develop your own professional identity takes understanding yourself on a different level.

Posts should be at least 200 words each answer and reflect critical thought. Whenever possible, please try to relate the course content to real-world applications from your work experience. Be sure to cite all sources as well.

Responses to classmates:
Shelbie Dodge – Message expanded. Message read Re: Discussion Starter 1, Week 1
My reasons for becoming a counselor are wanting to help those who need guidance; I enjoy watching people change and grow into their full potential and to be a part of that would be extremely rewarding for me. My mother is a counselor as well but she focuses in substance abuse and adolescents. I was to help people who struggle with themselves and counsel them into being better and enjoy life. I like to give advice and get down to the root of the problem to solve it efficiently, I want to provide a long term plan and solution. Ive always liked giving people and friends advice, strangely enough I have a hard time taking advice, but I am good at giving it. Originally I wanted to be an MD and as time went on I decided I didn’t want that life, I wanted to be able to help people on a more personally level that would better their lives as a whole not just physically. I want to understand the illnesses and struggles of the mind so that I can help people with every kind of issue and concern they might have about themselves. I can see myself in an office with a list full of patients and new found relationships because I helped when they were struggling.
Mark Ogawa – Re: Discussion Starter 3, Week 1
I believe the ethical standards are critically important in the profession, due to the fact that you have to build trust in order to be successful with helping your client. A client has to feel that the experiences or feelings that they are sharing at the moment are kept confidential. More importantly ethical standards helps by creating guidelines that help you to understand what is appropriate and not appropriate; and protects both the counselor and the client. In my current leadership role, I have worked hard to build relationships with my managers and employees. I have found that the trust you build is the difference between someone telling you how they really feel and keeping opinions or frustrations to themselves. In my first 30 days at my new job, the first thing that I focused on was meeting each member of my team, establish a relationship, and find ways to connect with each person. The more that people feel that you are trustworthy, the more they are willing to share. This has helped me get ahead of potential morale or employee issues that would have arisen if i didn’t know about it. Counsiling clients comes with a serious responsibility. The person sitting across from you is depending on you to guide them through their challenges. These clients also expect a certain level of professionalism and autonomy when doing so.
Ashley – Re: Discussion Starter 2, Week 1
Counselor professional identity as defined by Brott and Myers is the ability as an individual to understand their profession as it corresponds with their own self concept, so that as a professional it allows them to define their methods and viewpoints both in and out of the workplace. (Brott & Myers, 1999)
I think in order to develop your own professional identity takes understanding yourself on a different level. As human beings we are built with an innate sense of empathy and those will be tested in this profession. Being able to feel for that individual and also stay neutral and separate is going to be a hard feat for me. I think in developing my own professional identity, trying to hone in on my strengths and allowing myself to assist the client and not doubt myself is key. Its one thing to read and develop your ideas in writing but the actual practice is what is going to be hard for me. However, through the mental health counseling course I am hoping to better develop these skills and become more confident in my role. It comes down to the fact that is going to take a lot of practice. Family is always a good way to practice and get comfortable speaking and practicing your knowledge in front of people.
Brott, P. E., & Myers, J. E. (1999). Development of professional school counselor identity: A grounded theory. Professional School Counseling, 2(5), 339.
STEPHANIE MASON – How will joining a professional association help you as a student and in your future career?Â
I enjoyed this chapter because It was great to see how many organizations are out there. So I thought that I would start a conversation on how these organizations may help me as a counseling student and in my future career. How do you believe they will help you?
Some of the organizations allow you to join as a student which I think is an excellent way to get myself familiar with what other counselors experience and how to prepare myself. I will also get to learn a lot of the knowledge they choose to share, and I can grow as a counselor. I do not yet know my strengths or weaknesses and hearing others perspectives and experiences will help me towards finding my counseling techniques and therefore develop confidence. Once I am aware of where I believe I would do best as a counselor then I will be able to look into future job opportunities.
Once I have graduated, I believe some of the workshops offered will qualify for the continuing education requirements to keep my license. I will also have developed strong contacts to reach out to in a time of need. I may need guidance with an ethical dilemma or know someone who has strengths in counseling where I am weak and be able to refer a patient to them. In time I hope to make an impact in the community by joining in the fight to get change for the better when political issues arise. Rules, codes, etc. are continually being rewritten or updated for the overall better and I would like to help in the progression.

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