to become an ND, ended up in an energy/spiritual healing school, found that to be filled with a lot of lies, met and married my husband and became a christian. Now i've been married for 5 years, my husband is in bible college to go into baptist ministry, I have two kids and one more due in december, and I've been a SAHM, with the hopes of homeschooling.

Well, this year, we are putting my older son into pre-k because 'homeschooling' is not working out and our home dynamic is a bit strained. With the possibility of NOT homeschooling full time, I realized I can actually work and have a career. I'd love to actually use the BA that I worked so hard to earn. I also would like to do 'more' than just raise my kids, cook, and clean. I've been feeling quite restless.

I like the idea of going into christian counseling, but I am looking at the normal, non-reigious masters program, because that way I can eventually get state liscensure and be a counselor that people can bill their insurance for. There are masters programs in christian counseling, but I would not be able to be liscensed.

Overall, my vision is to be able to counsel people part time, whether through a group or in private practice, maybe 2-3 days/evenings a week and possibly homeschooling my kids once I am liscensed.

My big fear is spending tens of thousands of dollars on a masters, and eventually just not fizzling out and not putting it all together to work as a liscensed counselor. I'd like to use my counseling skills to aid and help in whatever ministry my husband is also working in.

I've never had a career, but always hope to. But now that I am learning about scaanners, maybe I shouldn't move forward with this master's degree at all? What is the best way to approach this, to dive into learning here? Honestly right now I am not really involved in counseling anyone. I am wondering if maybe counseling- because it can be such an adaptable and versatile field that always leaves you open for learning, could possibly be appropriate for scanners?

I am reading 'refuse to choose' right now, and learning more about myself. My ultimate home is that I could still do this masters, and somehow the scanner personality could work within the framework of the counseling career.

Ideas? Suggestions? Any advice from those who have experience in the counseling/mental health field?
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Re: Thinking of going back to school for masters in counsell

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:14 pm

Hi, Welcome to the Boards.

I love your wish. It sounds as if the idea of healing is important to you. Good wishes to you.

Here are my thoughts, but please remember that I don't really know you. I only know what you've typed in your post, and my comments may not suit you at all. Just take anything that feels right, and leave the rest.

Okay with that:

I'm hearing (reading) that you're interested in doing a masters, but you're not 100% sure.

Are there counselors at the colleges you're interested in that can give you advice?

You said that you have a baby on the way (and two small children at home.) How much energy are you going to be able to devote to your education during the next couple of years? Is part-time a good option for you? Could you do something of an internship to find out if this is really your calling? Could you volunteer at a help line? You could take a couple of classes, but not go to school full-time and see if counseling is something you want to pursue. Even if you go to school full-time, you can drop out of the program at any time if it doesn't seem like a good fit. So you won't have spent a full two years worth of tuition.

These are just some ideas of things you can do to help figure out if the counseling is what you want to pursue.
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Re: Thinking of going back to school for masters in counsell

Postby inspiresuccess » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:16 am

Hi. Welcome!

I'll come back later and give some suggestions. I did my masters in Psychology and can add some info specifically for what you're going for.

See you later.

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Re: Thinking of going back to school for masters in counsell

Postby SquarePeg » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:35 am

Welcome Dainaofthesaints!

My wife's therapist is on her second career. I don't recall the details, but she completed all the requirements a couple of years ago. One minor snag was that she wasn't accepted into our new health insurance's network, so we've made arrangements to pay out-of-pocket.

Another guy I know worked in the financial industry (stock broker?) and quit to become a Naturapathic Doctor in his second career.

But wow, the time and money it would take to get an MS would just overwhelm me!

You seem to have an amazing background for some sort of career as a healer. If you lived around here I would recommend getting in touch with our city's hospital, which has a program that provides alternative care to cancer patients and other chronically ill. So for example, the folks in that program might provide Reiki, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, etc. One thing I neglected to mention is that the providers are volunteers (although the administrator is always writing grant proposals to help fund stipends). But look back at your post, did you write anything about wanting the income? (Actually, this particular program provides nice perks, the best of which is free health care, but also free meals in the cafeteria and free parking.)

The other impression I get from your post is that you might enjoy career counseling. Here's the sentence that gives it away: "I've already in the last 3 days picked the best school for my situation, researched the field, and hypothetically planned the next few years of how this will all work out(funny, i know)." Would you like to do that kind of research for others? If so, maybe you could start working as a Career Counselor in September. Some states have a fast track program to help professionals switch their careers to teaching or other public school positions. Here's a link to get you started: https://www.teachercertificationdegrees ... counselor/
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Re: Thinking of going back to school for masters in counsell

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:53 pm

Hi, Lewis. Welcome.
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Re: Thinking of going back to school for masters in counsell

Postby inspiresuccess » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:30 am

Hi again,

I think exploring other options besides getting a degree would be a good first step. Do some volunteer counseling to get a feel for the field. It would give you some information about what you do and don't like about counseling.

One of the things you mentioned was wanting to use the degree you have in some way. That would be a good place to explore more. Look at how what you've done can give you some hints about what type of counseling might be best suited to your style of working.

As far as a masters in counseling goes, it sounds like one of the reasons you want that is to be able to bill insurance. In order to get that level of education and experience, that's a tough goal. Way more involved than doing counseling in other ways. I think you could get a very meaningful job in counseling without the masters degree. You mentioned wanting to do Christian counseling but you wouldn't be able to bill insurance. Again, I think it's a matter of getting more clear about what you really want to do. The degree itself comes 2nd, finding who you want to counsel and in what setting is the first step.

I have a masters degree in psychology so I could tell you about what that took to do but I most want you to figure out what type of counseling you want to do and do without a degree.
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