History and Evolution of the Mental Health Counseling Profession

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Running Head: AN ASSESSMENT IN EARNEST Mental Health Counseling Profession Name of Student School History and Evolution By the end of World War II, various non-medical, behavioral and cognitive approaches to psychotherapy surfaced, the growth of some being the impact of the Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963 (Pistole, 2002). The Fund provided "funding for the development of community-based mental health care programs with interdisciplinary teams (Weikel & Palmo, 1989 as qtd in Pistole). This stimulated the growth of masters-level mental health enrollments and careers. Many of the enrollees were trained in colleges of education and secured employment under different professional and paraprofessional titles in community settings, such as hospitals, private practice and community mental health care centers (Bech, 1999 as qtd by Pistole; Weikel & Stickle as qtd in Pistole). But because they did not receive training under established disciplines, such as social work, psychology or psychiatry, they did not belong to a recognized professional organization. They were thus unqualified for traditional credentials and licensing. Simply said, they were not a visible professional sector (Pistole). They organized themselves into a grass roots movement, which, in July 1978, became the American Mental Health Counselors Association or AMHCA (Pistole, 2002). The association was to provide them with a base organization and identity they needed. Its primary objectives were to
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