Informational Interview

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On November 18, 2012 at 1:00pm I interviewed Stephan Baldwin, a substance abuse counselor at Stephens Medical Hospital in Edmonds. The reason for this interview was for me to gather as much information in the substance abuse field as possible and the requirements needed for this type of position, and to expand my professional network. For a long time I have debated a career in business or psychology. If I chose psychology I would want to do something related to counseling, or even possibly be a psychiatrist. So I thought that interviewing someone in this position would help me understand if this was the kind of career I would be interested in. I didn’t have to wait long when I got there. He welcome me in with a smile, we shook hands and walk to his office. We set down and he ask me, what school I was attending, again I replied Seattle Pacific University located in Fremont, I’m currently taking a business class that is helping me develop my networking and interviewing skills in hopes of attaining a business degree. But I am conflicted on whether or not this is the field I want to go into. She then nodded and asked what questions I had for him. I began with the following; What skills are needed to become a substance abuse counselor? Stephan stated a desire to help people in need , strong listening skills and communication skills, physical and emotional energy to deal with problems and stress the job present on a day to day bases. He also said that you need to have compassion and understanding for the client , a counselor need to have experience putting together a treatment plans client screening assessments, interventions referrals, discharges and the ability to put together a after care plan for the client. He told me that interventions are tricky, but I can master that with time, Schooling and volunteering will help gain that experience needed. I then went on to ask him what kind of degree I needed? Stephan stated that it depends on the state in which I want...
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