Job Analysis: Mental Health Worker

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Job Analysis: Mental Health Counselor
Brandy Celestin
June 20, 2011
Psy/435
Kristi Raines
University of Phoenix

Job Analysis: Mental Health Counselor
In the field of psychology there are many positions and jobs, each having their own specific purpose and require individuals with specific skill sets. For the purpose of this essay a job analysis will be provided for the position of mental health counselor; what a mental health counselor does and the skills that an individual is required to have and maintain in order to gain employment as a mental health counselor. What is a Mental Health Counselor?

“Counselors work in diverse community settings designed to provide a variety of counseling, rehabilitation, and support services” (United States Department of Labor, 2010, para. 1). The job description, tasks involved, requirements, and KSAOs [KSAOs stands for-“knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics” (Spector, 2008, p. 57)] will vary depending and the specialty the counseling position falls under. The United States Department of Labor website (2010) provides descriptions for different types of counseling positions; stating that “mental health counselors work with individuals, families, and groups to address and treat mental and emotional disorders and to promote mental health” (United States Department of Labor, 2010, para. 9). A job analysis will be conducted using a job-oriented analysis and a person-oriented analysis, in order to provide a more detailed description of the job and the individual skills required to obtain a position in this career field. Job Analysis: Job-Oriented and Person-Oriented Methods

“The job-oriented analysis provides information about the nature of tasks done on the job” (Spector, 2009, p. 55); this type of analysis provides information not only on the tasks of the job, but describes the functions of those tasks as well. An easy way to describe a job when performing a job-oriented analysis is to follow a hierarchy, and this particular “hierarchy contains five levels of specificity; position, duty, task, activity, and element” (Brannick et al as cited in Spector, 2008). While a job-oriented analysis provides descriptions and information about the duties and tasks involved with a job the person-oriented analysis “provides a description of the characteristics, or KSAOs, necessary for a person to successfully perform that job” (Spector, 2008 p. 57). “KSAOs are the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics necessary for a job; the first three listed focus on job performance while the other characteristics relate to job adjustment and satisfaction as well as performance” (Spector, 2008 p. 57). Dual Analysis: Mental Health Counselor

Basic job-oriented analysis
Spector (2008) defines a position as being “a collection of duties that can be performed by a single individual” (p.56). The position of mental health counselor is a broad one, with many different specialties to choose from. Though many of the duties and tasks required by this position transcend across specialties, there are specific responsibilities that differ from specialty to specialty; substance abuse counselor, marriage and family counselor, and adolescent counselor are a few of the specialties that fall under the title of mental health counselor all of which hold the position of counselor. Duties are the main requirement of any given position. Spector (2008), states that “a duty is a major component of a job which is accomplished by performing one or more associated tasks” (p. 56). Tasks can be further broken down into individual pieces or activities, which need to be accomplished in order to complete a given task. Spector (2008), describes activities as “individual parts that make up a task” (Spector, 2008, p. 57), and those activities are made up of different actions which are also called elements. Elements are the building blocks of any particular...
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