Isn’t MY job important too?

Dear Capitalist America,

I have a Master’s degree in counseling.  How I got here is a long story.  I graduated from high school an “average” student and proceeded to attend the University of Texas at El Paso.  I received a BA in Psychology, with honors.  I completed a senior honor’s thesis and had a GPA that was high enough to get “Cum Laude” stamped onto my actual diploma.  These credentials were meaningful and helpful when I decided to apply for graduate school at New Mexico State University.  I completed a “rigorous” program and it took 2 years.  I graduated with some good counseling experience under my belt, with a 4.0 GPA,  and an “Outstanding Student” award.  I got hired for my first therapy job before I graduated with the help of my 11 page resume.  You could say I did all the right things.

Then, after 11 months of working pretty damn hard, I got laid off.  The funding for the program I worked for got cut off by the city.  We had an %83 success rate, but probation decided that the way they’ve been doing things the past 30 years was better.  So, I needed to relocate….back to my parents’ house.  It’s been difficult going from independent to….well, dependent.  I want to work.  I don’t want to be at home.  I want to help suffering people.  I want to show the world that mental health is valuable.

So, why is there such a high job market for sales, finance, engineering, computer science?  I logically understand that we need these things because it’s how our world turns.  Without money and people to handle it, the economy would stop working (at least for some).  Without engineers we would not have good working shit in our world like roads, buildings, computers, and cars.  If there were no computer science kids, I wouldn’t be able to write this blog or waste time on Facebook.  So I understand.  BUT, let me present a scenario: if there were no electricity,  money, or there were some sort of national disaster…wouldn’t humanity be more important?  I’m sure there would be many people assigned to turning power back on and all that, but who would be that friendly face keeping people from panic?  Me.

I would.  I came to the counseling world with the intention of being self-less and contributing to humanity.  If not, I would have been a chef.  I sometimes think that I should just drop this whole bag of crap and become a pastry chef.  It’s so simple, compared to the intensity of dealing with suffering human beings.  There’s no crazy internship process where people want you to “fix” them while no effort is placed on their end.  The mounds of student loans and the salary for a counselor….oh, don’t even get me started.

All I can say is, it’s hard to be optimistic little me when things are hard.  I hope that God places me in the career he wants me to be in.  I still have some hope in humanity and hope in my dreams.



Published by ThroughTheEyesOfaTherapist

Mental health clinician, advocate, boxer, drummer, healer. Podcaster, blogger and creative spirit. Cristal Martinez Acosta has been working as a therapist within the border community of El Paso, Texas since 2011. Cristal is a Licensed Professional Counselor Board Approved Supervisor (LPC-S) in the state of Texas and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). She graduated with honors from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology. Then she attended New Mexico State University (CACREP accredited), where she received a Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance with a 4.0 GPA. She has experience working with youth and adults who have been affected by traumatic events. Her areas of interest are childhood abuse, domestic violence, anxiety, high-risk youth, depression, Reality Therapy, and immigration issues. She is certified in both Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Parent Child Interaction Therapy and trained in EMDR, EFT, Motivational Interviewing, and ITCT-A.

5 thoughts on “Isn’t MY job important too?

  1. Hi, just came across your blog. What you have achieved is very impressive, and you have taken a similar route to what I hope to do. I hope to become a clinical psychologist or counselling psychologist once I finish my degree etc. I’m sorry you haven’t got a job in counselling at the moment. I completely agree, it is a very necessary thing, yet the governments don’t mind cutting budgets for things like counselling which is seen as “unnecessary” or “luxury.” I hope you end up where you want to be in life 🙂

  2. Hi Cristal……when Obama visited Ft Bliss last week, his whole point of the visit was to communicate to the soldiers that there would be more people hired to deal with mental health. To me, that would include counselors??? Check for job postings on Ft Bliss/WBAMC, those are excelent positions. That’s where Amy got hired (although it took 9 months after she completed her Masters) but it is well worth the effort and wait.

  3. Tess,
    Believe me. I’ve tried. Ft. Bliss and the VA say that my lpci isn’t sufficient. They want me to be “fully licensed” (lpc with no “I” at the end).

    If Amy or anyone you know who is connected to the military and knows if they will hire lpci’s let me know.

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