Mentally ill people deserve better. So that last thing we need is someone entering the field out of some hazy, ill-conceived, romantic/idealistic notion that they are “special nurturers” or “messianic rescuers.”
This is a field that requires real skill and talent and hard work, not to mention personality traits such as resilience and sophistication and integrity — all of which graduate school cannot necessarily teach.
And for those women who want to become social workers for a while, then get married and settle down and start a family — and never have to really devote themselves to the profession — kindly do us all a favor and go into some other field instead.
And don’t kid yourself for a minute thinking you’ll eventually get your own private practice and specialize in “easy” patients with only minor depression and self-esteem issues. Those days are over. Today’s patients have much more extreme experiences and complex problems. A soldier from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder. A young woman with Borderline personality disorder from having been repeatedly molested by her stepfather as a child. A suicidal college student who recently flunked out of college due to emerging Bipolar disorder and needs your help getting on disability. Panic attacks, eating disorders, self-mutilating behaviors, etc.
If any of this is “too intense” or “too disturbing” for you, please leave.