View Poll Results: In selecting a therapist/counselor, would you rather go to someone with an SCI?

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  • Yes, they might "get" SCI more than someone who is AB.

    10 45.45%
  • No, I'd rather go to an AB therapist.

    1 4.55%
  • It would make no difference to me either way.

    11 50.00%
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Thread: Need Imput on a Career (Social Work/Therapy)

  1. #1
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Need Imput on a Career (Social Work/Therapy)

    I can't go back to my former career because it really requires me to be able to walk. I'm okay with that because I kind of happened into it 7 years ago...meaning it chose me, I didn't really chose it.

    So after much consideration, I'm thinking of returning to school to pursue my master's in social work. My long term plan is to go into private practice counseling for people with spinal cord injuries (or disabilities in general).

    I'm just curious if it makes any difference to you when selecting a therapist that they too suffered an SCI (postive or negative)? I'm specifically referring to those seeking out therapy to deal with their injury/disability (mostly new injuries).

    Thanks for your imput
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  2. #2
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Oh, I forgot to add...I know there are a few social workers here on CC. I'd love to get your honest imput about the career, so if you want to PM that would be great too!
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  3. #3
    Hi USCMolly,

    I have an MA in Counseling and I'm currently working on a Ph.D. in Counseling as well. I must admit that I am biased toward the Counseling profession as opposed to social work for people who want to become therapists. Social work may open up a wider range of career possibilities, but counselors receive much more intensive training in the actual art of therapy!

    Feel free to PM me if you want to ask more specific questions.
    "The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off." -Gloria Steinem

  4. #4
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danine View Post
    Hi USCMolly,

    I have an MA in Counseling and I'm currently working on a Ph.D. in Counseling as well. I must admit that I am biased toward the Counseling profession as opposed to social work for people who want to become therapists. Social work may open up a wider range of career possibilities, but counselors receive much more intensive training in the actual art of therapy!

    Feel free to PM me if you want to ask more specific questions.
    Thanks Danine...I will PM you
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  5. #5
    <Social work may open up a wider range of career possibilities, but counselors receive much more intensive training in the actual art of therapy!>

    I absolutely agree with this. When I got my Bachelors in Social work many years ago I was put in a position of therapist/counselor and was not prepared or trained for such intense one on one with patients who had serious problems. My training was in resource referral, gathering information and referring patients on to the right place for their particular situation. Instead I was the one people were referred to.

    If your interest lies in counseling and working with SCI persons, Id say definitely go the counseling route instead of social work. If you want to be a referral source, a clearing house so to speak, go with social work.

    And as far as working with SCI persons, especially newly injured, I, from an AB standpoint with a son who is a para, think absolutely, definitely, I would choose you over an AB person for therapy. In fact, are you open for business yet?? )

    There are a number of alcohol/drug abuse programs which only hire recovering users for their programs. They feel you have to "walk the walk to talk the talk". Where I don't necessarily agree with this 100%, I truly feel people who have been there, done that have a tremendous amount of knowlege and experience to bring to the therapy arena - knowlege we just won't get anywhere else. I think you could be invaluable in helping not only newly injured but families understand the process of SCI.

  6. #6
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    All things being equal, I would pick one w/ sci. As you said, bettter chance that they would "get it".
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  7. #7
    I agree. Sometimes it's hard to realize not all doctors "get it".

  8. #8
    Senior Member Aly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danine View Post
    Hi USCMolly,

    I have an MA in Counseling and I'm currently working on a Ph.D. in Counseling as well. I must admit that I am biased toward the Counseling profession as opposed to social work for people who want to become therapists. Social work may open up a wider range of career possibilities, but counselors receive much more intensive training in the actual art of therapy!

    Feel free to PM me if you want to ask more specific questions.
    I think it depends on the level of school and the schools focus the program has. I have both my BSW and MSW and am looking into starting my supervision for my LCSW. I think it also has to do with your thirst for knowledge and things of that nature. I am always looking for new conferences to attend, reading psychology material and trying to look into new or new to me therioes.
    www.cawvsports.org
    The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Don Juan Matus
    We are Virginia Tech… We must laugh again… No one deserves a tragedy… We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid…We are better than we think and not quit what we want to be…We are the Hokies…We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail. We ARE Virginia Tech! ~ Nikki Giovanni

  9. #9
    I agree with Aly, that a great deal will depend on the particular school program, the degree level, and your own personal/professional focus/pursuits. Many S.W. programs are broad based, with additional concentrations in special areas of interest (e.g. school, elderly, mental health, etc.), and also may focus either in clinical or administrative. You should talk with the programs in your area to see what they offer, and given your interests, see how they might suit your goals/plans.

    In most cases, one can't do therapy (nor even considered a therapist) without clinical training and licensure, which you won't obtain without higher/specialized training. Even masters in s.w. will not automatically allow one to practice therapy, without the additional skill, supervision, and license (eg. Aly and the LCSW).

    Generally speaking, one of the main differences will be in the field perspective - looking at the individual (counseling/psychology) or the individual in environment (s.w.). Often (if not always) an individual's problem/issues relates to what's going on in the environment - from one's immediate personal and social network of relationships, to the broader social issues that can impact on their needs and may be crucial to their treatment and eventual well-being (incl. insurance and other constraints).

  10. #10
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    I would go to the best social worker for me regardless of SCI or not. All things being equal though I'd select the SCI'd social worker and give them the business.

    I'm not a social worker but I am married to one. She tried private practice and liked the work but did not like the billing aspect of it especially when she had clients who could not afford to pay her. It was the slippery slope between wanting to help people and having to pay her own bills. She eventually went to work in a grammar school as a school social worker and loves it. She was a teacher before she went back to get her masters in social work so was used to working in school systems. The pay is pretty good also. My brother-in-law has his own practice and likes it. He worked for other companies for a while until he built up his client base. Not certain he went into it to go into private practice but it ended up working out for him.

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