Calling all entry level psychology, counseling, social work, and wilderness therapy field workers!
by Sylvan Schneider
If you’re a mental health worker, case manager, wilderness therapy field guide, group home worker or working any entry level job in the Psychology, Counseling, or Social Work field, this blog goes out to you. I had earned my B.S. in Psychology and was working in the field shortly after graduating. However what I didn’t learn in undergrad was that the entry level jobs in the field were a bit hard to come by, in addition to offering very low pay. I worked at a group home with developmentally disabled individuals as a Certified Medicine Technician and earned $9.00 an hour. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job and worked with some amazing people who taught me a lot about life, however on the flip-side I was flat broke. After a year of working that job I got hired as a Mental Health Worker at one of the countries top 10 rated psychiatric hospitals. I truly loved this job for the life changing lessons it taught me, and to be able to help people transition through overcoming their hardships. I worked with everything from depression, suicide survivors, people dealing with trauma and abuse, schizophrenia, drug withdrawal, victims of human trafficking, and countless others.
However as a Mental Health Worker I had to break up many fights, safely restrain violent people who where a threat to themselves and others, and I got hurt on the job. Not to mention I was earning $11.00 an hour living in my father’s basement. I could hardly make a living in the entry level positions I could find in the psychology and counseling field with a bachelors degree. I remember thinking to myself after being strangled, cut up, beaten, and tackled to the floor, one afternoon by a client in the hospital, if I was adequately being compensated for all my hard work. I also broke up countless other fights on a regular basis, and had my life threatened countless times while on the job. I was torn because I loved the work I was doing with the clients who where there to recover and heal, yet I could hardly stand the violence and constantly having to break up fights.
I kept thinking to myself “How can I get ahead and what can I do to find a vocation that focuses on doing therapy, instead of being in dangerous situations constantly at work earning $11.00 an hour?” After all I didn’t picture myself breaking up fights in the first place while going to school to follow my dreams of becoming a therapist. Nor did I picture after graduating from a Psychology program that I’d be living in my dad’s basement because I couldn’t earn enough to have my own place.
Then I discovered Southwestern College, and found a way to reach and accomplish my life vocational dreams of becoming a therapist. I found that Southwestern’s 2 or 2 1/2 year Masters programs (depending on your personal pace) was all I needed to become licensed as a counselor, and that after being licensed I can open up my own private practice as a counselor. I was always intimidated with grad school because I thought I had to get a PHD in order to have my own private practice as a therapist. However after learning about what Southwestern College’s Masters Degree programs have to offer, I realized after 2 and a half years I could be doing the job of my dreams.
I’ve talked to many graduates of Southwestern who work at all different types of mental health agencies, or have private practices. Graduates of the school’s programs find good jobs in the field, or create their own jobs. This vocational freedom is what I was eagerly looking for. I needed to find a way to get ahead, as well as, to be totally honest, to make a decent living for myself. I’m now about to start my second year of Southwestern Colleges counseling program and have already earned a priceless wealth of wisdom in how to be a counselor. Plus soon I will start practicum at the school’s very own counseling center and truly get to do what I’ve always wanted to do–be a counselor without breaking up fights! After the practicum I will carry out an internship and will be working in the field. I couldn’t fathom spending 5 or 6 years earning a PHD and borrowing a fortune. Southwestern College’s programs are affordable and can be completed in 2 to 2 and a half years. This school is perfect for me and was exactly what I was looking for.
If you’re a wilderness therapy field guide, case worker, mental health worker, group home worker, or in any entry level job in the psychology, counseling, or social work fields, Southwestern College is a truly exceptional school to get you to the next level. This school will give you the ability to become licensed, find good jobs in the field, or open your own private practice. Plus the school even helps with job placement. I absolutely love being a student at Southwestern College, and highly recommend to check out their masters in counseling and masters in art therapy programs. Southwestern also has many certificate programs in various areas such as Transformational Ecopsychology, Children’s Mental Health, Human Sexuality, Applied Interpersonal Neurobiology, Infant Mental Health, as well as Trauma Grief and Renewal. Southwestern College’s Human Sexuality certificate recently was showcased on Fox News as one of the only schools in the country that offers a program that teaches about working with sexuality in therapy. In today’s market, let’s be honest, it’s all about having a specialized education and offering speciality services to underserved populations. This is something Southwestern does very well. You will find everything you need at Southwestern College to specialize in various areas of the counseling and art therapy fields.
Sylvan Schneider, Graduate Student in Counseling @ Southwestern College, Santa Fe…..