The two usual paths chosen by Counselor Education doctoral students after graduation are clinical or academia. Granted, there are those who pick a job that allows them to have both. When I entered the Ph.D. program, I knew in my mind that I wanted to back to the field and have a leadership position at a counseling agency. Given my population of interest, undocumented immigrants, I thought that choosing the clinical route would be the best way to better serve them. I still think it’s a better route but recently I have started reconsidering choosing the academia life.
In two weeks, I will be in New Orleans again, presenting at the SACES 2016 Conference on the experiences of both bilingual counselors and bilingual supervisors. As I was thinking of something to submit for this conference, I thought it would be interesting to see what research was out there about supervising bilingual counselors. I figured since I will most likely supervise bilingual counselors in my hypothetical clinical job…why not see what is being offered. A bonus of researching this topic was getting my feelings validated as a bilingual counselor studying with monolingual counselors and faculty (i.e. feeling overwhelmed, isolated, and stressed). On the other hand, though my feelings were validated, I started noticing the huge need for bilingual counselors to have both a bilingual supervisor and bilingual faculty to adequately guide them in their counselor journey. My hypothetical dream job was all of a sudden not so certain.
Though I haven’t made my decision yet, I thought this was a valuable message about keeping your options opened. You never know what you might be closing off.