The Role and Life of a Mental Health Counselor
The Role and Life of a Mental Health Counselor
For the Final Project, you will apply the information learned in this course, as well as in an interview you conduct, to your understanding of what it means to be a mental health counselor.
Interview (in person) a mental health counselor who works with a population in a setting that interests you. For example, if you are interested in working as an in-home therapist with children in need of supervision, interview someone who does this work.
The Final Project consists of the following components:
1. A summation* of an interview with the professional mental health counselor, using the following questions and questions of your own that are prompted by the conversation:
� When someone asks you how being a mental health counselor is different from being a social worker or psychologist, what do you tell them?
� Can you describe what a normal day looks like for you as you do your job?
� What court cases, public policies, and/or state laws direct what you do as a counselor? What regulations govern your activities and practice, particularly those that pertain to insurance and Medicaid?
� What theory(ies) inform your practice and why?
� How does understanding and respecting multiculturalism help you as a counselor?
� How does your knowledge of human growth and development inform your practice?
� How do you use assessments to help you with client case conceptualization?
� Talk about your experiences with referring clients for psychotropic medications. What advice might you give me?
� What kinds of provisions do you or does your agency make for emergency response management? Talk about a time when you had to respond to a natural disaster or some other large-scale crisis. If you never have encountered one, talk about a time when you had to respond to a client-crisis.
� What is the role of accountability in your counseling practice? In what ways are you accountable and how do you address that accountability?
� Reflect on how you determine when you need to seek consultation or supervision. Can you provide me with a specific example of each?
� How have you engaged in advocacy (for clients, for profession)? If so, what did that involve and how did it go?
� What are the most significant personal development issues you face as a counselor? How have you addressed personal and professional growth and development?
*Your summation should be written in the form of a narrative rather than a listing of questions and answers. It is recommended that you audio tape the interview so that you may review it as you complete this final project.
2. A story, �A Day in the Life of a Mental Health Counselor,� based on the information gathered from this interview, as well as course Learning Resources and assignments. Embed into your story the significant information from both the course and the interview. Be specific, use examples, and include what you believe to be the most significant topics, even if they might not happen in a typical day. (The intent is to demonstrate your understanding of what a day-to-day life is like for a mental health counselor related to and referencing the material in the course as well as information gleaned elsewhere. It also is to demonstrate how a counselor might address/handle issues and/or situations that are the most important and/or challenging.)
3. A reflection on both the interview and the course that responds to the questions below:
� What did you learn from the interview that you didn�t learn in the course?
� What, if anything, did you learn from the interview that contrasted with what you learned in the course?
� What do you understand better from the course as a result of doing the interview?
� What came to life in the interview so that the information you gained in the course is more meaningful and relevant now?
� How do you anticipate the impact of being a mental health counselor on who you are personally?
Although the Final Project is not to be submitted until Week 11, you should become familiar with the project requirements and have them in mind as you proceed through the course. The Final Project requires you to prepare and complete your project throughout the course.
Your Final Project must demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge and critical thinking appropriate to graduate-level scholarship. It must follow APA Publication Manual guidelines and be free of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors. The project should be 7�10 pages in length (double spaced), not including the title page and references. Be sure to support your points with specific references to the Learning Resources from the course and the interview
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