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What is the most challenging part of being a psychologist?

I am interested in becoming a counseling psychologist, and I would love to be prepared of what I'm expecting in the future! clinical-psychology psychology counseling

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mark’s Answer

Hi Stephanie,

I completely agree with Michael's response to your question. It will be very important for you to have a life outside work and to be careful drawing boundaries between work and personal life. While it can seem that you are indispensable at times to your clients, the reality is that your professional interaction with them is only one part of their everyday lives. People can and do manage to survive without us, and we have a better chance to thrive personally when we keep this in mind.

I love my work and consider it to be helpful to others and satisfying to myself, MOST of the time. Realities such as billing, managed care, insurance, taxes, and licenses, to name a few, are the more tedious aspects of the job. Finding a person who can do most of these tasks for you (for a fee) can really help reduce stress.

Seeing a therapist of your own is highly advisable. It helps us process the things we hear and maintain perspective. Therapy also allows us the time to investigate our feelings and to have some empathy directed towards us. Involvement in local therapist organizations can also be of help, as you get to interact with people who are involved in situations that often times are very similar to yours.

I hope you have a great experience in counseling psychology, and hope the advice I have offered will help make your experiences even better.

All the best!,

Mark V.
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Margaret’s Answer

It depends on where you work as a therapist. When I worked as a substance use disorder therapist running treatment programs the hardest part was with clients who didn't think they had a problem or those who relapsed over and over. There was also an immense of paperwork and productivity requirements. But I enjoyed the work so much as every day was a chance for people to turn it all around. In private practice, billing and keeping up with making sure I had enough clients to see to make a living was challenging. This is one reason for Master's level internships, they give you a chance to see different environments. Good luck!
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