MHC501 Foundations Of Counseling

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MHC501 Foundations Of Counseling

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MHC501 Foundations Of Counseling

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Course Code: MHC501
University: Keiser University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: United States

Interview Project Guide

How many years of experience do you have?
What populations have you worked with and for how long?
What are the typical activities in your job? How much time do you spend in each activity in a typical week or month?
Looking back, what led you to become a counselor?
What part of youracademic training was most beneficial to you? What part was most challenging?
Were there transformational experiences while you were training?
How did you think of therapeutic change when you started to practice and what do you think now?
Tell me about the licensure process.
Do you have any certifications? Tell me about them.
Tell me about your professional identity as a counselor.
What do you think are the skills and personal qualities needed to be a counselor?
How do you see clinical mental health counseling to be similar or different from other mental health professionals?
What are the positive and negative aspects of being a clinical mental health counselor?
What personal issuesimpact your work? (Whatare the personal “costs” of doing that work? What are thestruggles the counselor experiences?)
What are common ethical issues or concerns you or colleagues might experience?
To what associations do you belong? What are the benefits of these associations?
How do you stay up to date with the current issues in the field?
How do you advocate for the counseling profession?
How do you collaborate and communicate with other professionals?
What challenges do you see for clinical mental health counselors developmentally and professionally?
Where do you see the clinical mental health counseling profession needs to address to grow more, both state-wise and nationally?


