Professional Identity Paper

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Key Philosophies of the Counseling Profession

Three counseling philosophies include the resilience, prevention, and wellness model. The resilience model focuses on empowering clients in order to facilitate them to solve their own problems. In this case, counselors believe in an individual’s potential in solving their own problems. The challenging factor is that clients do not recognize their strength and capacity to be able to solve their own problems. On the other hand, the prevention model advocates for early identification of a failure to solve personal problems. The principle underlying this model is that prevention is better than mediation. Counselors believe that most mental problems are developmental in nature and require early identification and prevention instead of waiting until a person becomes badly deteriorated. Lastly, the wellness model focuses on assisting clients in solving their own problems (Monaghan & Swihart, 2010). This affects the counselor’s views of the client in that counselors deem clients as having relative strengths and challenges from dissimilar areas that include the spiritual life, physical, emotional, occupational, and social. These various platforms help the counselor in nurturing the myriad of purposes to achieve the greatest wellness probable.

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Roles and Characteristics of an Effective Professional Counselor

A professional counselor is charged with several roles. Some of the roles include identification of a person’s strengths and capacities, listening and advising, or medicating a client. These roles require a professional counselor to possess certain characteristics such as patience, confidentiality, good listening, and profound knowledge. Being a good listener requires a professional counselor to be patient. Patience is a critical factor in counseling because clients have different stories to share regarding their life, which might bore, affect or sensitize the listener. Thus, a professional counselor should exercise patience in order to be able to understand and advise clients regarding various problems. Regarding the role of advising a client, a professional counselor needs to have good communication skills. Good communication skills require that counselors are mindful about their body language and the actual language that they use to advise a client (Lateef, 2011). According to the research, it is essential that counselors utilize a local language if one wants a client to get the intended message more easily. A counselor should uphold the maintenance of neutrality because clients can become affected and afraid to share problems if they feel that a counselor sounds judgmental. It is also important for a client to be consistent in giving advice, especially if one knows the facts.

American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counselors Association

American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) boasts of being the only organization that works exclusively for the mental health counseling profession. This organization has been in operation for more than 30 years and has significantly contributed to promoting the needs of mental health counselors. On the other hand, the American Counseling Association abounds as the largest association working exclusively for professional counselors. The association promotes the advancement of professional counselors as they advocate for the enhanced quality of health in society. AMHCA facilitates the professional development of a counselor through the promotion of their practice online. This is done via the organization’s Psychology Today Therapy Directory. Additionally, their code of ethics also promotes the professional development of a counselor through instilling clients with confidence and trust. On the other hand, ACA promotes the professional development of their counselors from the fact that identifying with the association provides a counselor with professional mileage as one can join any of their 19 divisions. Additionally, ACA promotes the professional development of counselors through the provision of information and resources considered unique in reference to the principles of counseling and specialized areas (Harris & Roussel, 2010).

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State Licensure and Certification Requirements

State licensing and certification requirements demand that a person has bachelor and master degrees in one of the following fields that include social work, psychiatry, marriage, and family therapy, or psychology. The degree is rated in terms of 48 semester hours of coursework. Additionally, a person is required to undertake an internship for not less than 300 hours, which should comprise of 100 hours of client work. A person is also required to complete 3,000 hours of internship working as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Notably, half of the 3,000 hours as a Licensed Professional Counselor should be undertaken as direct client care. License maintenance requires a person to renew their licenses every two years. My planned coursework aligns with these requirements because currently, I am taking a degree in one of the outlined fields as part of the requirement. Additionally, the planned coursework aligns with the state requirements for licensure and certification, because it is completed after 48 semesters hours of coursework.

Professional Development

Facilitated learning opportunities, such as informal learning opportunities situated in a place, conferences, formal coursework, and college degrees, are what make up professional development. The research indicates that various approaches to professional development thrive. Some of these approaches include lesson study, reflective supervision, and technical assistance, consultation and coaching of communities in practice. Some of the areas that a person needs to look at when assessing their professional development include how far they have advanced in their education. This refers to academics, in that a person should assess how far one has advanced in reference to accreditation (Monaghan & Swihart, 2010). Another area that a person should be concerned with is their work experience. This should be considered in terms of internships a person has ever taken part in or organizations that a person has been employed by. These areas influence a person’s current and future professional development as they help in the assessment of one’s progress in reference to their set goals. A person can assess how their development has shaped them to where they are now and plan for their future noting the various areas that they should work on to secure their future professional development.

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Technology and Clinical Practice

The rise in technological development will definitely positively impact clinical practice. It results from the fact that technology is made to make work easier. In particular, the launching of many websites that contain clinical information will positively affect the practice of a clinician through the provision of further information regarding new developments in the clinical practice. Innovative solutions can be created through extensive research on a topic. This can be facilitated with technology development as a wide range of information can be accessed just at the touch of a button (Monaghan & Swihart, 2010). Notably, computers and the Internet have informed various practices as they facilitate easy access to information. Optimization of operation is the principal aim behind the development of new technology. Technology, such as video conferencing, can facilitate operations optimization in cases where advice is needed while a clinician is on duty. Additionally, phones optimize operations as they deal away with the time needed for traveling from one place to another to provide services. Technological development also optimizes clinical operations through the provision of immediate patient feedback. This is evident from technologies such as the Glucometer that have dealt away with many researchers that require to be performed in order to come up with the results regarding the amount of glucose in a patient’s blood.

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