Despite her approaching retirement, Carol Beyer is a human powerhouse in the social work field. She works not just one, not just two, but three jobs. She serves as adjunct faculty for both the TCU Department of Social Work and TCU criminal justice department, works as a licensed clinical social worker at a private practice in Fort Worth and works as an addictions counselor at the Greenbay Jail Facility in Cleburne, Texas.
And even though Beyer said she’s retiring from her county position at the end of March, she’s not stopping.
“I want the other two jobs because I’m not going to retire or just quit working,” she said.
This statement sums up Beyer’s passion for social work and makes her a paragon of dedication in her field.
Her decision to retire from the county comes from almost 17 years of service. She worked as a volunteer for the Rape Crisis and Victim Services at John Peter Smith Hospital for the Women’s Center of Tarrant County for five years before attending TCU as a nontraditional student. Graduating in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in social work, she went on to pursue her master’s degree at the University of Texas at Arlington after serving as the program manager at The Salvation Army. While she worked on her master’s degree, Beyer interned at UTA Counseling Services and served as a counselor at the Mansfield Correctional Institution. She also trained social work interns at TCU from 1999 to 2009.
Counseling prison inmates who were struggling with alcohol and drug addiction did not put a damper on Beyer’s love for her work. She said detaching herself from situations helps her do her job to the best of her ability. Her focus on cognitive-based therapy is the basis of her counseling technique when dealing with clients, whether they be prison inmates struggling with letting an addiction go or military officers looking for counseling.
“What’s different was going to the jail where we are working along with people from the sheriff’s department,” she said. “At first, most of the officers [at Greenbay] weren’t pleased to see us because they thought we were hug-a-tree-type people. I said ‘you don’t need to worry about that, I’m not a tree hugger.’”
Despite her many endeavors, Beyer said attending TCU as an undergraduate student was one of the most difficult experiences she has dealt with.
The anxiety of being a non-traditional student had her on edge, but she successfully acquired her degree and came back to TCU to teach two classes in 2007 at the invitation of David Jenkins, professor and chairman of the department of social work.
“I do think that in bringing this experience to [students], especially working in the jail and seeing all different kinds of people and different cultures, I think that’s very helpful to them,” Beyer said about her experience as a professor.
Beyer teaches Addictions every fall for the TCU Department of Social Work and counseling skills and crisis intervention in the criminal justice system in the spring for TCU criminal justice department. Both classes deal with issues relating to crisis intervention and counseling—areas Beyer has dealt with her entire career.
“From what I can tell, the students are interested,” she said. “The stories I tell, well, they get shocked because some of the things you see in jail are shocking, but I go ahead and tell them.”
Beyer said she realized “what was going on in the world outside” when she started working at JPS after her time with the rape crisis center.
“I thought I was living in some kind of bubble and that’s another reason why I wanted to do this because people need to be aware of what’s going on out there,” she said.
Now, she is taking time before retirement to build up a client base for her private practice work by partnering with five other licensed counselors and social workers—three of which are fellow TCU graduates—at PSP Professional Services, Inc., which provides counseling to children, adolescents and adults, according to its website.
“I like doing individual sessions, I like working with children and I also like working with other clients because you get more of a variety,” she said. “You get couples and children and military and police officers who have different issues than other clients I have, so I find that pretty challenging.”
Challenging though it may be, Beyer exhibits nothing but positive energy about her continuing career as a social worker. Even after retiring from the county, she is still a powerhouse.