In my last post I was hopeful and frankly, floored that this one practicum prospect all but rolled out the red carpet for me.
However, the carpet is gone because they got cold feet. They gave reasons but the main one was that they decided not to have an intern for the next school year. I got the impression that there were politics at work, but I couldn’t be sure.
So since that time I have been sending out email after email after email, following up with phone calls and more phone calls, and so far it’s been rejection after rejection … after rejection.
One of the non-negotiable requirements of my distance education university is to allow me (not the client, just me) to be videotaped when I am counselling. Not every time of course; only occasionally. The reason for this is so that my professor, who will be likely on the other end of the country, can see me in action and evaluate my performance! Unfortunately, the policy of many counselling agencies is to not allow recording of any kind (video OR audio!) so many of the rejections had to do with that. But the biggest hurdle lately has been space.
I have heard from a local social worker who is willing to be my supervisor; however, the only problem she has is that she has an office with a door and a desk … for HER. She has no extra space for me to see clients. So she told me that if I could find a place that had a clientele I could use, and a space for me to see them, and they DIDN’T have a Master’s level supervisor for me, she would supervise me from “off site.”
Getting other organizations here to understand and agree to even that kind of arrangement has been very difficult. It has gotten to the point that, after countless rejections from this and that and the other agency, I have started to reach out to counselling organizations and agencies outside of my own province.
It really is unbelievable that a province that is reputed to be “crying” for counsellors does not seem to want to invest the time and space that it will take to essentially get pro-bono counselling for under a year (eight to nine months), as long as someone is there to guide me at times. They seem to only want to get people who already have their degrees or their certification – a classic catch-22 situation. Yet the folks with whom I have spoken in a neighbouring province have tried to find solutions for me that would inconvenience them just so that I can have the opportunity to practice.
Of course, I don’t want to have to do the commute. I don’t mind the driving so much, but every trip would cost me nearly $100 for gas and bridge toll alone, so it would be very expensive – especially on a reduced income that I would have to be (at 40%) for the duration of my practicum, not to mention super-stressful to be away from my family. They are supportive, but I would really prefer to stay here with them if I could.
So I keep trying.