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.
It’s a sea change. And we don’t just mean the cover, which finally lets go of the pathway-in-the-forest image that graced the first four editions. The fifth edition of Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs, which is available now for preorder, is the biggest change since I wrote the first one.
The new edition is updated to 2018 law and professional ethics codes, and includes new material on:
- Employment Law, including wages, sick leave, termination, and more
- Family Law, including marriage, separation and divorce, custody, and more
- Supervision, including supervisors’ legal responsibilities
- Some of the biggest current controversies in state law for psychotherapists
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.