Personal Identity

Topics: Mental health counselor, Mental health professional, Mental health Pages: 9 (1904 words) Published: September 25, 2014

Personal Identity Paper
Brianna Kriley
Capella University

The counseling profession has a few key philosophies: wellness, resilience, and prevention. Wellness is a positive state of psychical, mental, and social health or well-being. Resilience in counseling is the ability to recover, maintain, or achieve wellness. In therapy there is a focus on strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, prevention helps avoid serious mental illness from worsening and or happening. The wellness model allows counselors to view clients as a whole, evaluating their well-being based on the Wellness Wheel or The Invisible Self wellness models. These two models are the only counseling based models supported my empirical study. This evaluation allows counselors to respond with treatment plans and interventions based on where the clients are lacking and emphasizing where the clients are strong. The wellness model is an important way for counselors to evaluate themselves. It is important that counselors treating patients are well and understand how to improve their wellness. A strong wellness based practice will determine a better professional counselor (Myers & Sweeney, 2008).

Defining counselors’ professional roles and characteristics remains ambiguous; counselors are often defining themselves in general or specific terms (Mellin, Hunt, & Nichols, 2011). One professional role within counseling is school counseling. This specialization requires a master degree in School Counseling, state certification and licensure, and must uphold the standards of the American School Counselor Association (Role, 2014). School counselors have a focus on students’ academic, career, personal, and social development (Brott, P. E., 2006). They are an important part of school system with many different responsibilities such as creating school counseling programs, creating organizational assessment that reflect school’s needs, and providing direct services to students (Role, 2014). In any professional role, but especially for school counselors, accountability is essential (Brott, P. E., 2006). It is also crucial that school counselors are constantly seeking out supervision to evaluate their effectiveness (Brott, P. E., 2006). Another way to remain an effective school counselor is in continuous involvement in graduate programs (Brott, P. E., 2006).

Mental Health counselors are also more effective with continuous involvement in graduate education (Standards, 2011). Licensed Mental Health Counselors must have a masters degree in counseling or closely related field, two years post-graduate clinical work, and state or national Licensure (Facts, 2013). These professionals can provide a wide range of services such as assessment and diagnosis, psychotherapy, treatment planning, psychoeducational and prevention program, and crisis management (Facts, 2013).

All counselors should be supportive listeners, patient, compassionate, non-judgmental, and so fourth (Wampold, B., 2014). In addition, Wampold concluded that individuals with certain interpersonal skills – verbal fluency, interpersonal perception, affective modulation and expressiveness, warmth and acceptance, empathy, and focus on others – make for effective counselors (2014). Clients should feel understood. It is the therapists’ job to build a working alliance with all various clients. Effective therapists provide appropriate and adaptive explanations, treatment plans, and a safe environment for clients (Wampold, B., 2014). Education is also key to effective counseling. An effective counselor is aware of the best research evidence related to treatment plans and seeks to continually improve (Wampold, B., 2014).

Professional counseling associations intend to help the counseling profession improve. The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) and the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling (ACAC) are examples of these associations. The AMHCA is attempting to give a voice to the...

References: About AMHCA. (2014). Retrieved September 17, 2014, from
About: What is ACAC
Brott, P. E. (2006). Counselor Education Accountability: Training the Effective Professional School Counselor. Professional School Counseling, 10(2), 179-188.
Grafanaki, S. (2010). GUEST EDITORIAL: 'Counsellors in training ': Journeys of professional transformation. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research, 10(3), 152. doi:10.1080/14733145.2010.507003
Goss, S
Role of the School Counselor. (2014). Retrieved September 19, 2014, from
Standards for the Practice of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Wampold, B. (2014, January 1). Qualities and Actions of Effective Therapists. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from
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