How do we make a cultural shift in counseling? How do we transform our culture to one of prosperity and abundance?
The social services (education, counseling, social work, etc.) have built a culture of societal devaluation. When you ask the general person to give you their thoughts on raising teachers' salaries, many people make comments like, "Why? They get summers off and only work from 8:00 to 3:00." When you ask people their thoughts on paying counselors more money, they say things like "How hard is it to sit in a chair all day and talk?" This is a culture that WE have created as social services professionals. If WE don't feel like we deserve more for the hard work we do, why would anyone else? It starts with us. It starts with us developing a greater sense of worth and value. Here's some examples from other industries that have done a much better job of earning perceived value: Life coaches are charging $150 an hour (or more), most of which have no background in counseling, and have not spent years becoming trained to help others become psychologically well. Think of the oil guy you know that is making 200K (or more) per year. Think of the small business owner that is growing their business and making an excellent income. Think of the real estate agent that is making 2-5 thousand per transaction.
The problem with counseling is there's no physical "product" to sell. It's much less tangible, and therefore much harder for people to see what they are receiving from the service. I'm sure my opinion is bias, but it's my belief our product sold should come at a premium. Our product: health and well being. We spend $50 on a single dinner and don't blink an eye, but can't seem to expect our clients to pay more for the hour they spend with us.
It's time to change our culture. To begin believing that our product (mental health) has far greater value than we currently charge. Let's begin creating a culture of wealth, and living a life of abundance while helping others find their path to peace in life as well.
What are your thoughts? How do we change the culture of counseling and social services? How do we challenge the status quo to bring our profession into the financial status it deserves?