Just removed the self-seeking list of degrees and certifications from my bio on Amazon etc., as they really have nothing to do with anything, nor do they define, symbolize, or reflect my ability to do anything at all.
As my wife ponders the pressure she is getting to renew some worthless certification that none of her clients care about anyway, let me explain the whole ‘certification’ thing. Being certified in counseling, for instance, is NOT a determinant of quality of counselor, effectiveness of counselor, professionalism of counselor, integrity of counselor, or being better educated or equipped as a counselor. Associations, organizations, boards, schools etc. are businesses that co-opt an industry for the sole purpose of commercializing and financializing it.
The phrase “Certified Counselor” or and other acronym which symbolizes certification in a certain field are made up by these organizations to create a certain perception in the eyes of the counselor. This fake, made-up idea of certification seeps into our heads that we are less valid, less capable, less informed and less effective without the certification than we are with it. The idea of certifications is a ruse to make us think that we need them in order to do something, and the sad thing is, nowadays we do!
But it’s not because we actually need them to be a better counselor, but because businesses form relationships with these associations and buy into this nonsense, thus requiring employees to be certified, which means spending hundreds or thousands of dollars and wasting time doing nothing and filling out paperwork to get another piece of paper that says that some random group of people have now certified you and you are ready to go; that is until two years rolls around and you have to pay another few hundred or thousand or whatever to re-certify and take a quick course that does absolutely nothing to make you a better anything.
My ability to help others has nothing to do with school or degrees or certifications. My ability, like anybody’s ability, lies in who I am, in my inherent abilities and talents. Everything I’ve learned about addiction and recovery I’ve learned on my own and through my experience. And regarding the Big Book, a few junkies broke down the Big Book to me and that was that. No certification necessary. Just a couple of guys with their heads screwed on straight and common sense intact.
To be an effective counselor, you simply have to know yourself. That’s all. If you understand yourself, you can help anybody.
Besides that, it’s all about personality, passion, articulation, instincts and creativity. And it’s about how much work have you done on yourself. The very best counselors are those who have worked tirelessly on themselves. They have the most to give, they are the most knowledgeable, they have the best instincts and intuition.
Relying on someone with a degree in this or that, a masters in this or that, or ten certifications in this, that, and the other thing is usually a waste of time, as you frequently get someone who is 100% inept and incompetent. A junkie armed with facts about himself and who has prayed and meditated and made amends and served and given of himself is by far more qualified to help another addict than someone who may be aloof, disconnected, mentally ill, spiritually ill, emotionally unstable, not filled with spirit and has no direct experience whatsoever in the field in which they are working, but, but, but… they have an acronym next to their name.
And finally, why would I blow all sorts of time and money on a certification just to enter the destroyed economy that is America? If you can’t get a job in the thing you just paid 200k to learn, you should get an f’ing tuition refund. What a scam education is. Isn’t the point of going to college to ensure that you make more money as opposed to graduating with hundreds of thousands of debt and ending up at Starbucks et al. where they call you a barista to make you feel a little less worthless. Trust me, this is no offense to baristas. I see these highly intelligent, brilliant people slaving to make coffees all day and when we gab for a minute, I soon discover they are a JP Morgan/government debt slaves for life.
So I ask, just what exactly is the point of a liberal arts degree again? Are we all just sheep who follow the orders of the establishment? And is it any wonder that the most successful people in the entire world dropped out of college or never went altogether? I’m pretty sure they know something that the rest of us suckers don’t. But hey, if you can afford it and want to spend 4 years upside down on a keg, then fine, but if you can’t, I don’t really see the point or the virtue in debt servitude.