Topic 5: Professional Development {by 2/20}

Based on the reading due this week consider the following discussion point: Your professional development and personal growth does not end once you graduate.  What are your thoughts about the best way you can assure that you are continually developing and maintaining your counseling competency.  Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 2/20.  Post your two replies no later than 2/22.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

36 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Liisa Biltcliffe
    Feb 15, 2020 @ 14:11:18

    I think that one of the most important aspects, professionally, is having a good supervisor. It says in the chapter reading for this week that a good supervisor should challenge us as well as provide support and I agree with this wholeheartedly. I feel like if I am being challenged then that helps me to grow, not just professionally, but also personally. The chapter also talked about trying not to get a supervisor who is too laidback and that makes total sense because then I would not be growing as much or at all. The chapter talks about staying on top of readings/journal articles that are relevant to our field and our theoretical orientation and that is something I am very interested in doing once I graduate. My concern is how to obtain those peer-reviewed journal articles once I am out of school. Perhaps joining a professional organization would be a good idea and would allow for that access. I am a bit nervous and excited about obtaining the CEUs necessary to maintain my license. My concern is mostly how will I find the time, as well as where to obtain the CEUs. At the same time, I love to learn so I am looking forward to conintuing my “education” through CEUs.

    For personal growth, I have been in therapy myself and I feel as if I can empathize with my clients in regards to just being in that position. Personally I know I struggle with self-doubts, which I think most of us do to a point…I just wonder sometimes how much my self-doubt affects my skills as a counselor. It is something I am working on and I feel that my “stoic, independent, stubborn” upbringing hampers my ability to ask for help (for example, from my supervisor or whomever) when I am needing it. This is also something I am working on. The better able I am in asking for help (from colleagues and my supervisor), the more my clients will feel comfortable asking me for help, I feel. It’s like it said in the chapter, that clients just know when you are not doing what you need to do for yourself or are not practicing what you preach.

    Reply

    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Feb 17, 2020 @ 12:24:12

      I 100% agree with everything you said about having a good supervisor and also about obtaining CEU’s. I feel that having a supervisor that is challenging us is a lot better than one who is laid back and is not as involved. I do believe that having a great supervisor is everything because that is the person who we are going to turn to the most for advice. Regarding CEU’s, I have the same concerns as you do because I have no idea where to even begin to look for that or where these trainings would be located. However, as you said, I am looking forward to them to continue to learn in the mental health field. Also, thank you for sharing your own personal experience and I also struggle with asking for help sometimes, but I have learned that it is better to ask for help because in the end, it helps us and our clients and we end up feeling a lot better once we get our questions answered.

      Reply

    • Becca Green
      Feb 18, 2020 @ 08:30:04

      Hi Liisa! I love that you shared some of your personal experience with therapy. After several years I’m finally seeing a therapist regularly again and I think it has immensely increased my effectiveness as a therapist at my internship. The practice what you preach chapter kind of hit me in similar ways, as I sometimes worry that I don’t ask for enough help when I’m struggling with something. How we are doing is definitely felt by the clients we see so it is important to do the things we tell our clients to do, like ask for help and do our research on things to make informed decisions.

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    • Jayson
      Feb 18, 2020 @ 21:20:16

      I agree with your comment of “My concern is mostly how will I find the time, as well as where to obtain the CEUs”. I believe we are in the same boat, I don’t even know where to begin looking for these trainings that will provide us with the CEU. On top of that, I believe we have to do like 20-30 training that provide us with a CEU within a time frame of 2 years which sounds like a lot and I fear how I will be able to find time to do these trainings too!

      Reply

  2. Amanda Russo-Folco
    Feb 16, 2020 @ 11:25:52

    While I was reading the section on “Practice what you Preach”, I automatically thought of myself back in PSY 708 because that’s exactly what we did in that class. For example, when we had to do the automatic and anxious thought records or even the downward arrow technique on ourselves, I found this to be really helpful because it helped me have a better understanding of how to do these thought records with my clients. Getting a sense of how it felt to go through the experience and process really put it into perspective for how it would be for my clients. I really enjoyed practicing some of the counseling skills on myself because I knew if I understood the process and material better, my clients would have a better understanding as well and I would be able to empathize with them. I find it really important to continue to practice the skills we teach on ourselves because it is beneficial for our clients in the long run and it helps us counselors gain insight and self-awareness. Also, another really important way to continue to develop and maintain counseling competency is having a really good supervisor that is empathetic, flexible, open etc. like it says in the reading. I realized being at my internship placement, how important it is to have a good supervisor to help me grow as a clinician and to utilize supervision time in the best way possible. I also find it important for the supervisor to challenge you because this can help you look at a situation or case from a different perspective and it also helps give you different ideas to think outside of the box. I enjoyed this week’s reading because it showed me different ways of how to assure ourselves that we are continually developing and maintain our counseling competency and I know how important this is for our field. .

