1) I chose to interview Ms. Tabitha McGuiness, she is an intervention counselor at a K-5 elementary school. She has a Masters in Science, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas.
A typical day can look very different from day to day for Ms. McGuiness. Some days she is able to start sessions at 7:30 AM, while other days it might be 9:30 before she begins individual sessions due to a student needing immediate assistance. She provides individual sessions to students with mental health needs that are on her caseload. This includes maintaining all paperwork and documentation pertaining to the caseload, and reporting to the Licensed Psychologist with the school district to see if additional services are needed. She tries to see as many students as she can throughout the day, again this can look different everyday. After each session she takes 15-20 minutes to record the needed information about the session.
She struggled with being bullied in school, and her parents got a divorce when she was 11. It wasn’t until she turned 20 when she began seeing a therapist for these things. The therapists helped her understand that it is ok to stand up for yourself, whether to do with bullies or parents. Her school counselor was very supportive and suggested she take a class in psychology her senior year. This started her journey, but it took several years to completely decide this role. She has been in her current position for 5 years.
She would still choose the same career path and wishes she would have chosen it sooner than she did. It gives her a sense of accomplishment when leaving work everyday knowing she helped a student in need, due to her own misfortunes in school. She is able to apply her experiences to help them learn and grow.
She had many trials and tribulations in her childhood, but the one thing that influenced her the most was someone in her high school committing suicide. Even through everything she had been through, she had never considered that as an option. After going to the community college for her associates degree in education. She decided she wanted to help people that had suicidal thoughts and help them learn copying skills to help through difficult times.
She has not faced any barriers or challenges due to aspects of her identity in the profession. Although she does acknowledge being a white female in the industry has allowed her some privileges that weren’t offered to other classmates in college. After studying the “white privilege” era her eyes were opened to this concept. It only then made her realize this is what she had witnessed in college.
Her advice for future counselors is to explore different forms of counseling before you choose a role. And know that it is ok if you take on a role whether in a clinical or school setting, and decide it is not right for you. She has worked in both settings before choosing to be an intervention counselor at an elementary school.
After meeting with Ms. McGuiness and having time to think about her answers, I believe her story aligns with John Krumboltz’s Learning Theory. The Social Learning Theory of Career Decision Making suggests that career choices are “influenced by complex environmental factors, many of which are beyond the control of any single individual” (Niles