Building a Successful Career in Counseling and Psychotherapy
by Sherry Smith, PhD & Susan Smith, LPC
Amid an ever-changing field, what are the most important things a beginning therapist should know? In this video, six seasoned clinicians discuss career paths, benefits and pitfalls of the work, successful business practices, and ways to prevent burnout.
There are many misconceptions about counseling and psychotherapy in popular culture—and that’s not even considering the business side of the work. Because our field is so vast and only vaguely understood, those entering it need to know the real deal. This informative video gives emerging therapists just that, as six seasoned clinicians offer their perspectives on what it’s really like to work—and live—as a psychotherapist. With a series of interviews and research presented on key career topics, this video will help beginning therapists feel both grounded and empowered as they embark upon this unique and deeply rewarding career.

Here, a panel of six therapists of varying clinical backgrounds and cultural demographics each describe their educational path, current job, benefits and pitfalls of the work, and what keeps them motivated. You’ll find valuable nuggets of advice from MSWs, LPCs, an African-American woman who entered the field in her 40s, a woman with an MBA, and a man who transitioned into the field after an early musical career. The video also features a business-savvy counselor who offers insights into her success with a range of marketing strategies and diversified income streams, including through employee assistance programs.

You’ll hear about working in hospitals and agencies, private practice, and teaching, as well as research on the importance of leveraging your social networks. You’ll find much that resonates here, both positive and cautionary (the work is rewarding, yet the realities of “keeping the lights on” cannot be ignored), adding up to a needed reality check on how to position yourself for a career that supports your lifestyle and protects against burnout.

Whether you’re contemplating a career in mental health or a developing therapist seeking practice-building tips from thriving clinicians, you’ll want to check out this resource today.
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More than ever before, new therapists are faced with a rapidly changing field that offers a dizzying array of theoretical approaches, licensure options, and business models. Amid these mystifying career prospects, what are the most important things a beginning therapist should know? In this video, a panel of six seasoned clinicians discuss their career paths, benefits and pitfalls of the work, successful business practices, and ways to prevent burnout.

Over the hour-long video, this diverse group (including MSWs, LPCs, a former HR worker with an MBA, a former musician, and a woman with a more intuitive approach to the work) speak to six different topics: traveling along the career pathway, the ebbs and flows of private practice, getting a job, concerns about the field, managing burnout, and a word to the wise. Firmly opinionated, they discuss everything from the joy of watching clients “become powerful” and the incredible variety of skills one can employ (i.e., blending private practice with university teaching and speaking) to the pressures of maintaining health insurance and “keeping the lights on” in private practice, as well as the manipulative clients that may enter your office.

You’ll gain valuable information about a range of issues, a primer on the need to leverage your social networks to find choice jobs, and tips for making your practice burnout-resistant. With plenty of useful food for thought, this is a great resource for those just starting out or those supporting new therapists’ growth.

By watching this video, you will:
  • Understand several possible educational, clinical, and blended career paths available to counselors and psychotherapists.
  • Discover business strategies and the importance of leveraging your social networks to find jobs.
  • Learn ways to practice adequate self-care and prevent burnout.

Length of video: 00:42:39

Number of Discs: 1

English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD

This DVD plays in

Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-458-4

Individual ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-458-1

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-459-2

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-459-8

Sherry P. Smith, PhD, is an associate professor of sociology at Georgia Perimeter College and an adjunct professor of research at Argosy University in Atlanta, GA. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Clemson University and graduate degrees from Middle Tennessee State University (MA) and the University of South Carolina (PhD). She is a qualified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, CEO of SageWorker, LLC, and co-facilitates continuing education workshops for helping professionals throughout the US.

Susan P. Smith, LPC, MBA, MA, is a licensed professional counselor employed as a group therapist in the behavioral health unit at an Atlanta hospital. She is an adjunct professor of counseling at Argosy University. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Auburn University and graduate degrees from Auburn University-Montgomery (MBA) and Argosy University (MA). She is a qualified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the CFO of SageWorker, LLC, and co-facilitates continuing education workshops for helping professionals throughout the US.
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