The Path and Passion Behind Pursuing Mental Health Counseling
Mental Health Counseling
Mental health counseling is a unique profession that combines traditional psychotherapy with a practical problem-solving approach, providing an efficient and dynamic path for change and problem resolution. This distinctness of the problem abounds from the fact that it adheres to a code of standards since a counselor is dealing with human beings who need quality and certified care. People in society undergo various mental illnesses; thus, they require treatment for their ailments. Notably, various mental illnesses currently abound in society, including drug-related mental illnesses, Bipolar, depression and stress. This means that a mental counselor is charged with various roles such as assessment and diagnosis, psychotherapy, treatment planning and utilization review, brief and solution-focused therapy, alcoholism and substance abuse treatment, psychoeducational and prevention programs, and crisis management.
Most people in society require mental health attention, although they do not know where or whom to seek the services from, considering that mental health counseling is a wide field with different ethnicities. This means that when a person becomes a mental counselor, one should know the value of self-preservation, which concerns taking care of their issues before they help people seeking their services. A significant point at this juncture is that mental health counselors only contribute to a patient’s healing by providing guidance, but they do not solve the problem per se.
Mental health counseling is a sensitive field that requires certification. The government has stepped in through its health sector to ensure that the services availed to its people are quality and recommended. This explains why a person has to be certified before practicing as a mental health counselor. The licensure requirements for a mental health counselor require, at minimum, a person to have earned a master’s degree in counseling or another mental health discipline that closely relates to counseling. Secondly, a person must have completed the postmaster’s clinical work under the supervision of a certified mental health professional. This clinical work should last for a minimum of two years. Lastly, a person should be accredited in a state-developed or national licensure examination.
My passion for becoming a mental health counselor commenced when I was young. I remember being sick several times and being taken to hospital with my mother. I remember encountering patients with mental disorders brought to the hospital, whereby, after observing their behavior, I asked my mum what their problem was. She explained how they had transformed their mental capacity and how some people are born that way. She further confirmed how stress and depression could lead to mental health illness. I could not fathom what she explained, but I became interested in the field. Thus, I have done several research as I matured regarding the causes of mental health problems, and I continued to develop an interest in the field.
My interest was further intensified by the help I saw my mum providing for my aunt, her younger sister. She always sought my mother’s advice on various aspects of her life, whether spiritual, emotional or financial. This taught me a great lesson concerning counseling as it permeates various aspects of life. It derives from the need to see people leading productive, purposeful and healthy lives. As I grew up, I strived to understand people’s behavior, which influenced my choice of courses, including a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with and concentration in human services and an Associate degree in Paralegal studies. These courses support my aspiration to obtain a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. This abounds from the fact that the two Bachelor above and Associate degrees closely deal with people’s psychology, which also concerns the field of mental health counseling. Additionally, as an employee of Lakeland Hosing Authority, I dealt with people who required my help and whom I served without discrimination. For instance, I ensured that students worked on their self-esteem issues by structuring and maintaining a group through which I provided them with assignments that boosted their self-esteem.
I have undergone alterations in life, facilitating the shaping of my strengths in my chosen field of mental health counseling. Going through college and campus brings many challenges in life. At one point, I had financial issues, which resulted from extravagance. I could not ask my parents for more cash because they knew they had given me enough allowance for that month. This was a significant challenge because I was supposed to survive almost half the month without enough allowance. I pondered on the problem because it had not happened to me once, and I realized that I needed to discipline myself regarding spending. Thus, with such a life lesson, I think I am prepared for a master’s degree in mental health and counseling.
Volunteering at Lakeland Hosing Authority availed me with experiences in the social service sector that also influenced my decision to apply for the mental health counseling program. Notably, as a volunteer to mentor underprivileged youths, I met with their parents, discussed their children’s progress, and determined their priorities for their children. This difficult task requires a person to try to align the parents’ priorities for their children with the child’s ambitions. This was a good practice area, considering parents need to support their children in their strength areas despite any setbacks. Volunteering at the center also taught me skills in dealing with different people. I must note that the Hosing Authority had many students that mentored, and they had different needs. This required including different instructional materials and teaching methods to cater to all the students’ needs.
Culture has a significant influence on the medical field. This influence emanates from medical practitioners being privy to a person’s culture before treating them. This also applies to mental health counseling because knowledge of a person’s culture places a mental health counselor in a good stance to diagnose and treat a person’s mental health problem based on the person’s culture. Interpersonal skills also play a significant role in mental health counseling, as a practitioner has to interact with different people from time to time.
I have grown up with my sister, whom I adore very much. I have come to learn his behavior in different situations because when she experiences emotional, financial or spiritual conflict, she tends to stay aloof and, at times, try to pass her stress on to other people. It is not easy dealing with her at such moments, but I endeavor to give a listening ear for her to confide in me what is disturbing her. Notably, she is difficult to deal with at such times, requiring a person to exercise much patience when talking or listening to her. This has happened many times; my sister has become my dear friend whom she confides to whenever she is under stress because she knows I listen and understand her behavior when stressed. This indicates the benefit of pursuing a mental health master’s degree because it extends the profit to the community and enrichment of education.
The economy also exerts too much pressure on people, which explains why many people nowadays with mental health problems require help. This stems from the fact that many people cannot meet their daily demands; thus, they fall into depression. I have encountered such people in various social places, and talking to them has proved my ambition to be a mental health counselor as a score. Note that the United States is a multiracial state, and being privy to people’s culture facilitates the formation of rapport. I have talked to people from different backgrounds who seemed to be undergoing different mental problems caused by stress, and some have indicated their remarkable improvement weeks after our conversation. This proves my interpersonal ability in dealing with people suffering from mental ailments.
I aspire to work at Daymark Recovery Services, located in North Carolina. Notably, each state has its distinguished licensure requirements and working as a mental health counselor requires a person to be licensed. A person seeking to work in North Carolina has to fulfill the following steps, which include a Master’s degree in mental health counseling. A person has to complete three semesters of internship set by the board and 300 hours of supervised experience plus 17 hours of supervision. This should be coupled with 60 semester hours of coursework, including completing three certification exams. Experience and/or volunteer work in the medical field are an added advantage. Lastly, a person must have done 3,000 hours of work under a licensed worker.