Term Paper: Leadership in Professional Counseling

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Leadership in Professional Counseling

Look at the history of what is required in Professional Counseling:

The State of Wisconsin's Department of Regulation & Licensing defines professional counseling as: "Applying a combination of human development, rehabilitation and either psychosocial or psychotherapeutic principals, procedures or services that integrate a wellness, pathology and multicultural model of human behavior." A professional counselor works with families, groups of individuals, an individual couple, an individual, an organization, the Wisconsin Web site explains; and the counseling service is designed to achieve "mental, emotional, physical, social, moral, educational, spiritual, vocational or career development and adjustment" through the entire life span of the person or group being helped.

The Pennsylvania Counseling Association, meanwhile, points out that the minimum degrees necessary for a license are M.A.; M.S.; M.Ed; PhD; and Ed.D. The association also points out that "most master's level professional counseling programs do not specify a prerequisite undergraduate major." But given the fact that professional counseling is a mental health profession, anyone going into professional counseling will certainly be drawn to undergraduate courses in "psychology, human services, rehabilitation services, health and human development" or related fields, the Pennsylvania Counseling Association advises.

The Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) offers its philosophy of leadership and principals of leadership excellence:

Principle #1: The philosophy of counseling leadership entails "exemplary leaders" who recognize that "service to others, the profession," and the attendant associations that go along with the service are the "preeminent reasons for involvement in leadership" (CSI). That's why they are in the position they are in. Real leaders, the CSI explains, recognize that providing a valuable service to others requires: a) "careful consideration of the magnitude of their commitment prior to accepting a nomination for a leadership role"; b) there is to be no expectation of "personal reward" during the performance of one's duties; and c) prior to making key decisions that effect others, one must have a "willingness to seek counsel."

Principle #2: Leaders who show an alert awareness of and "commitment to furthering the mission of their organization" are "exemplary" leaders. Moreover, the leader understands that he or she must demonstrate a "continuing awareness and dedication to enhancing mission, strategic plan, bylaws, and policies" of their organization, whether the counseling is conducted in teams or as individuals.

Principle #3: The history of one's organization is vital and should be researched and built upon - if the leaders are "exemplary," according to CSI. The way in which a professional becomes aware of the history of his or her organization is through a thorough review of documents in the archives ("minutes of meetings, policies") - and by having meaningful conversations with present and past leaders of the organization.

Principle #4: There must be a "vision of the future" based on the "wisdom of the past" - and the way that can be accomplishes is through "imagination, collaboration, cooperation, and creative use of resources," the CSI explains. Principle #5: Both short- and long-range perspectives must be in place for leaders to "assure the ongoing success of the organization." Principle #6: The organization's "human and material resources" (including financial responsibility) must be maintained by "exemplary leaders."

Principle #7: Leadership decisions must always take the membership's best interest into account; that includes the needs, resources, and goals of a leader's constituencies. Principle #8: Priorities must be set by the exemplary leaders, and those include mentoring, encouraging, and empowering others, along with assisting members to fully develop and put into use "their unique talents" that will serve the profession and others well. Principle #9: All appropriate records of service (certificates of appreciation, etc.) must be kept by exemplary leaders, who, by devoting their talent and energy to their organization's mission, should receive due recognition. And Principle #10: Receiving feedback on the quality of their performance from "multiple sources" is an important part of an exemplary leader's activities; in other words, good two-way communication is pivotal.

Current issues facing emerging leaders: portability; medical insurance reimbursement; advocacy against psychologists and social workers.

Among the important issues facing leaders in professional counseling is portability. According to the American Association of State Counseling Boards (AASCB) there are "undue licensing challenges" facing many counselors when they relocate. Meanwhile, the AASCB is developing a "Portability Plan" (National Credentials Registry [NCR]); this will allow the AASCB to maintain "detailed, validated information" about each… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Leadership in Professional Counseling."  Essaytown.com.  February 12, 2007.  Accessed October 21, 2019.
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