Until this very second I have had no idea what I wanted to do. When asked what degree I'm working toward, I have a solid answer and I just hope the inquiry stops there. It rarely does. "So what are you going to do with that? Are you going to work in schools?" No, I know for a fact that I do not want to be a school counselor. That was the extent of my knowledge.
I was never sure what population I wanted to work with. Not much appealed to me. Severely mentally ill people are a challenge I do not feel up for in my mere 24 years of life. Substance abuse and criminal justice are not my forte either. All I knew, up until now, was that I MIGHT have a preference for adolescents. But that didn't mean I would not enjoy young children or adults, because I would.
An epiphany happened. Randomly, I know I want to work with LGBTQ consumers of mental health services. Let me specify something right now. So we're clear: although sexual minorities were once viewed as having mental illness by my profession, that is no longer the stance. Again, I do not wish to "cure" people of homosexuality. There is no such process.
What I have noticed in my grad school career is that this population is one of the most marginalized in just about every arena with the exception of fashion. That means that people face oppression and are ostracised at home, school, and work no matter where they are. I'm sure these clients will always have something to talk about.
I'm bored easily but I'm sure this population will provide me with a lot to work with. I'll see folks for anxiety, depression, family issues, career, relationship issues...all kinds of stuff will come up. And, I'll get to work with a range of ages. Even children because there are those kids who are gender varient (girls who want to be boys and vice versa). Yup, that's a thing.
So if you love me, cross your fingers and pray that this is the niche I've been looking for and hope that I'll find work with this population.