This chapter addresses what counselors need to know about professional credentialing, including trends and considerations that counselors may need to monitor. It concludes with basic tips for counselors interested in licensure and certification. Professional credentialing is critical to defining and regulating the practice of counseling. Licensure, certification, and accreditation are distinct forms of professional credentialing. Although each serves the common purpose of protecting public safety by establishing the minimum standards of knowledge and skill for professional counselors. Credentialing is likely to evolve rapidly as the U.S. health care system becomes more politicized. With such progress in professional credentialing, professional counselors need to look ahead for opportunities and challenges in licensure laws and national certification standards. The variety of counselor licensure laws nationally presents a serious problem for professional counselors in their ability to move from state to state without disruption and the ability to practice counseling.
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Counseling techniques that focus on communication training and family therapy may have developed as remedies for such problematic interpersonal coping strategies. The implication for counseling is that models for interpersonal negotiation and gender role flexibility may be lacking in some southern European American homes. Many treatments for European Americans are already part of the traditional counseling practice. Sometimes issues that arise in counseling a White American client may be related to a lack of understanding of the impact of privilege on the client and ignorance related to race. Some scholars have noted the lack of emphasis on encouraging White people to explore what it means to be White or have called for White people to explore their own cultural identities. When counseling White Americans, the ethnic variety within one specific religion or denomi-reference nation creates further diversity in religious and spiritual expression.
This chapter serves as an introduction to prescribed psychiatric drugs for children and adolescents. It covers the most common disorders that require medication for children and adolescents as well as symptoms that are targeted and medication side effects. Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental disorders and are often chronic, treatment resistant, and associated with considerable morbidity. The chapter explores the most common Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5-related psychiatric disorders children and adolescents experience as well as the most common medications used. Counselors of all disciplines can benefit from understanding not only the types of medications being prescribed but also the behaviors and cognitive thought processes believed to be treated. Counseling strategies were briefly addressed; however, counselors are encouraged to seek more in-depth information on each of these conditions and the best strategies in assisting this population.
Burnout is a biopsychosocial concept defined as comprising a number of distinct work-related symptoms: emotional and mental exhaustion, physical depletion, decreased sense of professional efficacy, negative self-evaluation, depersonalization, cynicism, apathy, and indifference. Virtually all burnout studies find the same relevant factors as causal, varying only by occupation, current societal factors, and type of organizational structure and processes. The complexity of work, particularly the repetitiveness and difficulty with discrete job tasks, is related to the self-directed nature of the counselor’s work ethic. Training professional personnel is a constant activity in most human service settings. It is possible to prevent, reduce, or even cure burnout through training activities. The relationship between burnout and job expectations has specific origins. Burnout appears to be a significant personnel problem most neglected by human service administrators.
Existential-humanistic (E-H) psychotherapy is a coalescence of American humanistic psychology, which emphasized optimism, potential, and relatively rapid transformation, with European existential philosophy and psychology, which underscored challenge, uncertainty, and relatively gradual transformation. E-H therapy is characterized by the cultivation of freedom, experiential reflection, and responsibility. EI therapy, or the apprehension of diverse practice modalities within an overarching existential context, is one of the latest trends within E-H practice. This therapy has the advantage of addressing a broad array of clients, diagnostic issues, and therapeutic settings. The aim of EI therapy is to facilitate client freedom. E-I therapy proceeds on the basis of clients’ desires and capacities for change, and the liberation conditions available to impact those desires and capacities. In short, the E-H therapeutic orientation provides a deep and broad alternative to mainstream emphases on physiological, behavioral, or cognitive change.
The practice of behavior therapy has many features in common with that of other forms of psychotherapy, for example, the development of a collaborative working relationship between client and therapist. Behavior therapy is distinguished by its use of particular techniques to address specified problems, by its allegiance to psychological experimentation, and by its commitment to empirical validation. In application to the treatment of anxiety and related disorders, behavior therapy drew inspiration from studies of classical conditioning and experimental neurosis. Systematic programs of gradually confronting feared situations therapeutically, in the imagination or in real life, are familiar features of contemporary behavioral practice with anxious clients. Behavioral assessment is designed to provide detailed information that focuses and directs behavioral treatment. Treatment techniques involving self-control and self-management are viable because clients can alter the contingencies affecting their own behavior.
Studies reveal that healthy and functional families exist in virtually all cultures. Health and well-being in these families are an interactive process associated with positive relationships and outcomes. In families, being healthy and well involves ethical accountability, such as promoting good relationships and balancing the give-and-take among members. In regard to health and wellness, one cannot assume that healthy individuals necessarily come from continuously healthy and well-functioning families. Communication is concerned with the delivery and reception of verbal and nonverbal information between family members. It includes skills in exchanging patterns of information within the family system. In fact, highly resilient individuals, who successfully overcome adversities, do well in life. A healthy marriage is complex and multidimensional. Roles in healthy and well-functioning families are clear, appropriate, suitably allocated, mutually agreed on, integrated, and enacted.
Professional counselors working with children face many challenges that pose significant difficulties in behavioral and mental health treatment. Challenging behaviors in children include those behaviors that cause injury to self and others, cause property damage, interfere with the acquisition of skills, or result in isolation. There are ethical concerns that some parents may possibly reveal information to the counselor about parenting practices that may lead the counselor to suspect child abuse. Counselors can provide statements to parents about suspected child abuse-reporting laws and discuss those laws before beginning parent interviews. It is also required by counselor licensure laws that counselors disclose their philosophy of working with parents and children. The professional counselor should provide parents the opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns regarding the reason they brought their child in for therapy. Clinicians can also assist parents in improving their children’s behaviors and performance at school.
This chapter begins with a discussion of the importance of a clear understanding of psychiatric diagnoses for all allied health professionals. Given the historical prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses, it is a good use of our time to review the seminal diagnostic systems that inform diagnosis in clinical counseling. Clinical counselors and other mental health professionals may be the first health care providers to have established any type of therapeutic relationship with their client, revealing information that previously had never been a focus of any other professionals’ clinical attention. The accurate diagnosis of psychiatric conditions leads to appropriate referrals, selection of the most appropriate evidence-based treatments, and ultimately amelioration or elimination of problematic symptoms that negatively impact health and functioning. The most commonly used diagnostic system for psychiatric conditions worldwide is the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) system.
Assistive technologies or devices are tools for enhancing the independent functioning of people who have physical limitations or disabilities. An assistive technology device (ATD), as initially defined in the Technology-Related Assistance of Individuals With Disabilities Act of 1988, is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified that is used to increase or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. ATDs range from low-tech aids such as built-up handles on eating utensils to high-tech, computerized systems to help persons with disabilities live independently and enter the workforce. The goal of rehabilitation and counseling professionals is to match an individual with an ATD that will enhance the person’s capabilities and quality of life. Persons with disabilities want as much emphasis placed on their community participation as on their physical capabilities, creating as much need to change and accommodate the environment as equip the person.