We’ve spent the last two episodes talking about student loan debt. It’s reshaping the mental health professions. Two doctoral students were kind enough to share with us their own personal stories. In this episode, we talk about the great hope for many who are in the deep end of student loan debt: Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
There is a huge gender gap in the field of psychotherapy. At least 80% of psychotherapists in the US are women. So when a man pursues therapy, unless he specifically seeks out a man, he will most likely get a woman therapist. The dynamic of a male client with a female therapist can be both beneficial and problematic to the therapy. It can spark discussion over issues the client did not realize were there until working with a woman. It can replicate his relationship with another woman in his life. It also can reveal sexist beliefs.
In our last episode, we talked about how student loan debt is crushing the mental health professions. This time, we get a lot more personal. For this episode of the Psychotherapy Notes podcast, we interviewed two graduate students working on their doctorates at a private university in southern California. By the time they both graduate, they will together owe more than half a million dollars for their education.
No point mincing words here: Student loan debt is crushing the mental health professions. Perhaps it’s crushing you, too. According to a 2014 American Psychological Association study, the average recent graduate of an accredited PsyD program finishes their studies with $200,000 in student loan debt. Social workers similarly decry their debt loads, with at least one going so far as to declare the entire social work profession “untenable.”
In this episode of the podcast, we talk about student loan debt, and how it’s impacting those coming into the mental health professions. We review how $200,000 in debt can easily wind up being more than $700,000 by the time it’s finally paid off.
Today, too many job listings for therapists and counselors are vague about pay, if they mention it at all. It’s part of a culture in mental health that keeps salaries low and professionals feeling disempowered. When employers #PostThePay — even as a range — both employers and applicants benefit.
That’s why we’re launching a social campaign encouraging employers to do exactly that.
As we put a bow on the end of 2017 and look ahead to the new year, many of us make resolutions, or plans, or promises. We make commitments for the year ahead in hopes of living our personal and professional lives that much closer to our ideals. One resolution I make each year is to update my office paperwork.
My informed consent always needs a few updates to reflect my changing practice. As I get older, I see each day a greater importance to having a Professional Will. And with technology changing so quickly around us, this year I knew I needed to add policies around social media as well.
Most of us avoid thinking about falling victim to a serious accident or illness. Should such a thing happen, we hope that we will be able to recover and our family will be taken care of in the meantime.
But what would happen to your clients? The day after you were seriously injured in a car accident, would they simply show up at your office, expecting to be seen as usual? Who would let them know what had happened, and when you might be back?
What if one of them went into crisis?
If you’re working your way down the long road to licensure, the holidays can offer some welcome relief. It’s a rough process, getting licensed. It’s certainly longer than it needs to be, and it helps if you’re independently wealthy to begin with. Sometimes staying optimistic is a challenge.
But going into the holidays with family and friends, we thought it would be a good time to remember all the good that comes with this work. And there is a lot!
Every so often, we like to use this space to direct you to resources that might be useful to you. (See our earlier lists of resources for prelicensed therapists and for HIPAA compliance.) None of these are ads — they’re included here because we genuinely like the products and services offered, and the people behind them. We don’t receive any kickbacks or commissions for listing them, or if you choose to try any of them out yourself.
Streamlining licensure. Banning reparative therapy for minors. Fixing problems in child abuse reporting. Changing “interns” to “associates.” Saving Psychotherapy.
I’ve spent years now fighting for major changes in the world of mental health care, and winning. Many of the changes I’ve played a role in were ones that I was told would be impossible.
Today we launch Ben Caldwell Labs, the most important project of my career. The change I’m fighting for this time involves you.