From Springfield, Virginia, USA:
My son has had diabetes for 17 years. As a parent, I have been through many trials with him. I am going to go back to college to get my degree in psychology. I would like to direct my studies towards assisting parents in dealing with a new diagnosis, the stressors of having a child with this disease, etc. I have spoken with my son's endocrinologist who says there is a great need for counseling/support. Do you see this need? Do you have any suggestions as to what direction to take my studies so that I can give back to the diabetic community?
There is a great need for counselors to help parents who have children with diabetes. There is lots of research showing the pressures parents feel when their kids are diagnosed and in the years that follow, as they try to help their children learn to take the best possible care of themselves. Sometimes the stresses also strain the relationship between parents.
Someone who has personal experience, as you do and I do, can be especially helpful. You can get the professional training you need by going in any of several directions. You could get a masters degree in psychology, counseling, or social work, and try to do your internships in settings where children with diabetes receive care. If you have a lot of time (and energy and money), you could go for a doctorate in psychology.
Original posting 10 Jan 2008
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