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.