We Need You Counselors and Supervisors!

Resources for passionate counselors and supervisors at katewalkertraining.com

Texas, we have a problem.

Our state has over 15 universities with CACREP accredited counselor education programs. There are almost twenty thousand licensed professional counselors at this writing and almost four thousand counselor interns and counselor supervisors. We have active state organizations, a legislature that is open to hearing us if we choose to speak, and one of the hottest business demographics in the United States.

According to NAMI 2010 statistics Texas spent just $35 per capita on mental health agency services in 2006. This was just 1.1 percent of total state spending that year in the state of Texas. Nationally, approximately 70 percent of youth in juvenile justice systems experience mental health disorders and in 2008, approximately 37,700 adults with mental illnesses were incarcerated in prisons in Texas. This makes the criminal justice system in Texas our most reliable mental health provider.

It’s not easy being a counselor.

Potential counselors enter universities with dreams of helping, but the reality is, the job market doesn’t offer much. LPC Interns, after having completed a sixty-hour master’s degree program, still cannot bill insurance for their time. As a result, they compete for lower paying bachelor’s level Qualified Mental Health Provider positions, gain low quality hours in hospital settings, or volunteer. That is tough to do when you are paying a supervisor and student loans every month.

When fully licensed counselors get a job, the situation is less than ideal. Counselors in agencies are often overworked, underpaid, forced to do paperwork on their own unpaid time, placed in dangerous situations, and required by third-party payers to apply ineffective treatment modalities that are inconsistent with their training. Counselors in private practice face the daunting task of running a business, a skill that was missing from their counseling.

We need counselors and supervisors.

We need passionate people who will advocate in the legislature and supervise the interns. We need generous people who will give time because not every client has the means to get the help they need. We need balanced people who will focus on their own attitude and mental health so we don’t lose them to burnout. Good training and opportunities to grow will help counselors keep the passion that got them started. Counselors who train to become supervisors can expand their knowledge, grow their practice, and impact the next generation.

So consider supervising. Remember, we need you.


Back to School Special: Don’t Forget to Achieve Balance

Fall is almost here and your practice is about to start booming! It’s time to make sure you have strategies in place to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This blog is about a few tactics that have been especially helpful to me over the years. In 2007 I had just finished a Ph.D., my husband was back from a recent mobilization with the US Army, I’d completed my last reconstruction surgery following a double mastectomy, and I was starting a business. Oh, and I had three kids under the age of 15. Success wasn’t an option unless I could also achieve balance; so I began my search for strategies and ideas to help.

Ten years later, after countless trips through the Google jungle, I have a huge collection of ‘Top 10 Strategies,’ and ‘Easy Life Hacks That Will Help.’’  Since I’m a strategic family therapist and I like to focus on what I can do rather than what I must stop, I took some of the most practical advice and ‘re-framed:’

Original advice: Let go of perfectionism

Kate’s re-frame: Put out the first draft and let the audience co-create

I can think of VERY few successful things I have created, developed, presented, implemented, or sold, that I felt was completely 100% perfect. Seeing everything as a first draft allowed me to produce my art and see my audience as collaborators. The result? I have some pretty cool products and some very amazing fans.

Original advice: Limit time wasting activities and people

Kate’s re-frame: Do five, 20-minute job sets every day

This is a game I play with myself using my phone timer (it’s also called Parkinson’s law of productivity). I set a twenty-minute timer and race the clock to see how much I can get done. Then I set the timer again and again until I have done five ‘sets.’ I rarely finish all five but my productivity skyrockets when I self-impose these deadlines.

Original advice: Re-structure your life (what does that even mean??)

Kate’s re-frame: Buy back your life.

A few things I have hired out: house cleaning, grocery shopping, meal delivery, cat litter delivery, toilet paper (all kinds of personal paper) delivery, driver’s ed., driving my kids, cooking, social media posting, SEO optimization, bookkeeping, accounting, and legal defending just to name a few. I want to try hiring an Uber once each week just to see what I can get done on my commute (I bet it is worth the $6.00 fare).

Original advice: Manage your time

Kate’s re-frame: Clock out.

Literally set an end time for your work every day. If you need to purchase an actual time/card punch to set on your counter, go for it.

Original advice: Manage your calendar

Kate’s re-frame: Make some friends

Did you know there are some people who stay busy with work because they are bored? These folks may be shy, introverted, scared, or socially anxious. They choose to be out of balance because it is easier than facing their issues. Surrounding myself with amazing friends and being an amazing friend are two of my goals for 2017.

Want more tips for achieving balance? Check out our Private Practice University for more resources.