Counseling: Issues In The Profession
While interviewing a Licensed Counselor at Texas A&M Commerce on Nov 20, 2018 I was concern with some of the things Counselors are faced with today. This essay will comprehensively describe my thoughts about issues in the LPC Profession. It will also discuss the training of a counsellor, the role of the counsellor, and current issues within the field. Some of the issues I was concern with in the Counseling profession were, managed care companies, self-care/self and self-awareness, and cross-cultural counselling. Some of issues that Counselors and clients are face with are brand knew to me. I never thought how complicated counselling could be at times. Initially it made me look back and questions do I still want to become a Licensed Counselor.
First, issue I was concerned with in the LPC is Managed Care. Managed Care is a system of healthcare in which patients agree to visit only certain doctors and hospitals, and in which the cost of treatment is monitored by a managing company. In the past therapy was seen a good way, before managed care got involved. With this new approach many aspects of counselling changed. Insurance companies only pay for things that are medically necessary. This means that a therapist must diagnose you with a mental health disorder and prove it is affecting you often.
As well as Managed Care companies restrict the clients’ choice of therapist by offering only short-term therapy. Managed care companies choose the limit what therapies are offered and only 20 sessions are typically funded by Managed Care Insurances. These third party’s know little about the profession and if they did know they would know you cant put a dollar sign on someone’s well being. It’s awful if someone is not getting the appropriate help they need or is denied because they’re not able to afford it.
Furthermore, when seeking assistance for counselling Hartshorn’s(2018):
Form informs clients that when you seek reimbursement for therapy/counselling from insurance companies or other third many cases, explanations of symptoms and treatment plans, and in rare cases, entire client records, must be provided to the third party. If health coverage is provided, employers could possibly have access to such information. Insurance companies usually claim to keep psychological diagnosis confidential, but may enter this information into national information data banks where it may be accessed by employers, other insurance companies etc. It may limit your future access to disability insurance, life insurance, jobs, etc. (p.2)
Several therapists own their own practice, which allows them to control their own schedule, cliental, and insurance networks. However therapist are less likely to accept these insurances. This happens because insurance companies frequently complicate a therapist job. For an example, insurance companies pay lower rates then what the therapists would charge independently. Which means therapists are likely to make more money without third parties involve.
A common issue that Counselors face today is self-care, or being perfect as I heard it in the interview. Dr. Ball said we all are humans but I felt we are being judged on a higher level than most individual. By that we have to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. Self awareness and self-care include taking care of yourself, eating healthy and exercising, getting enough sleep, spending time with friends and family, vacationing, and doing fun activities are ways in which you should take care of yourself from burning out. Likewise Counselor’s have to be presentable and represent themselves in a respectful manner whenever they’re out. It is important because you never know who is watching. For instance, what if you’re an Counselor and you go out to an social event and accidentally drink too much and tell all your clients business. Now your face with being sued and having a bad reputation. Your Self -awareness and self-care are two important components in Counseling that Counselors stress about.
Second, Counselors express adjusting to their own teaching is tough. She described that beginning counselors have difficulty adapting from classroom to real life applications. They tend to do therapy like their professors instead of doing it in their own unique way. I think they lean on their professor work because that’s just how they were taught too and its probably comfortable teaching what your already use to. I know this wont be a struggle for me because thankfully I work direct with strangers and have to sell a speech to them in my own particular way. At first I was taught to speak a certain language or act a precise way but every guest is different and you have to treat him or her differently.
Lastly, evolving was an important issue to me in the interview because she said she changes her therapeutic approaches for every client. For an example, she uses the system perspective because everyone is affecting by different; environments, families, and childhood. I agree because life does change and everyone is influence by what’s new out for example music. Music does influence our society. It helps us when we are celebrating anything happy we tend to play up beat songs as oppose to when we are sad we frame ourselves with slow depression music.
Multicultural counselling views the clients through their culture and worldview instead of the therapist. Out of multiculturalism came social justice. Race, ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual orientation, age, disabilities, and religion influences client’s identity and life circumstances. It is important for counselor’s to always remain aware of his or her own personal biases, beliefs, and attitudes while providing services. It is also important to be able to multicultural counsel because today’s clientele looks different than it did in past years, as a growing amount of clients from all populations are seeking help.
A Counselor is someone who gives guidance on a more personal level to individuals who are troubled with any kind of behaviour problems. The goal of a Counselor is to reduce stress and problems in one’s life. A Counselor interacts with one another to create a change in the client’s feelings and behaviour. Counselling is a long-term/short-term process that in the end will help the client recognize issues and help solve decision in their life
There are a lot of factors that leads to the Counseling Field. Often most Counselors have a drive to help others from a faith-based perspective, they believe they’re good listeners and give good advice, and they tend to be nurturing and caregivers to others around them. The role of a Counselor helps individuals and families deal with difficult emotions, mental health disorders and trauma. They provide therapy and coaching to help clients manage their stress, and set goals for them themselves. Mentor Leadership Skills become important as older counselling generations can help guide the newer generations. Being active in your organization helps keep one orientated to the profession and keeps them updated.
According to Texas Department of State Health Services (2018), in order to become a LPC in Texas you must have a Master’s or doctoral degree in counselling or a counselling-related field from an accredited college or university. As part of the graduate program, a supervised practicum experience that is primarily counselling in nature. The practicum should be at least 300 clock-hours with at least 100 clock-hours of direct client contact. Academic credit for the practicum must appear on the applicant’s transcript. After completion of the graduate degree and before application, an applicant must take and pass the National Counselor Exam and the Texas Jurisprudence Exam. After receiving a temporary LPC license from the board, the applicant may begin the supervised post-graduate counselling experience (internship). 3000 clock-hours with at least 1,500 being direct client contact of internship under the supervision of a board-approved supervisor is required. The 3000 clock-hours may not be completed in a time period of less than 18 months. (p.1.)
This essay was intended to give insight about issues Counselors come across on a day-to-day basis by interviewing a LPC and also describe the role of a counsel and the training of a counsellor. A lot of issue arose in the Counseling field but the most important ones I was drawn too was managed care, self-care/ self awareness, and cross cultural. I do not agree with the manage care companies because they are not looking for the clients best interest or the therapist. Self care and self- awareness were an important issue to me because you need to be well in order to counsel another individual and sometimes I know it’s hard to be a great person with distractions in your life. Also it’s essential to me because it teaches you how to take care of yourself while working in the profession. Lastly, multicultural counselling is major to me because I want to be able to counsel other individuals even if we don’t share the same beliefs and values, which often two people are not alike. Learning how to multicultural counsel will also expand my practice and give me more experience with other cultures.