The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use the anonymous , and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact in ation is here.


Dear Career Doctor:

I am 1.5 years into my Masters in Mental Health Counseling. I absolutely hate it and fantasize every day about quitting. It's not about boring classes or time management stresses, it's about truly hating every aspect of the program.

I have loved psychology since I was 17 (I am 25 now), but I feel like since I have been studying for so long I have lost interest in it as a career. I am so stressed and anxious all the time I can't sleep, I'm drinking, so I'm going to see a therapist soon.

My friends and family tell me to stick with it, because it will be worth it in the end. But what if I take all the time and do all the work and its all for a job I don't even want anymore? I'm so scared to be viewed as a quitter (especially having a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State as a sister), but I don't know if I'm burnt out or should start over with something new. I've put so much time and money into this already. I'm at the point now that I will be seeing clients in practicum. Please help.....


Dear Anne:

I assume you are in a two year Masters program, and I fully understand why people are telling you that it is in your best interest to complete the final half year. BUT, if the stress and anxiety are harming your health, you should not continue.

Since you have loved psychology for so long, it would be a shame to stop before trying what many people consider the best part of the program: actually working with patients/clients. If you try your practicum and don't like it either, then Mental Health Counseling is not for you.

I am glad to hear that you are going to see a therapist. A good therapist can help you better understand your dilemma plus teach you some techniques to cope with stress, anxiety -- and guilt if you drop out.

If you drop out, don't consider yourself a quitter. Be proud that you are strong enough to take the difficult choice to protect your health. Focus on the many ways to use the training you have gotten. For example, you can use it as a credential to enter the fields of Human Resources, Sales or Teaching, since it has taught you a great deal about human nature and dealing with people.

The Career Doctor



The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.

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