The Roles of a Counselor

Topics: Mental health, Mental health counselor, Mental health professional Pages: 7 (2085 words) Published: August 19, 2012
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The Roles and Functions of a Clinical Mental Health Counselor

M. Smith

The Roles and Functions of a CMHC

COUN 5004: COUN5223 - Introduction to Mental Health Counseling


April 29, 2012

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Mental health counseling programs have been designed to prepare individuals to help patients with personal problems, conflicts, or emotional crises. These individuals/students learn to guide patients to improved mental health. They also learn counseling and interviewing skills in addition to observational and testing methods. Mental Health counseling has become a wide area of study that is highly recommended to those who are unbalanced and in need of support. Today, clinical mental health counselors take on many responsibilities when giving services to their clients. Effective clinical mental health counselors acknowledge differences among people and seek to improve their competence with diverse populations (Gladding el at., 2010). This is very important ,specifically for counselors who will work in America, because America is considered to be such a diverse country. With America being such a culturally diverse country, counselors must develop multicultural counseling competencies to treat effectively. According to Gladding and Newsome (2010), community and mental health counselors promote client well-being on multiple levels by providing prevention services and treatment for a wide range of clients. Counselors serve many roles, and are obligated to a great number of responsibilities, and must strive to maintain the professional ethics and moral codes they’ve ascribed to for the advocacy and well-being of their clients (American Counseling Association, 2005).

"A professional counselor’s first and foremost responsibility is to respect the dignity and promote the welfare of clients (American Counseling Association [ACA], 2005). Providing quality care without compromising ethical and legal concerns is a challenging but necessary goal for all counselors who work in managed care environments (Gladding, 2010). Another essential

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responsibility is building rapport with their clients. This allows the client to become comfortable with the counselor as well as helping both parties find a common ground, making conversation more natural. Although counselors have many responsibilities, they should first assure that clients are comfortable, respected, supported, and heard. Trust in these relationships is vital. It is the counselor’s responsibility to build a relationship of trust between the counselor and client from the very beginning in order for the client to feel comfortable about discussing their issues to an individual who they just met. Gathering information and getting their clients involved in the helping process will develop grounds for an effective treatment plan to be established that serves as the basis for the next phase of counseling. The counselor must be confident in assessing the client and developing a treatment plan that will be beneficial for the client. Once the rapport is well established, the therapeutic process can begin .It is also imperative that counselors follow the code of ethics established by the American Mental Health Counselors Association. “The roles that mental health counselors fill are to promote mental health wellness through awareness, prevention, intervention, and treatment. Excellent counselors are trained to assess and diagnose, as well as, provide crisis intervention and work with individuals, groups, couples, and families” (Gladding & Newsome, 2010). Counselors are also required to provide...

References: 1. American Counseling Association (2005). ACA Code of Ethics. Alexandria, VA: Author
2. Gladding, S. T. & Newsome, D. W., (2010). Clinical mental health counseling in community and agency settings (3rd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ.
3. American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). (2000). Code of Ethics.
4. Huang, B., Appel, H., & Ai, A. L. (2011). The Effects of Discrimination and Acculturation to Service Seeking Satisfaction for Latina and Asian American Women: Implications for Mental Health Professions. Social Work In Public. Retrieved April 21, 2012 from Soc INDEX database.
6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Retrieved from
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