Mental Health Issues in Counseling

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Mental health issues that call for counselors’ attention are complex and dynamic. In order to attend to these issues efficiently, mental health professionals need to stay abreast of the information that directly impacts their profession. Process addiction is one of the fields that are increasingly becoming complex to handle. However, since its effect is devastating to addicts, their families, and friends, they should be attended to and restored to normalcy whenever possible. “Counselors Understanding of Process Addiction: a Blind Spot in the Counseling Field” by Wilson and Johnson is a journal article that outlines how these challenges can be addressed best. This essay presents a concise summary of the aforementioned article by looking at the abstract.

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Mental Health Issues in Counseling

“Counselors Understanding of Process Addiction: a Blind Spot in the Counseling Field” by Wilson and Johnson is a journal article that focuses on mental issues in counseling. The article focuses on how best counselors ought to equip themselves in order to attend to mental health issues, more so process addictions. According to Wilson & Johnson, it is important for mental health professionals to stay abreast of the information that directly impacts their profession. This can help them to provide successful, as well as holistic, treatments for clients. They further observe that the field of addictions, with reference to process addictions, is one area that has undergone the transformations in the last few decades. The two had hypothesized that there had been a gap in continued education in as far as assessment measures and incorporating treatment into the clinical practice are concerned. This essay gives an abstract summary of the aforementioned article.

Process addiction (PAs) is defined as any compulsive-like behavior expressed in an individual and interferes with the person’s normal living. In addition, the behavior impacts negatively on the individual’s family and work, as well as social life. Given the negative consequences, process addictions continue to disrupt the lives of noteworthy percentage of the United States adult population. Behaviors that amount to process addictions include gambling, sex, eating, and Internet addictions, as well as exercise addictions among others. The process of addiction has been receiving growing concern. The increasing concern could be as a result of increased co-morbidity substance addictions and mental health concerns. Most addicts exhibit more than one addiction and these do not merely coexist; rather, they interact with each other. Addiction interactions are also known as co-addictions and are common in society. Therefore, sustained recovery through counseling must address all the addictions present in an individual for more success.

Various types of disorders are emerging in the addictions field, and counselors consider this trend overwhelming. In addition, they often feel incompetent to handle the increasing demands of the assessment, diagnosis, as well as treatment of process addictions, and even addictions in general. In order to handle these cases, counselors are recommended to pursue further education, so as to stay up to date with regards to the evolution of counseling in the addiction field. Although further education is necessary, counselors often find it difficult to locate educational training, as well as research, related to process addictions. This is owing to the limited available information. Of note, numerous licensed counselors graduate with a doctorate and master’s degree in counseling programs from universities. However, researchers indicate that a significant proportion of counselors is poorly equipped with recent knowledge concerning process addictions. It is worthwhile to note that some information with regards to addiction is well covered in coursework and in related graduate programs. Nonetheless, counselors with interest in the field of addiction must endeavor to acquire additional education and training via outside sources.

An integral feature of the counseling profession requires counselors to practice within the limits of their competence. Counselors’ competencies are defined by their level of training and education; appropriate professional experience; as well as national and state professional credentials. The code of ethics ensures that counselors ‘do no harm’ to the mental, physical, as well as mental wellbeing of clients, associates, and self. Nevertheless, counselors may strictly follow ethical guidelines but still fail to provide comprehensive treatment for all problematic or addictive behaviors and end up harming clients unintentionally. In addition, the difficulty in recognizing process addiction within the realm of society is one challenge that counselors often meet in the course of their work. For instance, behaviors associated with process addictions such as eating, sex, spending, and work are socially accepted. These factors form a very complicated part of the hierarchy of human needs. In most cases, the diagnosis of addictions and the treatment tend to focus on drug and alcohol dependency behaviors. Nonetheless, process addictions occasionally mimic some characteristics exhibited by addictions.

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