    Reply

    • Alyce Almeida
      Feb 18, 2020 @ 17:57:09

      Amanda, I like your focus on practicing the skills on ourselves to help strengthen our own skills. You make a really good point that I didn’t even think off. It does help give us a different perspective, as well empathize with our clients which I think is necessary to get a reminder of to continue to prosper as a clinician.

      Reply

    • Shannon O'Brien
      Feb 20, 2020 @ 15:41:53

      Amanda – I also found myself thinking back to 708! Some of those worksheets were SO difficult and there were times where I thought, “Do I really wanna dig into this stuff about myself??” I was really awkward at times to think about yourself in that depth. But that’s the point of doing it ourselves, right – to truly understand how hard and uncomfortable it can be for our clients to reflect upon themselves in ways they may have never done before. It is also important to know what it feels like to discover something about yourself through these interventions so we can better identify when a client has done so.This is definitely something I need to keep doing throughout my practice.

      Reply

    • Nicole Plona
      Feb 22, 2020 @ 13:07:34

      Amanda,
      I like how you brought in the idea of practicing what we preach throughout our career. It is often easier for us to give advice to others in their time of need without following our own instructions when we need it the most. I think this is really important when thinking about continuing to grow in our profession so that we are taking care of ourselves to then be able to effectively help others. I also agree and talked a lot about the role a good supervisor would play on developing counseling competency. It is good to have someone there that will help guide and challenge us in our work.

      Reply

  3. Alyce Almeida
    Feb 16, 2020 @ 13:51:47

    The big theme I got out of this weeks reading is “practice what you preach” in regards to your personal and professional growth. When I think of that saying it makes me remind myself I can only be so great of a therapist if I’m passionate and put the work in to continue to learn, and challenge myself. For professional growth I think it’s key to receive supervision, but also be responsible for additional trainings and readings we can get our hands on. I hope I get a supervisor that will support me and hear me out, but I really want a supervisor to challenge me, hold me accountable, and give me the constructive criticism I need to truly grow as a professional. I would hate to have a supervisor who is “too” nice, I want the blunt honesty whether it’s good or bad. Along with supervision is of course our responsibility to educate ourselves and stay up to date with today’s research. I am a bit worried on how to exactly reach any psychological readings, but I am excited of other options like trainings and starting CEU’s. I guess with the readings it’s more so how expensive they might be, I know there are subscriptions we can get into but I honestly am a bit confused on how to attain them exactly. As I said, CEU’s and continuing my education is something I actually look forward to. Even while in school I’ve already thought about additional programs I’d like to get into to expand my knowledge, so I think the CEU’s will be a huge aspect for my professional development.

    For my personal development I think self-care is a huge aspect of this. I need to separate myself from my career because I do struggle with that. So i think really focusing on what brings me happiness (besides helping my clients) will help me tremendously in continuing to grow as a person and professional. I also think just calling myself out and getting therapy myself will also help with my personal growth. I’m a firm believer that everyone should have some form of therapy, and any therapist needs therapy as well. So I think being honest with myself and reaching out for help when I need it as well will be necessary, as well as understanding my strengths and weaknesses and using both of those to grow as well.

    Reply

    • Becca Green
      Feb 18, 2020 @ 08:26:46

      Hi Alyce! I didn’t write about it specifically, but a concern that I have is how much things will cost to keep up with our knowledge in the field. Seems like a running theme that we have a lot of little things we have to pay for and it adds up! I like what you said specific to personal growth as well. I think the self-care aspect is important but I never thought of it specific to personal growth. Now that you said that I completely agree that it does directly impact your ability to be a clinician and grow both personally and professionally.

      Reply

    • Jayson
      Feb 18, 2020 @ 21:24:36

      Hey Alyce, I agree with your comment on “I really want a supervisor to challenge me, hold me accountable, and give me the constructive criticism I need to truly grow as a professional. I would hate to have a supervisor who is “too” nice, I want the blunt honesty whether it’s good or bad”. I currently have a supervisor at my internship who is blunt, tells me right in the face when I made a mistake or call me out on something that I should be doing and why I am not doing it. Sure, nobody likes negative feedback or criticism, but without that, how can we grow and enhance in our counseling abilities. I really like it how my supervisor is straightforward with me and I fear I won’t get the same supervision when my internship ends.

