The Professional Identity of a Mental Health Counselor

Topics: School counselor Pages: 7 (1599 words) Published: September 7, 2014


The Professional Identity of a Mental Health Counselor
Trineequa Gilbert
Capella University

Introduction
The professional identity of a mental health counselor is extremely important. When it comes to finding your professional identity, it is important to weigh out all options to make sure that the profession that is chosen, is what one would see themselves doing for a long time. It is more so of asking oneself if they feel they qualify for the career that they are about to take on. This paper will explain how to become an effective professional counselor, the roles and characteristics of the counseling professional, the different counseling associations, what is required to attain a state license and certification, how to assess your own professional development, and the rise of technology and how it may affect your clinical practice. Key Philosophies of the Counseling Professional
The key philosophies of the counseling profession are wellness, resilience, and prevention. Wellness can be defined as a dynamic state of physical, mental, and social well-being; Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands; Prevention is behavioral biological, or social interventions intended to reduce the risk of disorders, diseases, or social problems for both individuals and entire populations(2009 by the American Psychological Association). One of the struggles in making the case for a wellness effort among counselors is that often counselors do not practice what they preach (as cited in O’Halloran & Linton, 2000). Roles and Characteristics of an Effective Professional Counselor

The roles and characteristics of a professional counselor will vary depending on the type of counselor a person may want to become. The two professional counselors that will be discussed are school counselors and mental health counselors. The characteristics of a professional school counselor are as follows, must have a master’s degree in school counseling, they must meet the state licensure and certification requirements, and like all jobs, they must abide by the rules of the state that they are employed in. School counselors have many roles when it comes to working with students. Sometimes the counselors can become a students go to person if they feel like they can’t talk to anybody else. School counselors help students improve and push students to greater successes. School counselors are qualified to address the developmental needs of all students through a comprehensive school counseling program addressing the academic, career and personal/social development of all students (2014 American School Counselor Association). The characteristics and roles of a mental health counselor are they are highly-skilled professionals who provide flexible, consumer-oriented therapy (2013 American Mental Health Counselors Association). Mental health counselors can provide various services, such as psychotherapy, assessment and diagnosis, alcoholism and substance abuse treatment, and treatment planning and utilization review just to name a few. Professional Counseling Associations

The two professional counseling associations are American Mental Health Counselors Associations (AMHCA) and American Counseling Association (ACA). AMCHA, their mission is to enhance the profession of clinical mental health counseling through licensing, advocacy, education and professional development (2013 American Mental Health Counselors Association). ACA’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in society by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing the counseling profession, and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote respect for human dignity and diversity (2014, American Counseling Association). These two...


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