Mental Health Counselor

An interview was conducted with Mr. Hugh Brown who is a licensed mental health counselor working in the city of New Jersey in the United States. This assignment would mainly include a summary of the interview in order to highlight the different aspects of the life and career of a mental health counselor.
The interviewee stated that mental health counselors can be explained as the licensed professionals who have the expertise for helping people in managing and overcoming the different mental as well as emotional disorders and problems not only with family but also with other relationships. The professionals are seen to communicate with their clients in order to understand the different problem faced by them and thereby develop strategies for improving their lives (Gladding & Newsome, 2014).
When the different roles and activities of a mental health counselor was asked, he was seen to be quite excited and stated that a wide number of roles are played by them. The professionals are seen to work with different individuals as well as with groups and communities for improvement of mental health. They are seen to encourage their clients for effectively discussing emotions as well as experiences. They also work with families and help their clients in defining their goals, planning action and even in gaining insight (Thompson, Amatea & Thompson, 2014) . They also develop therapeutic relationship with the patients in order to make them comfortable and pour out their hearts regarding the issues that are concerning them. They mainly believe in taking a holistic approach for mental healthcare. The interviewee was also seen to be stating that often clients with various cases might come to them for help and therefore they have to be knowledgeable enough to handle all the cases successfully (Holm et al., 2015). Some of the common problems that he faces in the state of New Jersey are issues of substance abuse, aging issues, anger management, bullying issues, depression, LGBTQ issues and even others like self-image, stress and suicide. Besides guidance are also provided in the bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, grief and many other cases.
When he was asked about the future prospects of the profession, he stated that the nation gradually understands the significance of mental health and no more neglects mental health. They are placing the mental health issues on the same page with the physical health issues and the demands have therefore increased (Prince, 2015). Health insurance companies are now including mental health services and therefore, there would be a shortage of the mental health counseling jobs in the coming years. Therefore, the field is rapidly growing and more individuals would be getting employments in the sector.
When asked about the educational requirements, he stated that he had undertaken A bachelors degree in counseling for about four years. Then is mainly the undergraduate degree which is then followed by the graduate degree that comprises of the master’s degree in the counseling. This is then followed by the earning of a doctorate degree in counseling which continues for 7 to 8 years. Although the graduate degree is enough to start the career of the mental health counselor but many of the centers, also prefer the counselors to be having a doctorate degree (Trotter et al., 2014). When asked about how he keeps himself up-to-date in the profession, he stated that he often participates in continuous professional development education as well as different workshops where the knowledge as well as skills required to earn expertise is ensured aligning with the recent development in the mental health. I also participate in international seminars as well as conferences to develop ideas about the viewpoints of the different mental health counselors and researchers all over the world. This helps him in enriching his knowledge. He also stated that he had made it a hobby to read different evidence based articles in his free time that also helps him to develop skills and application of his knowledge.
He stated that mental health counselors on daily basis face a number of ethical issues. One of them is the confidentiality issues. The professionals need to respect and protect the confidentiality as well as privacy of the clients and should never disclose them to third person according to data protection act due to avoiding various negative outcomes (Pedersen et al., 2016). However, they tend to suffer from ethical dilemma when clients reveal of their suicide plans, garnering others, going undercover and many others. The professionals suffer from dilemma, as in order to save the lives of the clients, they need to open up about their plans to the concerned authority that is against the bioethical principles. Other area that may result is the interpersonal boundaries. In many cases, clients are seen to send flowers, gifts as well as invitations for weddings and graduations. Many clients also express sexual feelings or provide late night calls when they require support. In such arenas following the guidelines of the American Psychological Association comes to help.
The professional is seen to be a part of the New Jersey branch of the American Counseling Association also called the NJCA. It mainly works as the networking vehicle that helps in professional development of the individuals working under them. The Professional Counselor Examiners Committee of the State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners is mainly seen to regulate the practice of professional counseling. They are seen to deal with the licensure and related matters (Crowe & Averatt, 2015).
The mental health counselors often face a number of issues. Often reluctant patients often come for sessions where they hesitate for opening up and these result in loss of time as a resource. This hesitance is often seen to come from shyness, embarrassment, guilt or skepticism and hence such clients cannot be treated, cared or guided effectively. Often biasness and personal judgment also act as barrier for the professional in providing effective guidance and overcoming them are very important. Moreover, ethical issues and burnouts are also common (East et al., 2015). Sometimes, the professionals also need counseling themselves from the various types of issues the treat which in turn give them depression and grief when they are handling similar issues of the patients. They tend to get emotional and hence these create issues. Often people from diverse cultures also come about which professionals might not have prior knowledge about cultural preferences and traditions. This also acts as issue for them.
After conducting the interview, I realized two important things. One of them is that I realized that learning is not completed with the passing of the degrees and that lifelong learning for development of knowledge and skills to be up-to-date about the recent advancements in the fields is necessary. Another was that I was not aware of the ethical conditions that may arise and for that, I need to apply my critical thinking skills, decision-making skills and problems solving skills along with the following of the guidelines of the American Psychological association to overcome barriers and gains success.
Crowe, A., & Averett, P. (2015). Attitudes of mental health professionals toward mental illness: A deeper understanding. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 37(1), 47-62.
East, M. L., & Havard, B. C. (2015). Mental health mobile apps: from infusion to diffusion in the mental health social system. JMIR mental health, 2(1).
Gladding, S. T., & Newsome, D. W. (2017). Clinical mental health counseling in community and agency settings. Pearson.
Holm-Hadulla, R. M., & Koutsoukou-Argyraki, A. (2015). Mental health of students in a globalized world: Prevalence of complaints and disorders, methods and effectivity of counseling, structure of mental health services for students. Mental Health & Prevention, 3(1-2), 1-4.
Pedersen, P. B., Lonner, W. J., Draguns, J. G., Trimble, J. E., & Scharron-del Rio, M. R. (Eds.). (2016). Counseling across cultures. Sage Publications.
Prince, J. P. (2015). University student counseling and mental health in the United States: Trends and challenges. Mental Heal
Thompson, I., Amatea, E., & Thompson, E. (2014). Personal and contextual predictors of mental health counselors’ compassion fatigue and burnout. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 36(1), 58-77.
Trotter-Mathison, M., & Skovholt, T. (2014). The resilient practitioner: Burnout prevention and self-care strategies for counselors, therapists, teachers, and health professionals. Routledge.

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