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:

How do you really know if you want to be a counselor to help people or whether you are just someone who likes to get involved in other people's problems?


Dear Richard:

Many beginning therapists secretly worry that they have entered the field simply because they are a bit of a voyeur -- or just nosy. It's good -- actually vital -- that counselors questions themselves like this. Counselors and therapists need to question their motives, because one key to being ethical and effective is that you never pry into a client's life because of your own curiousity. You ONLY ask questions when you genuinely believe the answer might help you solve your client's problems.

A similar key boundary exists regarding getting "involved in other people's problems." You have to be keenly interested in your clients' lives and issues, but you must also maintain a certain distance so that you don't become overly involved. Why? That's the key difference between the advice of a friend or relative versus a counselor. Friend or relatives often have strong personal opinions or stakes in the outcome, so they become offended or upset if their advice is not taken. A good counselor, on the other hand, is solely interested in trying to help clients achieve their goals. Good counselors always recognize that clients have a perfect right to ignore or disagree with any advice that is given.

So, if you become a counselor, you have to want to be involved -- but not overly involved. And to keep asking whether you are maintaining that fine balance all through your career.

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.

For more in ation go to