Clinician Meet, Career Advice for Clinicians with Guadalupe F Colvett
We are pleased to feature Guadalupe F Colvett, working with DirectShifts as a Licensed Counselor, Mental Health with experience in healthcare under her belt. She has had the privilege to provide services to clients in their homes, schools, and Partial Hospitalization Centers (PHPs), and advocate in the court system, group homes, nursing homes, and other settings. We asked her to share some of her achievements, experiences, and challenges faced as a mental health counselor with our readers. This will be a source of learning and excellent career advice to all new and aspiring counselors and healthcare professionals in 2022.
What do you love about working as a mental health counselor?
I have to highlight that serving as a tireless advocate for the less fortunate and underprivileged populations has been my most fulfilling role. Clinically, I have worked as a clinician, case manager, medical social worker, team leader, and community worker. My heart belongs to this profession, which is really more of a vocation for me. I get to utilize so many skills, and social work, especially in community settings, allows for creativity in ways of approaching diverse situations.
To put it simply, many years ago, I fell in love with my profession, and I have never looked back with regret. I do have many wonderful memories of the lives that I have been blessed to positively influence, as they did mine in turn.
What career advice will you give to the new and aspiring clinicians in your field?
Tips for a successful counseling career by Guadalupe:
- When you feel joy and fulfillment in the field of your choice, you know that you are in the right field. For me, it was and is social work. Some days, weeks, or periods of time will be challenging, frustrating, and, yes, even intimidating. You will be presented with "difficult" clients, broken systems, language, and cultural differences, inadequate resources to solve the needs of your clients, and yes, maybe even unsatisfactory supervision. This is where your passion, intelligence, training, creative thinking skills, and compassion for your clients and you will shine. Sometimes you will be faced with critical, even life-altering situations that require your judgment and critical thinking skills.
- At times, especially in community and home settings, you may be facing these challenges alone. Trust yourself. Trust you're training and life skills learned over a lifetime. Most of all, if you can remember why, you entered this career and always, always do your very best, well, then you can go home knowing that, in spite of the outcome, you gave it your all. I would close by saying that it is essential to your success, as well as burnout reduction, to have a strong support system both at work and in your private life.
- At work, having and accessing your supervisor is essential, as are regularly scheduled supervisory meetings (group or individual). Having a good working relationship with other social workers within your agency and out in the community is also essential. There will be many times when you will need to discuss difficult cases with a knowledgeable and experienced peer (or peers).
- Don't ever be afraid to ask questions or admit when you lack knowledge in an area. These are opportunities for growth and to increase your fund of knowledge. A passion for helping others, changing systems, improving communities, providing education and services to individuals and groups, as well as perseverance, if you possess these, social work may just be for you! Jump in with both feet and don't look back!
What was the best part of being associated with DirectShifts?
DirectShifts, as an organization, offered excellent customer service to me. I felt supported every step of the way in learning to manage and work in a system with which I had no familiarity. No question was left unanswered, even though I had many. The timeliness of responses and a friendly and approachable attitude while remaining professional went a very long way toward reassuring me and ultimately facilitating my professional goals.
Closing message to your readers
"Watch your thoughts; They become words. Watch your words; They become actions.Watch your actions; They become habits. Watch your habits; They become character. Watch your character; It becomes your destiny" Lao Tzu