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What's the right job for a future counsellor-wannabe?

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I will provide some details of my current situation so I can actually hope for some similarly detailed advice/answers.

I completed my undergrad in psychology. After undergrad, I wanted to go into grad school for psychology. But my grades and etc. were not good enough. So I went into a master's program in education as a plan B. I recently finished this master's program. But recently I have made up my mind and decided to pursue a career path into counselling (psychotherapy). However, I hadn't really thought of going into counselling (psychotherapy) before, so I do not have any relevant experience or related degree. I have recently started volunteering in a youth mentorship program and also a hospice program, hoping to gain some relevant experience. I chose those two programs for a strategical reason, of course. But I really wanted to explore those fields and provide emotional support to vulnerable people who are in tough situations (youth at risk and people who are dying). I personally believe volunteering for those two programs is a solid counselling-related experience. (You can disagree and give me some better options if you would like to.) I hope these experiences will help me get into counselling programs I want to start in September 2019. But I also want to gain some professional experience before I start school again in 2019 because as a volunteer you only get 3-4 hours a week and I just have too much time laying around. Ideally, I would like to gain some counselling-related professional experience. However, because I do not have any related experience or degrees at the moment, I can't really gain professional experience directly related to counselling. So my aim right now is to find a position WITHIN the context of the counselling field but not really involving direct counselling. Money is not really a concern of mine at the moment. My parents can temporarily support me just until I go to grad school for counselling. I just want to spend some time working in the field, getting the taste to see whether or not I would like it and also to use it as an experience for my application. I originally wanted to use my M.Ed. to find some jobs related to counselling. But so far all the positions I could find were not really related to counselling as in psychotherapy but more so in career counselling or guidance counselling, which is not I want to pursue.

Could anybody suggest me some fields or positions that I could realistically aim for at the moment for some professional experience related to counselling (psychotherapy)?

#counselling #psychotherapy #psychology

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Carole’s Answer

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You are definitely on the right track , but I have a couple of others suggestions:

  1. Work at a boys and girls club or a YMCA as a counselor or a teacher or both! If there are not any positions then volunteer some hours. You will get some good experience within that venue of all sorts of children and adults. Your M. Ed will look very good for obtaining a job here!
  2. Check with your college and see if there in any sort of internship in which would be applicable to what you are looking for. Make an appointment with a counselor where you are going to take classes so that he or she might become your mentor and give you lots of suggestions. Sometimes you can help out a counselor as an aide and that would be a great opportunity for you.
  3. Check with your local hospitals or clinics and see if there is a volunteer or job opportunity for you to do some counseling in that venue.
  4. There are plenty of non-profits that work with children and adults that you could also check with them and see if your skills can be utilized!
  5. Also sometimes there are state funded jobs for counselors in a school system or a government run business and that might be something for you to check into.

Carole recommends the following next steps:

  • Whatever you do make sure that your resume is updated and it shows your degrees and your job skills. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!! You have a wonderful education already and seem to know what you want to do, I am sure that you will find it.
  • Research some of the resources that I suggested above and set up a plan as to what you want to research first. Having a goal is #1 in this journey for the right job for you and you are definitely on your way.
  • I wish you all the best in your search for that special and I know with your qualifications you will find it.
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