23 Mental Health Professionals Interviewed About Their Jobs

Post published by Brad Waters on Jun 24, 2015 in Design Your Path Considering a…

Georgia (Jun 26, 2015)Post published by Brad Waters on Jun 24, 2015 in Design Your Path

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/design-your-path/201506/23-mental-health-professionals-interviewed-about-their-jobs

Considering a Career in Mental Health? Read These Career Pros and Cons First!

As a career coach I’ve worked with many clients who have expressed interest in mental health related careers. I hear common motivators: they like working with people, they’re helpers by nature, they find psychology and human behavior interesting, and they want to be of service to the community.

Whenever a particular career interest arises, we explore it from all angles. Those intrinsic motivators are a big part of it, but we also examine the extrinsic realities: Are they aware of the education and licensure requirements? Do they have realistic salary expectations? Do they understand the realities of interning in a community mental health center? Or struggling to make a private practice thrive? Can they imagine the personal toll of constantly listening to people’s problems? Handling crisis situations?

To obtain a clear picture of any career option, I encourage my clients to research the field and talk with people working within it. With the latter exercise in mind, I embarked on my own homework assignment. In an effort to provide insight into a variety of mental health career experiences, I recently put out a call to action to the general public working in any mental health related job:

Seeking experiences from a variety of mental health workers. Provide pros & cons and frank realities about pursuing education and careers in mental health related fields. Responses should be kept to a minimum and address the following: 1. Name, job title, and degree(s) 2. Describe of your job duties. 3. Describe one thing you find fulfilling about working in the industry. 4. What would you caution/urge prospective students to understand before embarking on a degree/career in your field?” …

1. Name, job title, and degree(s):

Teresa Wren Johnston

Director Kennesaw State University Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery

Masters in Professional Counseling, Licensed Professional Counselor

2. Describe your job duties.

“As the director of the Center, I oversee and provide services in our programs which include addiction prevention/education, collegiate recovery support services, individual and group counseling with students on campus struggling with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders, among other administrative responsibilities.”

3. Describe one thing you find fulfilling about working in the industry.

“The most fulfilling aspect of my work is helping students who are struggling with substance use and addictive behaviors begin the journey of recovery. When you first meet them and hold space for them, after a time they emerge and 'become who they were intended to be.' It is beautiful.”

4. What would you caution/urge prospective students to understand before embarking on a degree/career in your field?

“It takes a good deal of personal growth and emotional maturity to sit and hear the stories, the trauma and pain of another human being without being covered up by it. Having good administrative skills is a plus for a counselor in this day and age. This is not a get-rich-quick profession.” …



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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