Gary Bloom

March 29, 2021

A Career in Counseling

(This is an excerpt from a book I wrote on how to have career in the mental health field. I unpublished it because it would need to be revised to stay current.) “And you may ask yourself—’Well…How did I get here?’ ” —David Byrne It’s possible, even likely, to make some of the most important decisions you’ll ever make as a counselor, wi...
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March 29, 2021

How to Suck as a Counselor

Identity politics I was teaching a class to masters students in counseling when I was challenged by a student how I could work with women or gays. This wasn’t a polite challenge, it was more of an accusation: Who do you think you are, believing that you can be an effective counselor for those who’ve had different life experiences as yo...
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March 29, 2021

Supervision

(This is an excerpt from a book I wrote on how to have career in the mental health field. I unpublished it because it would need to be revised to stay current.) In my State of Washington, one requirement to become a qualified supervisor is 15 hours of supervision training. My wife, a clinical social worker with decades of experience to...
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March 29, 2021

Continuing Education

(This is an excerpt from a book I wrote on how to have career in the mental health field. I unpublished it because it would need to be revised to stay current.) The continuing education requirement in most states is based on two presumptions: (1) Mental health professionals need the fear of the stick to make them advance their skills. ...
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March 29, 2021

Systems Theory

(This is an excerpt from a book I wrote on how to have career in the mental health field. I unpublished it because it would need to be revised to stay current.) Maybe in grad school, you decided to be a systems-oriented counselor, specifically a family systems-oriented counselor. Soon you’ll learn that the mental health system is full ...
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March 29, 2021

Game of Thorns

(This is an excerpt from a book I wrote on how to have career in the mental health field. I unpublished it because it would need to be revised to stay current.) “When I spoke to Stanford professor Bob Sutton, he told me his #1 piece of advice to students was this: ‘When you take a job take a long look at the people you’re going to be w...
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March 29, 2021

So You Want to Be a Counselor or Psychotherapist

(This is an excerpt from a book I wrote on how to have career in the mental health field. I unpublished it because it would need to be revised to stay current.) In the 60s and 70s, my father had the largest counseling practice in the San Fernando Valley. Note that, when he started out, the largest practice in the Valley might have been...
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March 29, 2021

Jailhouse Rock, a Brief Intervention

Part 1 • Short-Term Change Strategy: You can’t control any behavior but your own In a town in South Dakota, I was working in emergency services, which included consultation to the local jail. The manager in charge of the jail guards called my boss and explained that they had a prisoner who was driving the guards and other prisoners cra...
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March 29, 2021

How to Work With Schizophrenics

Most important is how you relate. Unfortunately, it’s mostly don’ts. Don’t expect your relationship to accumulate trust or predictability. Don’t assume that what happened in previous sessions will carry over. Forget Carl Rodgers and Person-Centered Therapy. Think Bill Murray in GroundHog Day. Don’t use relationship language between you...
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March 29, 2021

Playing the Black Card

Undergoing classic psychoanalysis, these days, is a bit like owning an American Express Black Card. The “Black Card,” (formally, the Centurion Card) is issued by invitation only, and the lucky dot-com zillionaires pay a (in the U.S.) $7,500 initiation fee and a $2,500 yearly fee. Short of becoming a President of the United States (Pres...
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