Health Counseling History

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I have chosen to enter the clinical social work profession, specifically focusing on providing mental health counseling services for adolescents. Due to the fact that the social work profession encompasses many different careers and fields, there is a broad history surrounding the profession. I have chosen to specifically concentrate on counseling careers concerning the history of the social work profession. Mental health counseling initially began as “vocational guidance in response to the Industrial Revolution and social reform movement in the 1800s” (“History of the Field,” n.d.). The vocational guidance was necessary because in post-World War II America, there was a serious demand for counselors to aid in the government’s task of choosing…show more content…
However, the APGA continued to focus their efforts on counseling in academic settings (“History of the Field,” n.d.). As a result of this focus, many counselors employed in community settings felt their needs were not being met by the association (“History of the Field,” n.d.). Due to these unmet needs, the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) was created (“History of the Field,” n.d.). The AMHCA’s focus and goals were relevant to any and all mental health counselors in any setting (“History of the Field,” n.d.). “In 1976, the American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA), sought out to define and promote the professional identity of mental health counselors” (“History of the Field,” n.d.). Before the AMHCA took on this venture, there were no set standards, licensing, certification, or specific educational and training requirements for those who took on the title of “Mental Health Counselor” (“History of the Field,” n.d.). Within just a short period of three years, the core originators of AMHCA created four specific principles to define what a mental health counselor is (“History of the Field,” n.d.). These four specific principles…show more content…
I have chosen to focus on becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). This is the most prominent and recognized path today. 60% of mental health professionals in the United States are LCSWs (“Mental Health,” 2017). There are numerous educational requirements that must be completed before one can become a LCSW. Firstly, a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field is required before a candidate can apply to a master’s program (“Social Workers,” 2015). Once a bachelor’s degree is earned, individuals may apply to Master of Social Work (MSW) programs (“Social Workers,” 2015). These programs are usually completed in about two years and include an internship (“Social Workers,” 2015). After a master’s degree is earned, the candidate must gain supervised experience for at least two years in a clinical setting (“Social Workers,” 2015). The final step is licensure, required by all fifty states, which includes a clinical test (“Social Workers,” 2015). There are a variety of skills that one must possess in order to be an effective and successful LCSW. Skills in the areas of communication, problem-solving, time-management, and organization are essential (“Social Workers,” 2015). Additionally, an effective LCSW must possess empathy and advanced interpersonal skills (“Social Workers,” 2015). Considering the populations served by LCSWs, the populations could only be described as vast and diverse.
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