ACA Blog

Dec 16, 2013

My First Steps to Becoming a Super Shrink: Medicare

Our class discussion last week was on Super Shrinks – those mental health professionals who achieve significantly better results than most therapists.  Research shows that these outstanding professionals are intentional and persistent with regard to their professional development.  They are life-long learners; they have courage, self-awareness, and humility; and their professional development is goal-oriented.  Super shrinks are constantly working on improving their clinical skills, recognizing personal biases, and experimenting with new approaches.  

I inevitably asked myself, “Do I have what it takes to become a super shrink?” and

“Where do I even start?”

To find the answer, I reflected on

  • my academic and professional challenges;
  • the feedback I received throughout the semester;
  • and my future career goals.

As a counselor and a future educator I realize the importance of being up-to-date with federal and state legislation related to the counseling profession.  I am committed to being involved in advocacy efforts in order to further the profession.  I used to avoid articles on legislation. The logical-linear way of thinking challenged my intuitive nature.  But I am not going to allow my Myers-Briggs personality type to be in my way of becoming a super shrink.

I set a goal for myself to study current legislation on Medicare (healthcare for the aged). I examined up-to-date information from these sources:

I summarized what I learned in simple language for any other counselors out there intimidated by readings on legislation.

Medicare covers mental health services provided by psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists.  Licensed professional counselors are not reimbursed for working with clients who are over 65 years old.

Why is this issue of great significance?

  • A rise in numbers of Americans over the age of 65;
  • an increase in psychopathology among the elderly, especially depression and suicidality;
  • a heightened vulnerability and a diminished range of coping strategies of the aged.

I have a greater appreciation for the efforts of the American Counseling Association, certain senators, and many professional counselors to advocate for extending Medicare coverage.

Maya Georgieva is a counselor with a keen interest in child maltreatment prevention. She is a doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at Marymount University and a volunteer crisis worker. 


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