Sunday, April 8, 2012
The two issues I am most passionate about are mental health counseling in end-of-life care and trauma counseling. I have little interest in career-related counseling for individuals searching for career placement and rehabilitative counseling for clients with disabilities.
I am particularly interested in the mental health issues surrounding end-of-life care. At this most important stage of life, clients may experience depression, anxiety, and a range of other emotional concerns (American Psychological Association (APA), n.d.). Mental health counselors encourage and support mental health and understand quality of life issues for the terminally ill patient and the family. Counselors can assume the role of advocate for the patient and family, directing interaction with medical professionals, hospice care, social workers, and others. "The multitude of issues faced by patients and families dealing with a life-threatening illness exceeds the expertise of any one caregiver" (APA, n.d., p. 4). Mental health counselors can assuage some of these issues. I have always been comfortable helping and talking with people who are dying. This final stage is the culmination of a person's life, and for many, it is a boundless lot to embrace by oneself.
I am also interested in trauma counseling, which includes treating clients who have experienced traumatic events such as rape, assault, stress from war, dangerous experience, or natural disaster . After reading that counselors working with these clients may suffer stress vicariously, I appreciate the need to become well-versed in self-care and maintaining a trusted support system (Chang & McLeod, 2010). I believe this type of counseling is essential and humane for anyone who sustains severe psychological damage, and enables the individual to return to society as a functioning thriving member.
Although I have no professional interest, I understand the significance and importance of career counseling. According to Chang and McLeod (2010), career-related issues affect us holistically, permeating other areas of our lives as well as our general well-being. Career counseling can help an individual identify and develop skills within her particular vocation, choose a new more appropriate career, and determine how best to use natural skills and tendencies within a current vocation or career (Chang & McLeod, 2010).
Rehabilitative counseling is essential in any humane society, however, I neither feel equipped nor drawn to this particular type of counseling work. I'm grateful to those who are interested in this type of counseling because it is important to help disabled individuals "maximize employability, independence, integration, and participation...in the workplace" (Chang & McLeod, 2010, p. 317). Although I have no qualms about working with people in the end-of-life stage, I feel more uneasy about working with disabled individuals. I'll have to do some further reflection on this point.
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). End of Life Issues and Care. American Psychological Association. Retrieved January 8, 2012, from http://www.apa.org/topics/death/end-of-life.aspx
Chang, C. Y. & McLeod, A. L. (2010). Chapter twelve: Client Issues. In Erford, B. (Ed.) Orientation to the Counseling Profession: Advocacy, Ethics, and Essential Professional Foundations (p. 298-320). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education, Inc.