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If you could start all over again, would you still become a counselor?

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Jeanne’s Answer

Hi Anastasia,

If I could start over again, I would still become a counselor and a psychologist. With a Master's degree in counseling, you can work for schools, clinics, or work for yourself in private practice. With a PhD, you can become a psychologist and work in all the same settings. The difference is there is more science with a PhD (which I liked), but it does take longer (4 years for a bachelor's degree + 2 years for a master's + 4-7 years for PhD). I love my work and have wanted to do this my whole life. I've worked with all kinds of people in a lot of different settings (clinics, volunteer work, teaching) and now I work for myself in private practice. That means I have my own office and set my own hours and people come to see me.

Jeanne recommends the following next steps:

Look up your local "community mental health center" and see if you can talk to the director about what an average day is like for the counselors.
Look up your nearest college or university and see if you can talk to someone in their counseling center to find out what the counselors/social workers/psychologists like about their education and their jobs.

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Ann’s Answer

If I could do it again I would have become a counselor much earlier in my life. I would also have ensured I either got my masters degree in Social Work or in a CACREP accredited school for a degree in counseling. While I love my job, insurance companies are more willing to reimburse social workers or those with CACREP accreditation.