. Respond to the following:
- Describe the type(s) of clients with whom you see yourself working most effectively, and the treatment approaches with which you see yourself practicing most effectively. Explain why.
- Discuss your consideration of multicultural, ethical, competency, personal strengths, and professional responsibility issues in your evaluation.
- How do you see these issues influencing your assessments, formulations, and decisions regarding appropriate and effective clinical actions with clients in the future.
- Explain the importance of your own ongoing personal and professional development to an effective future practice with clients. Discuss the areas you want to develop most and describe short-term and long-term actions you will take to reach your development goals.
- Provide at least three scholarly references, not including assigned course readings, to support or otherwise provide perspective on your opinions and evaluation.
Reflections on Course Coverage
Type of Clients and Treatment Approaches
I will most likely work in the line of drug abuse prevention and treatment. In this line, I will also work with clients who have mental problems. This is because there is a close connection between drug and substance abuse and mental issues. The field of drug abuse prevention and treatment can help me make an impact to thousands of people who are afflicted by the problem. According to Kantor et al. (2015), there was a significant increase in use of prescription drugs among adults in the U.S. between 2000 and 2012. In 2000, 51 percent of adults reported using prescription drugs on a regular basis, while 59 percent of adults reported using prescription drugs in 2012 (Kantor et al., 2015). The trend is similar for other type of drugs, some even recording higher abuse rates than prescription drugs. There is need to address the drug and substance abuse challenge in the society today before it evolves into a major social concern.
Drug and substance abuse can be a difficult condition to treat especially to those who are already addicted to the vice. Drug addiction results to compulsive and uncontrollable drug cravings among addicts that force them to seek drugs they are used to even in the face of desolating consequences. Although people start taking drugs as a voluntary process, the habit becomes compulsive with time, and the individual may be unable to take control any more. Addiction primarily affects the brain, specifically in areas involved in learning, memory, motivation, and behavior control. As such, effective treatment approaches must focus on a variety of components, each designed to treat a different aspect of the condition. It is important to consider the fact that individuals may respond different to the treatment approaches. Thus an effective approach on one person may not be effective to another.
With regard to the above, I will mainly use two treatment approaches – behavioral therapy and medication. Combination of these treatment approaches can be very effective in helping individuals quit drugs and to lead a drug-free life. In employing such treatment approaches, the therapist’s first objective is to detoxify the client. This is followed by treatment sessions and lastly putting in place strategies that can prevent the client from experiencing a relapse. Medications are important in managing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2009), medications can be used to restore normal brain function. Additionally, medications assist patients to more responsive to behavioral treatments. Behavioral treatments are important since they can help clients modify behaviors that may cause a relapse. The setting used for treatment is also important in helping addicts modify their behavior.
Consideration of multicultural, ethical, competency, personal strengths, and personal responsibility issues
Therapists deal with individuals from diverse backgrounds. As such, a professional therapist should adapt skills that enable one to professionally handle multicultural clients. With increasing globalization, multiculturalism has become a common phenomenon in the U.S. A therapist must have an understanding of the fact that clients from different racial backgrounds may express their feelings differently. Additionally, certain characteristics such as body language, eye contact, verbal tracking, and others may vary depending on racial background of an individual. Ethical considerations are important between the therapist-client relationships. The counselor must maintain confidentiality of clients’ information at all times. As a counselor, one must be able to protect information given by clients against misuse. The counselor must always maintain a professional relationship with the client during the entire counseling period. With regard to competency, the counselor should only practice in areas where he or she is fully competent. Trending on new areas where the therapist has little knowledge can be difficult for both the client and the therapist.
Personal strengths of the counselor can shape the outcomes of the therapy session with the client. A successful counselor must have good interpersonal skills and sufficient knowledge about the area of concern. Additionally, the counselor should demonstrate knowledge of the counseling process. The successful counselor should express the core values of person-centered counseling in the counseling process. The core values include: empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard (Cooper et al., 2013). Professional responsibility is of great importance in the counseling relationship with the client. Professional responsibility is among the counselor’s code of ethics. Professional responsibility refers to conformance to outlined ethical principles and standards guiding the counseling profession. For instance, the counselor should always use techniques or procedures that have sound empirical backing or methods that are scientifically proven. The counselor should also establish sound record keeping practices including identifying a records custodian in case of death or termination of practice.
The above issues may influence my assessments, formulations, and decisions on clinical actions in a number of ways. Consideration of multicultural factors will enable me provide effective services to clients irrespective of their ethnic background. It will enable me gain insight into the clients’ behavior or feelings from a cultural perspective. Ethical considerations will enable me uphold public trust in the counseling profession. Competency will influence the kind of areas in which I can provide services. As such, I will only provide services in areas that I am trained and qualified. Continuing education will help me widen the scope of areas I can provide counseling services. Personal strengths will determine the quality of services provided. This will be reflected by the outcomes of the counseling session. Professional responsibility will enable me work with other professionals in identifying impairments in clients.
Importance of ongoing personal and professional development to an effective future practice with clients
Ongoing personal and professional development is fundamental in enabling the counselor establish effective future practice with clients. First, it enables counselors to update themselves with the emerging standards of practice in the field. It is important for a counselor to learn about any emerging trends or gain new knowledge in the field of practice. Second, it can enable a counselor to enhance or maintain the knowledge gained during training. Professional development is important in enabling a counselor maintain the knowledge or skills gained throughout the training period. Third, ongoing personal and professional development can enable a counselor improve effectiveness in his or her work. This can enable the counselor to build his career. Fourth, it can help a counselor advance knowledge in the field of counseling, and especially in the specific areas that one is involved. Fifth, ongoing personal and professional development can help improve public confidence in relation to the counseling professionals as well as the counseling profession in general. Lastly, ongoing personal and professional development should be taken as a life-long commitment for individuals in the counseling profession.
There are a few areas that I am interested in developing further. The area I am most interested in developing further relates to mental health counseling. With this, I hope to become a certified mental health counselor. Mental health counseling is a broad and complex field of counseling that involves diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues. Expert opinions indicate that the demand for mental health services is likely to grow by about 28 percent over the next ten years (Kantor et al., 2015). This will put a strain to the few mental health practitioners in the field. Mental health counseling is an interesting field that I will definitely pursue in order to gain more knowledge and skills in the field.
There are a number of short-term and long-term actions that I will take in order to achieve my set goals. In the short-term, I will ensure that I have successfully completed my bachelor’s degree and attained good grades. Attaining a bachelor’s degree is the first step to becoming a certified mental health counselor. In the entire course duration, I will attempt to master the course contents in relation to my area of interest. In the long-term, I will pursue a master’s degree in counseling. This will be in the line of mental health counseling. I will also pursue a doctorate degree in the same line. Mental health specialists require advanced knowledge or skills in order to become effective in the complex field of mental issues. Lastly, I hope to launch a successful career specializing in the field of mental health problems.
Cooper, M., O’Hara, M., Schmid, P. F., & Bohart, A. (2013). The handbook of person—centred psychotherapy and counseling. United Kingdom, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kantor, E. D., Rehm, C. D., Haas, J. S., Chan, A. T., & Giovannucci, E. L. (2015). Trends in prescription drug use among adults in the United States from 1999 – 2012. The Journal of American Medical Association, 314(17): 1818-1830.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2009). Treatment approaches for drug addiction. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/if_treatment_approaches_2009_to_nida_92 209.pdf