I’m Getting a Degree in Social Work

Question of the week:

I have been a stay-at-home mom off and on for over 24 years and decided to go to university to study psychology in hopes to become a counselor in some capacity when all four children became independent and on their own. I have been married for over thirty years to a man that supports the idea of continuing education. In 2016, I began my academic journey, received a bachelors in 2020, and am now attending courses working towards a masters in social work.

It is my desire to help and serve people, but because of conservative philosophies that I hold dear, I am finding this course path to be nearly unbearable as social work philosophy is heavy on social justice and equity in the form of government intervention. Although I have learned invaluable lessons through continuing education, I am wondering that the pathway I should be going down might be better suited elsewhere since I do not believe in government policies creating equity for all and such. I attended your zoom meeting [Susan is referencing our live chats for We Happy Warrior Special Access members] and one of the things you taught was speaking in the heart or on the heart. Since I waited so long to go to school, I wonder if I’m trying to convince myself that this is the right course or if this is really the right place to be in order to serve God’s people. I am so unsure anymore. I have prayed and am seeking counsel.

Thank you,

~ Susan

Dear Susan,

The dilemma you are facing is becoming more and more common. While you and your husband carved out a highly successful trajectory that blessed your family while leaving you looking forward to years of contributing to society in a different manner, that society changed over those years. There is increasingly a “You are not welcome here” sign out in academia and many businesses for people with conservative and religious principles.

There is a great need for counselors, psychologists and social workers who are sympathetic to religious, traditional people. We know of too many divorces, parental estrangements and unhappy outcomes that were the result of ideologically driven treatments. If you are acquiring skills that will help you help others, then it may well be worth sitting through some offensive classes. We would recommend finding a mentor who is doing the work you hope to do who can help you analyze what you are learning and tread your way through the road mines. 

Be aware, that your degree may be dependent on you agreeing to things that you know are untrue and wrong—that might be another hurdle. But if you can finish the course and be certified, there are groups and individuals who will be grateful for finding someone such as yourself.

Wishing you success,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin


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11 thoughts on “I’m Getting a Degree in Social Work”

  1. John Miramontes

    Consider Daniel who trained under the culture, philosophies and religions of the Babylonians and even beat the Babylonians at their own game but remained faithful to their One True God.

  2. Please continue! Your journey will be difficult in our current climate but people like you are desperately needed by our society. Go and make a difference in our crazy world! I will pray for you.

  3. IF it was easy anyone could do it…..GO FOR IT!!!
    HUGS2YOU for your courage…..Together WE WILL!

  4. It’s getting more and more difficult to find counselors that believe in G-d and keeping families together. PLEASE keep going!! There are people that are in dire need of your services that are having problems finding a counselor such as yourself. I know several people, including myself, who have gone through at least 4 counselors before we found someone we could work with that didn’t either see us as a permanent meal ticket, or suggested only drugs as treatments. Remember a person is both body and soul, and many issues have a spiritual aspect at the core.

  5. Vickie L Sanderson

    Dear Susan,
    I am writing as a person who entered the academic path to become a counselor after my son became an adult, also. I often worried during that path how I would manage my God/conservative views in some classes that were clearly not so. I kept a focus on imaginings of shining God’s Light with the information I was receiving (coupled with God’s Biblical instructions of how the world really works). That said, I would encourage you to continue.
    I would also encourage you to take a hard look at this profession and the times we are living in. The counseling profession itself is 30 to 40 hours a week of people in deep grief and distress. In the past year and a half I have been called many unsavory names due to the political climate change (primarily due to not being willing to speak of politics or state the latest news sound bite). This means you must have or you must acquire the ability to balance this emotional darkness with positive in the hours you are not working. You must be able to set social limits; to say no to a social request. In addition, although you may be available for a set amount of hours most counselors are not paid unless the client shows up. Consistent wages are usually tied to government positions in which you will not be free to practice in your faith.
    With this information, I don’t mean to discourage you in any way. There is nothing more fulfilling (outside our children saying they love us) than a client having a break through. I wish the best for you, Susan.

  6. I used the occasion during my time at my leftist university to openly espouse a different point of view writing op-ed pieces for the newspaper.

    Predictably, many students were offended. But I was also surprised how many took me aside privately to say, “I agree with you.” In hindsight I see – it wasn’t about changing the status quo, but rather giving voice to what everyone knows is true, even if they’re making their best effort to deny or contradict it.

  7. I specifically search out those with a biblical worldview, especially in the field Susan is considering. Please continue. God will use you, and He knows we need more like you serving.

  8. We need you. I have struggle with my son, who now believes he is a woman. This has created estrangement and a distancing between his twin sister and me. I would love to have a counselor with a biblical grounding to discuss my concerns, pain and sadness, but I live in a very progressive area and know that the counselor would make it about my lack of acceptance and not listen to me. PLEASE continue and hold strong against the indoctrination!!

  9. Really appreciate the work you are doing Rabbi Lapin. You are such a great blessing! Met you in London where you signed my autograph on the book Thou Shall Prosper. I am currently reading this book more conscientiously , watching your interview at 700 Club in 2014 and loving every bit of it! Please how can I get the book Business Secrets of the Bible ?I will like to have a copy. The Lord bless you Rabbi!

  10. I am deeply grateful for wisdom from both Rabbi and Susan. Choosing to continue the social work pathway has been one of the most difficult choices I have had to make thus far in life. The perspective of keeping the goal [serving God’s people] in focus has made it a more effective way to get through the “hard times” of agenda-driven ideologies. As the challenges come, I am reassured with confidence and support from the Happy Warriors. I am proud to be a part of the group. Thank you all for that!

    1. Thanks for writing in, Susan. As you read the comments, I hope you gather strength from all the people pulling for you.

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