For this assignment you will create a practice plan that will prepare you to take your place as a clinical mental health counselor who serves a selected population in your community. Completing this assignment will require you to think about the context in which you will someday serve clients—the historical context, the network of mental health services currently available to clients in your community, and the labor market context that may influence your selected area of practice.
This assignment will also invite you to envision yourself participating in a professional organization that supports clinical mental health counselors and the counseling profession.
- Begin the assignment with the section labeled Historical Background. In this section:
- Identify a population whom you would like to counsel someday (for example, children, teens, seniors, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with a particular disability or disorder). Provide reasons why you think you would find this area of counseling rewarding.
- Concisely summarize key factors pertinent to the history and development of this area of clinical mental health counseling, including key events that have influenced counseling services available for this population.
- The next section is Network and Practice:
- Conduct an Internet search of all agencies that offer mental health services for your selected population in your community. Describe the network of mental health counseling services available for a client from your selected population across the continuum of care, considering inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment, and aftercare options.
- Identify a potential professional niche for yourself within this network of services. Review information available in O*Net’s Summary Report for: 21-1014.00 – Mental Health Counselors, the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), and the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) provided in the Resources. Analyze the skills, educational requirements, and average earnings of a counselor working in your area of interest in your state.
- The next section is Supervision and Consultation:
- Until you are fully licensed, you are required to work under the supervision of an experienced mental health professional. After reviewing the ACA Code of Ethics and the requirements for your state, describe plans for receiving clinical supervision to help you make ethical and legal decisions on the job.
- After licensure, the professional counselor has the right to consult with a colleague on any case, particularly when there is the potential for serious or foreseeable harm to the client or others. Describe resources in your professional community with whom you could engage in case consultation. Identify practices you would use so that your case consultation would meet ethical and legal requirements.
- The next section is Professional Organizations:
- In this section, identify several national, state, regional, or special interest professional organizations that will support your practice as a professional counselor. Describe several ways in which you will benefit from affiliation with these professional counseling organizations.
- In the last section Appendix A: Professional Counseling Disclosure Statement:
- Using feedback you received in the discussion in this unit, prepare a hypothetical Professional Counseling Disclosure Statement that would meet ethical and legal standards for practice for you to work with an individual in your chosen private counseling setting, after you are fully licensed in your state. Include disclosure of the certifications, licenses, and credentials that you would need to acquire, as well as professional organization memberships that would support your area of expertise.
Review the scoring guide in the Resources to make sure you understand how this assignment will be graded.
Your paper should meet the following requirements:
- Written communication: Write coherently to support central ideas, with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics.
- Length of paper: 4–5 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page and reference page. (Do not include an abstract.)
- References: Use at least four different resources. These can come from assigned unit readings, peer-reviewed journals, or other scholarly resources.
- APA formatting: Follow current APA guidelines for style and formatting, as well as for citing your resources in the body of your paper and on the References page.
- Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
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