Mental Health Counseling Essay Example


Therapy and counseling in general has grown with more acceptance and demand. Other aspects of the field have also risen with the demand, including experience needed, pay, benefits, and amount of accommodations. Due to these reasons, the job is more accessible to some, and those with their own mental health issues are usually welcomed by clients and coworkers. Mental health counselors help people with mental or emotional problems, usually after a lot of schooling and supervision, which can lead to multiple benefits that have been steadily growing for almost a decade.

Mental health counselors "counsel and advise individuals to promote optimum mental and emotional health." (Mental Health Counselors) There are a lot of conditions that counselors help with, "including disability and discomfort," smaller concerns, or even more debilitating issues. Those treated can be part of any age, socioeconomic, cultural, or ethnic group, depending on preference or need. (Clinical) There are many methods and tasks that counselors have in their toolbox, including treatment methods and the approach to diagnosis. One of their main tasks is to do assessments and diagnoses in order to determine the best way to deliver treatment for that particular client, using such approaches as CBT (to change the way a person thinks), DBT (for borderline personality disorder, by a person with BPD), talk therapy, and more. (Vaughan, Lohr) Figuring out the best method can be done using the assistance of coworkers, or even a clinical supervisor. The goal is usually not to make a full recovery, but to instead "shed light onto problems," and "find solutions and strategies." (Mental Health Counselors Careers) According to Charles Vaughan, "diagnosing difficulty is about medium. It can be very challenging, (though) sometimes it's not." However, "you always have help," he added. (Vaughan)

There are many qualifications needed to be a counselor, both legal and personal. First off, a Master's degree is usually a requirement, along with specific course and field work, and an exam, especially in the States. Additionally, an internship under a licensed counselor is required. (Lohr) On the personal side, nothing is really 'required', but they are useful to have. Obviously, a counselor will need to be able to use the findings of research relevant to their clients, and have the ability to counsel a client, no matter the technique best suited.  A strong ethical and professional sense is another important aspect, due to the nature of the job. Talent wise, empathy, reasoning capability, verbal understanding, and problem solving ability are all welcomed. (Lohr, Mental Health Counselors) While this list has a lot of formidable qualifications, benefits of the field and career greatly outweigh any negatives written.

The field of psychology offers more benefits than other fields often do. These benefits fall into two distinct categories, with the first being professional (income, growth, flexibility, and learning opportunities). According to Charles Vaughan, counselors are "paid acceptably… in ways that don't involve money…" and that they can often "live comfortably." So, a person would not have to struggle monetarily with a job that also allows them to grow with choices. (Vaughan) The field has been growing, and so there are many places for a counselor to work at, such as in schools, their own clinic, in hospitals, or in another's clinic. (Mental Health Counselors Careers) In terms of flexibility in the actual therapy section, one "can choose the kind of population they want to work with." So, if one wanted to work with specific conditions or populations of people, they would be allowed to, for the most part. (Lohr) This can help speed up the learning process as they get to work with these groups of people more, as they learn more about these populations and conditions. They may even learn about conditions they weren't even treating. The things they learn about may not even pertain to therapy at all. Sometimes, one ends up with a new place to eat good food. (Vaughan)

The other distinct benefit category is personal (help and accommodations). In this profession, a person has easier access to both. There is always the ability to reach out to an assigned clinical supervisor, who can help with work frustrations and the diagnostic process. A person could even work with fellow coworkers to figure out a difficult diagnosis, and if the diagnosis needs to be changed, there are no repercussions. So, help is always attainable, and it does not have to be done alone. (Vaughan) This help does not just extend to the workplace. Many in the field have their own medical conditions themselves, whether mental, emotional, or physical. It is the norm for someone to see their own mental health professional, but if that is not enough, the field of counseling is rather generous in its distribution of accommodations. Charles Vaughan stated, "Anything (that) can be done in the work environment that can help you to function in your capacity better would be considered a reasonable accommodation." (Vaughan) He also mentioned that many locations have lists of possible accommodations to choose from based on need, and gave examples of people he knew that needed them. If extra time for paperwork and documentation is advantageous for one, then they will likely get it. If a client or counselor is not at their best in the office, then sessions can be done in places such as parks, libraries, or McDonald's. (Vaughan) Overall, this profession offers an abundance of exceptional benefits, along with plenty of help.

Psychology and counseling has a bright outlook. LearningPath.org used the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to report that the field was "expected to grow 29% between 2012 and 2022."  (Mental Health Counselors Careers) This growth period will very likely continue to grow for many reasons. For one, as society starts to become more accepting of those that need therapy and acknowledge that they themselves could benefit, more people will be seeking out different kinds of mental health professionals. For another, the pay is decent, with the BLS saying the average salary was $40, 850 in 2014. (Mental Health Counselors Careers) It's likely that this number has gone up since then with the rise in demand. A good yearly income will encourage more people to join the profession, especially if they enjoy helping others. Just the fact that one could help others often generates new interest for others to get careers in this field, especially during harsh times where the majority of the population is struggling more than the usual amount. So, all of these factors will likely lead to continuous positive growth and keep the bright outcome.

Those who have met the large quantity of qualifications to become a counselor will garner a multitude of career and personal benefits, all while helping people with their problems and entering into a field full of long term growth. One may experience feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction, among other positives not available in other similar careers to the same extent. It is a high demand, high growth field that creates even higher requirements, such as a Master's degree, license, and clinical supervision. This career also offers a lot of choices, such as treatment methods, conditions treated, populations to work with, and where to work with them (where to meet for sessions and where one is hired). Many accommodations are available, on top of the previously stated pros, such as extended time. A person may even learn from their clients about things they wouldn't otherwise know. With what is likely to be an ever-growing demand, the field and career of counseling and its many benefits/choices will likely become a bigger and more reliable employer in the near future.

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