ACA Blog

Julie North
Nov 23, 2009

The Graduate Student

I remember graduate school fondly. I waited five years before I went back to school. I was ready to go back to school and maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much. I remember how nice it felt to have only two classes and wanting to read material as opposed to having to read the material. I also paid for my education this time around and that might have made a difference as well.

I fell into counseling by…I don’t how I just picked it out of book and it sounded good. I’m not much of a planner when it comes to my life. I just know what I want to do. I took counseling courses because it just seemed to fit my nature. I mean how hard could listening be?? That would be another blog for another time.

During my courses it seemed I always had assignments that involved knowing a counselor. I either needed to job shadow a counselor, interview a counselor or do an internship with a counselor. Bottom line you needed to know counselors or get to know counselors fast. I remember after graduating I needed someone to supervise my hours for my license and they were going to charge me 150.00 for an hour. Seriously-I didn’t have 150.00 every time I needed supervision. Since going into business on my own I understand better that counselor’s perspective but when counselors call me now I still remember my reaction to 150.00 an hour.

Today I met with a student who did not know any counselors she could call to interview for her class. A friend of mine gave her my number. I spoke with her and answered all her questions. I tried to meet her at a half-way point in her travels and I told her to call me if she ever needed help through out her studies. I have been approached by a group of people to supervise them for their hours. I told them I would for a cheap rate. They were pleased with my rate because the reason they quit going to supervision was because it was too expensive. Do we as counselors really want that to be the “welcome to the club now pay up?”

I think it’s important for us as counselors (especially in private practice) to try and make money and lots of it if we can but I also think it is important to recall how it was starting out and new counselors need direction and good guidance and paying 150.00 an hour for it does not necessarily mean you are going to get it.

Julie North is an in home family counselor in a rural county in South-Central Michigan. She has a private practice and is currently being trained in TF-CBT and complex trauma therapies.

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