Professional Counselors: Defining a Unique Identity within the Profession as it Relates to the Role of Effective Professionals

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Since the inception of the counseling profession, scholars, practicing counselors, and counseling students often wrestle with the difficulties of creating a professional identity among the human service occupation. There is a direct conflict between the roles of a professional counselor as it overlaps with that of other clinicians and the apparent lack of research that directly defines and identifies the unique position of a counselor. It is important both to the profession as a whole and to each individual counselor to discover and develop a sense of professional identity; the implications of which that will become beneficial clients as well (Hanna & Bemak, 1997). In defining a professional identity, it is imperative that counselors…show more content…
While it is, perhaps, easier to ensure a counselor has the appropriate education there is still room for a greater understanding of the particular, rare qualities that delineate the profession. Through professional development counselors can increase their effectiveness in personal and professional advancement, knowledge, and skills acquisition as it relates to a career. As a counselor, it is important to identify key areas where professional development can be accessed and then put into a tangible plan that is designed for continuous growth and progress. Some examples of these important areas would include knowledge of current treatment innovations and unique or important case studies of existing patients with uncommon conditions. Any effective professional counselor will need to familiarize himself with standard, functional treatment plans as they relate to the disorders they regularly encounter in their patients. Still, it is tantamount that professionals continue their education about newer permutations and modifications that are constantly being discovered and tested. Many times, old ‘tried and true’ methods can become outdated or irrelevant. It is critical not to get trapped into a singular pattern of thinking when it comes to the care of a client. Counselors should want to be informed about cutting edge research to keep their options diverse and

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