How Much Does it Cost to Become a Counselor?
If I had decided not to go to graduate school and become a helper/healer, I think my soul would have just flat out died. I don’t think I am being melodramatic here.
If you have a calling to service, and you don’t follow it, you are dis-honoring your higher self, your true self. When you are meant to be a therapist, your calling is to one of the oldest and noblest professions.
Since forever, there have been priests, rabbis, shamans, zero chiefs, druids, medicine women, high priestesses, ministers, whose job it was to hold the safe space, to hold a place in consciousness, in the vortex, in order to help others know, and grow and heal.
It’s huge. I don’t know if I want to say more about that. If you don’t get it, you probably aren’t called, and you won’t get this whole conversation anyway. But if you do get it, you get it, and you are part of a particular Tribe. You may have to warm up to that idea. Some of us did…
…In this day and age, life expectancies are longer, and fewer of us expect (or want) to “retire” (as in going fishing in Florida…) Therapists actually get better with age (unlike many professions). So if you think that putting aside 2-3 years to earn the credentials, to cultivate your soul’s highest purpose, to then allow you decades of helping others, of career satisfaction, as distinguished from whatever it is you are doing now, then I have to say you cannot afford to NOT go to graduate school…I know that sounds kind of dogmatic. I do not find myself wanting to soften that sentence, though…
A lot of people want to know what it will cost them to become a Counselor or Art Therapist. That is an OK question, but probably not as good as “What will it cost me to NOT become one?” I don’t know about you, but my experience is that there are a lot of crummy jobs in the universe, and sometimes I feel like I’ve had about half of them. Asbestos Products comes to mind, where we made asbestos gloves and left our shift with the white powder of asbestos on our mustaches. We thought it was funny. Or Phoenix Dye Works, which probably should have been Phoenix Die, for all the chemicals we breathed in well into overtime. $3.03 an hour. Sweet.
I could go on. So could you. I’m an idealist, always have been. I had a notion that I wanted to do something “meaningful”, something that constituted a contribution. Something that, at minimum, did not suck. It wasn’t that easy. (My aspirations got higher, by the way…)
In the middle of a successful business career, I quit and went to graduate school. It looked pretty ill-advised on paper, but I was not working on paper—I was working from the heart, and a lot of times your heart applauds what does not look good on that old paper.
It’s up to you, of course. I just had to say what I said, pretty bluntly. I guess that is more my “Coach” voice than my “Therapist” voice. If you are wandering the planet, not quite satisfied, and not quite anchored, and you always felt like people wanted to talk to you, that you had natural skills in helping, that you wanted to do something meaningful, where it felt good to get up in the morning and go where you were going, then you might want to think about it. Or just do it.