The kind of counselor I intend to become is a mental health counselor in a school setting environment. A mental health counselor is a licensed professional whose work is to help other people manage and overcome mental disorders. The problems can either be emotional disorders, family problems, and other relationships (Atkinson, 2015). The mental counselor tries their best to communicate with the client and get to understand the problem so that they come up with strategies to improve the client's lives. Mental health problems affect homes, schools, thinking development, and development of children. Hence, schools need more mental health professionals in the school environment. Most schools lack these kinds of professionals, and this affects our children and teenagers in their learning.
In schools, the teacher focuses mostly on teaching the primary curriculum, and this makes the schools an environment where we gain information. Therefore, the mental health of a child is essential in learning. The type of counseling services I intend to provide is to help to guide children and teenagers in schools to solve their mental problems they are going through. The psychological problem may be due to conflicts with friends, academic anxieties, family problems, career indecision, low self-confidence, depression, loneliness, gender identity concern, and procrastination. In terms of character, I would like to have any mental health character, regardless am helping a person who needs a professional to solve his/her issue. Mental health counselors encounter different types of problems during their work. For me, the kind of problems I expect to encounter is reluctant clients, assessment and testing methods to use, cultural experience, legal complications, resistance from some parents, and judgmental effects.
Assessment in counseling is that process getting and discussing the information from various sources. The reason for this is to develop a deep understanding of what the victim knows and understands. Most of the variable is not directly observed, such as emotions, intelligence, depression, happiness, and stress cannot be directly observed. Thus the primary purpose of the assessment is to get to know the client. The first assessment strategy that I would use is using the interview. By performing a conversation with my client will help me to get to understand him/her in a better way before determining the leading cause of mental health. I would also develop good questioners that I would use during the interview.
The next strategy I will use is functionality. The functionally means that I will be able t asses the client's abilities such as academic ability and ability. The other strategy is using tests. By using criteria, I will be able to know the clients better. The test would help in answering the various question such as, what level the victim is a function? Is the client reading at grade level? Is he intelligent enough to handle advance counseling? And many other questions. Another strategy I will use is the use of personality. This type of assessment help to test the victim's behaviors, beliefs, and qualities. This kind of assessment help to look at the makeup of the client.
A behavior therapy strategy is an excellent strategy to use. It focuses on learning the role in developing healthy and abnormal behavior. Cognitive therapy strategy will help me to understand how the clients think rather than what they do. Humanistic therapy strategy is another essential strategy to use in my mental health counseling (Cross, 2015). This strategy will guide me to understand the capacity of my client in making rational decisions. Lastly is the integrative therapy strategy. In this strategy, I will be able to combine features from a different approach and put them together, rendering to victim needs.
Asking questions is another strategy to use. Asking questions is an essential therapy since they help the therapist to get to know and learn more about the patient. They are two number of question that is closed and open. In mental health, I should avoid open questions since they do not give in-depth explanations. We have another strategy, which is a reflection. In this strategy, we have three categories. One is feelings reflections. Feeling reflection will help my client to hear the feelings they have expressed. We have a second reflection, which is rephrasing. In this category, it will help me to build a strong relationship with the client. In short, it helps the therapist to understand what the client is saying and gain clarity. Lastly, we have affirmation where I will be able to empower my clients.
Empathy is another assessment or strategy I will have to use in my mental counseling. For understanding, it will help me to put myself in my client's shoes. But it is much more of sympathy. Dialectical behavior therapy is in the category of cognitive therapy. In this therapy, I will use it in those patients with high risk or harsh treatment since it brings better results. It helps the patient to change all unhealthy behavior. It also focuses on distress tolerance, which is the feeling of powerful emotions such as anger and using drugs to reduce stress. The family system model is used to view all human distresses and struggles. The strategy mostly focuses on the idea that the family is the primary source of personality.
The purpose of the assessment is that interpersonal therapy will help me to get to know the client's behaviors and how they interact with friends and family (Ray, 2015). Its primary goal is to help the client improve communication skills as well as increasing their self-esteem in a short period. It will help me mostly to mentally depressed clients. Cognitive behavior therapy mainly helps the mentally ill people to be able to identify and change imprecise observations that they have and those surrounding them. With this kind of strategy, I will be able to help my patients to establish new thinking ways. It is done by trying to direct both the right and wrong expectations the patient makes to themselves and others.
In most of our schools, the student has been exposed to traumatizing issues and events. These events and topics act as a barrier to their success. Being exposed to these scenarios have effects on academic achievement. The school setting is, therefore, an excellent place to give mental health support to the students. Making data-driven decisions will help to analyze data ahead and be able to design a good program. It is essential to analyze the data from numerous foundations when developing mental health for the school setting. The primary purpose is to be able to identify the barriers that are affecting the students' academic attainment when tackling mental health matters.
Screening in mental health is essential. It is usually an exam of the patient emotional health. The screening is the one that helps the therapist or counselor to know if the patient has a mental disorder. The process is quite different, depending on the type of therapist. One may give a patient a physical exam by asking for his feelings and moods. This is one of the best methods I will use in the schools because it one of the quickest to determine if the patient has the symptoms of mental condition. In the screening, I will require to run several tests such as depression test, anxiety test, eating disorder, bipolar test addiction, and also parent test. The importance of screening in mental health is that it allows the therapist to identify and intervene in the condition.
When developing mental health counseling in schools, collaboration is required. Therefore, I intend to collaborate with the school teachers, nurses, other mental health therapists, and school psychologists. The partnership will help me to give the student better mental health services. Schools counselor most referred to us guidance, and counseling are not most considered when the school develops mental health problems. Evaluating and communication strategy is very powerful. As a mental health provider to the student, I must base my data-driven decision to improve academic achievement. The data must be evaluated to make sure the progress is made to address the mental health needs. Evaluating includes student monitoring and outcomes by reviewing data and analyzing so that I can measure gaps, limitation areas, and where there is a success. For this, I should make it a continuous process.
There are needs to improve operational mental health counselors in our schools. Mental health affects our students and challenges their education, emotions, and even their social life. As the years go by, the student will continue to face even more challenges (Committee on School Health, 2004). Therefore, the school administration needs to address this issue and barriers that are affecting academic achievement. Everyone has a duty, including therapists and counselors, teachers, parents, and the student. So that they can play an essential role in the enactment and assessment of mental health services so that they can bring better results in mental health.
Atkinson, M., & Hornby, G. (2015). Mental health handbook for schools. Routledge.Committee on School Health. (2004). School-based mental health services. Pediatrics, 113(6), 1839-1845.
Cross, J. R., & Cross, T. L. (2015). Clinical and mental health issues in counseling the gifted individual. Journal of Counseling & Development, 93(2), 163-172.
Ray, D. C., Armstrong, S. A., Balkin, R. S., & Jayne, K. M. (2015). Childcentered play therapy in the schools: Review and metaanalysis. Psychology in the Schools, 52(2), 107-123.
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