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Old 09-30-2010, 11:19 PM
3 posts, read 12,124 times
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I live in Calif., in the middle of contemplating a mid-40s career transition and am interested in counseling in a private practice (with as many opportunties for billing) and school counseling, together. I really do not know if I should pursue MFT, LPC, LCSW or another counseling licensure. I have a young child and maybe another on the way, so my goal is to work at a district with schedule benefits and also in private practice. I need the money for college and retirement savings.

Bottom line: I'm done with my BS in Psych next summer 2011 and want to jump into a Masters. Which is the best masters to pursue with the end goal of district employment as a school counselor AND private practice/agencies/outsourced counseling opportunities.

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:48 PM
Location: Missouri
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I would check carefully into California state licensure law. Many states require a specific license/certification for school counselors. For private practice, if you do not want to go past a master's degree, you will want a degree that will allow you to be a licensed clinical social worker or licensed professional counselor in the state of California. The main difference between the two is that Medicare will not cover LPCs, but will cover LCSWs. If you want to be counseling children, then most likely either will work for you, as very few children have Medicare.
Having said all that, in general the LCSW is most flexible. But I cannot stress enough, the importance of checking state regulations. I have a friend who got a degree, and wanted to go into private practice eventually...the degree was fine in the state he was in, but he never thought to check into the state he planned on moving to after he graduated. After he moved he wasn't able to do what he wanted to do, and he was devastated.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:05 PM
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Great. Thanks so much.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:48 AM
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That is true, go with social work. I have a masters in counseling, and just recently, last week, the VA will now have to start giving counselors more respect, and hiring them for mental health jobs. That being said, I think that if you want to do counseling, the problem with getting into school counseling, is that usually schools will hire from within, teachers who have taught, and then got a masters in school counseling. Substance abuse counseling is always going to be huge, that and rehabilitation counseling. But, again, currently, a degree in social work is probably better in the long run than counseling. I got my masters in counseling, because I had to work full time, and there was not an opportunity for me to go to a social work program part time.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:26 PM
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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It is easier to get insurance reimbursement with an MSW than a MA/S in counseling.
The degree is also more uniformly accepted around the US.
Unless you intend to persue a PhD or a PsyD, I would go into Social Work.

Best of Luck!
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