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Psychology/Brief Interview Q & As


Hi Michael, I read you have experience as a substance abuse counselor which is something I have been interested looking at in depth for quite a while. I have a College Prep class that requires me to interview somebody in a field I am interested in. So if you do not mind and have the time, would you mind just reading over these questions briefly and give me an idea of what your career has been like and studying psychology. I would appreciate it greatly, thank you!

Describe your day, what do you enjoy most /what are the challenges.

What type of training did you need?

What types of “soft skills”  (personality skills) do you need?

What are the projection of growth in this industry?

What are the opportunities for promotions, increased earnings / responsibilities?

What do you find most rewarding?

What are typical entry level earnings / top of the pay scale earnings?

Would you recommend this career to a young person? Why / why not?

What changes would you make in your career path / education choice if you could make changes.

I am sorry for responding so late. I was a counselor for 10 months with MHS, from 2009 - 2010. I really enjoyed working with my clients counseling them one on one. Challenges were seeing the same people returning for the same problems. I was required to have a certificate in AODS (Alcohol and other drug studies) but I went for the AS degree instead. Projection of growth is minimal, especially in California where counselors are not licensed. The field in general is highly saturated with many counselors who get paid a bare minimum (12-14 an hour). The highest paid position is the program manager. Burnt out is very high (which happened to me) and you have to have a tough personality yet be able to care enough for someone who is struggling without it overwhelming you. Perhaps a young person is adaptable enough to be able to handle all the stress of being a new counselor. Personally I would have gone for my Masters right away and chose the mental health side or dual diagnosis.

I wish you the best and hope you excel at whatever you do.


Michael Stark
PH. D in progress


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Michael Stark


I can answer questions regarding substance abuse and chemical dependency as I was a Substance Abuse counselor for Mental Health Systems (MHS)and I have a AS degree in Alcohol and Other Drug Studies. Also I can answer questions on human sexuality. I have two additional degrees, a BS in Psychology and a MS in Psychology.


Former chemical dependency counselor. I have 6 years of education in the area of Behavioral Science and Psychology.

Associates in Science Alcohol and other Drug Studies Bachelors in Science Psychology Masters in Science Psychology

Awards and Honors
2006-2008 Deans Honor List at San Diego City College

Past/Present Clients
Proposition 36 clients at MHS

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