"Dear 4,000 Hours of Clinical Supervision ..."
By Tiffany Roe, Argosy University, Salt Lake City
AMHCA GSC Western Region Liaison, UMHCA University Coordinator
... You are so close, I can almost taste you. You represent everything wonderful and anxiety-provoking about completing a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. You are a reward for finishing the race of school and a final training ground to help us reach our professional goals. Graduate school hasn’t exactly been a leisurely stroll in the park; in fact it’s been more like a marathon. And just as we are about to approach the joyous finish line that is our degree, all 4,000 hours of you patiently wait for our arrival.
The finish line that marks the end of the graduate school marathon—graduation—may evoke joy, relief, pride, or
anxiety, depending on our perspective of the next race. Some of us may want to stretch out a little bit before jumping right back in, while others may start off sprinting. In either case, we are not left to our own devices to complete the task of professional development and job security ahead of us.
Sufficient training, conditioning, quality “running shoes,” and practice will surely build our confidence and prepare us to become mental health professionals. AMHCA is one of the best “training programs” to support us in our individual races. AMHCA provides graduate students with myriad opportunities to prepare us for the next step in our professional career, including:
- Exclusive membership in an association for LPCs … the experts who have already crossed the finished line
- AMHCA conferences, where mental health professionals share tips and training expertise we need to be successful, no matter our pace
- The opportunity to practice leadership roles, interacting with fellow students and leading professionals … so that we don’t only run the race, but win it
- The Advocate, which gives us counseling tips and guidance almost every month
- The Journal of Mental Health Counseling, which is mailed to our homes quarterly so we can read the most up to date research to keep our skills sharp and cutting-edge
- Networking, with both professionals and students, which will ensure our timely completion of the race and opportunities for job security after graduation
- An AMHCA scholarship that is available to a dedicated runner (see Graduate Student of the Year info at ) to give him or her a boost in the race.
- Up-to-date emails about the populations we can serve and what we can do to make sure LPCs have the same coverage and support that other mental health professionals do
- The opportunity to prepare a poster session to present at national and state conferences to show our research and dedication to the race
- Instant connections through our membership affiliation with mental health counselors across the entire country in case we decide to finish our race in a different state than the one in which we begin it
AMHCA gives me valuable confidence as an emerging mental health professional. Let’s take advantage of the tools hand to secure our future and the future of professional mental health counseling.