Historical and Professional Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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Initial Post (minimum of 5 meaningful sentences per prompt; cite something from the assigned reading(s) with page number/section heading in one of the prompts):

  1. What are some considerations for setting up your counseling room?
  2. Identify and describe at least two pros and two cons associated with diagnosing clients.
  3. Identify at least two ways that you can incorporate advocacy into your future position.

thats the textbook, but I do not have the book yet.

Title Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Community and Agency Settings
Author Debbie W. Newsome; Samuel T. Gladding
ISBN 978-0-13-438555-6

+ respond to classmate.

COLLAPSE

  1. I think that the mood of the session can be immediately set by the environment the client walks in to, so the set-up of your counseling room should not be overlooked. Going to see a counselor has a lot of negative stigma and can be very scary for many people. The thought of opening up to a complete stranger can be intimidating, so I believe making the setting of your room as causal and pleasant as possible is important. Rather than feeling like you’re in a clinicians office, you should feel comfortable as a client. I think that a casual living-room like set up for couches/chairs with a coffee table and end tables is appropriate and inviting. I think that warm colors and peaceful décor would be appropriate, as well as either natural light, or warm light fixtures (not the super bright, striking lighting typical in hospitals/doctors offices). Essentially, surrounding the client with a comforting and casual environment, maybe even somewhat familiar, will help ease the client upon entry for the first time, and potentially calm them down or give them a free and open space to be in future sessions.
  2. There are many pros and cons for diagnosing clients. The pro’s are that by giving a diagnoses, the individual can receive the help they need because a diagnoses means it can be billed by insurance. Another pro is that it gives the counselor a framework of where to begin with the client in terms of their road to recovery. Diagnoses have specific characteristics, and by giving a diagnoses it can help the counselor know where to begin, what to talk about, what to ask, etc… The cons, though, are also present. A diagnoses can be damaging to some clients because it is essentially a “label”, and unfortunately, mental illness still has a huge negative stigma in society. Another con to giving a diagnoses is that the client may succumb to that diagnoses, further influencing their feelings of helplessness and making them feel that they cannot overcome what they are going through.
  3. I think that the performing the profession itself is a form of advocacy. You are giving these people a voice in that you are listening to what they have to say, and helping them to achieve their goals, overcome their obstacles, and deal with the hardships they have going on in their lives. I think that each session is a form of advocacy as you are allowing these people to be heard. Another form of advocacy, in a more legal setting, was mentioned in the book. The book talked about a form of advocacy in promoting support for clients through relationships and collaboration (Gladding & Newsome, p. 70). I think this can be done in a variety of ways. Many individuals in the LGBT community struggle with coming out to their loved ones because of fear. By providing that non-judgemental support, offering information about outside communities/support groups, and maybe even allowing your counseling office as a safe space for the individual to talk with their family about their sexual orientation, you are being their advocate. You are helping them do something that, on their own, they may not know how to do.
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