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    • Marissa Martufi
      Feb 20, 2020 @ 10:47:36

      Alyce, I totally agree with what you said about having a supervisor that is “too nice”. I think it’s so important to have a supervisor that can be honest with me and tell me what I am doing well and not so well. If you are never told what you’re doing wrong or could improve upon, then how can you know you need to work on those things?! Constructive criticism will only make us better therapists and being challenged, will only help us to become better at what we do. It’s so important to be supported but also guided as to what we should improve upon. Having a supervisor that is too nice could potentially hinder that and allow us to sort of stay in a ‘comfort zone’ that may not really be beneficial for professional development or personal growth.

      Reply

  4. Becca Green
    Feb 18, 2020 @ 08:21:26

    There are several different ways that I think I can best maintain and expand my knowledge within the counseling field. At my full time job I already do my best to attend the in-house and external trainings that are offered. I have attended several conferences over the last couple of years as well. These are some of the most engaging ways I think I could ensure that I’m continually developing and maintaining my counseling competency. I tend to be someone who enjoys going to trainings and conferences and we have to get those CEUs somehow!

    Additionally, I think it would be important to somewhat regularly do some research to see what new research has been published since graduating in regards to CBT and other evidence based practices. Keeping up with the changes and updates that are made to important texts could be beneficial as well.

    I think another effective way to keep up with what is new in the field is just connecting with coworkers and being active during individual and group supervision. Talking with colleagues and other professionals in the field and understanding the resources they have used to develop or maintain their knowledge can be really helpful in seeing different areas that I may not have explored within the field, especially as a new clinician.

    Reply

    • Mikala Korbey
      Feb 19, 2020 @ 13:09:51

      Becca, I guess I forgot about keeping up with the readings when I was thinking about writing this discussion post. Honestly, that sounds like my least favorite option, but know that it is the best way to keep up with current evidence based treatments, and wonder how I might incorporate reading into my life maybe on a weekly basis. Maybe it is something I can work into my life schedule” once a week or something to keep as up to date and educated as possible.

      Reply

    • Sarah Mombourquette
      Feb 20, 2020 @ 10:49:45

      Hi Becca, I agree with the point you made about trying to take advantage of the in-house trainings offered. I think that sometimes it can be so easy to overlook those as beneficial, but I always end up leaving those trainings with so many new ideas. I haven’t been to a conference, but your comments on it seem like it would be an awesome thing to get involved in. I definitely think that staying up to date on research is really important. I also think that that is something that we are all competent in after completing this program, so I feel we should all hold ourselves accountable to staying on top of evidence-based intervention research.

      Reply

    • Dee
      Feb 20, 2020 @ 20:15:37

      Becca,
      You make a good point about using our coworkers for information. We do this in class, why not in the workplace? I guess I only saw my supervisor in this light but our coworkers are an excellent resource! I think my fear was to bother other people that are already busy, but this is a great opportunity to learn. Thanks for the idea!

      Reply

    • Nicole Plona
      Feb 22, 2020 @ 13:15:39

      Becca,
      I totally agree with the idea of keeping up with research. The more information we have around the effectiveness of interventions and treatment types, the better off we are in providing assistance to our clients. Reading and collecting research is not alway my favorite thing to do but I know it will help me grow in this profession the long run. I also enjoyed reading about your ideas on connecting with coworkers. This can be a great support system in the work place and can create a great collaborative/teamwork environment.

      Reply

  5. Jayson
    Feb 18, 2020 @ 21:16:52

    I 100% agree with the section of “Consider Counseling for Yourself” since I just started seeing my first therapist several months ago. Based on my personal experience, I can say that for me, it is like 1,000,000 times more difficult being in the client seat than it is being in the therapist seat! However, with my experience, I can begin to understand what it can be like being the client and understand what my clients can potentially be feeling during our sessions. Furthermore, I have learned so much from my therapist that I have even adopted some of their counseling skills onto my own practice and I have learned what not to do during my sessions as well. Regarding the “Practice What You Preach” section, practicing the techniques on myself has extremely helped me gain an awareness and insight about what sort of difficulties my clients may be having when performing the technique. For instance, my therapist taught me the Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique (PMRT) and due to learning it from him and practicing this technique constantly, I learned what can make this technique hard for me and thus when I teach my clients this technique, I can anticipate potential obstacles they may experience when performing the technique. Overall, being in the client seat and practicing the techniques that we teach our clients can absolutely benefit our counseling skills and becoming competent counselors.

    Regarding the CEU’s, it is pretty exciting attending such trainings to help develop our counseling skills. Attending these CEUs allows us to educate ourselves even more after school is all done. However, the concerns that I have for the CEU is simply knowing how to find such trainings. On top of that, the reading mentioned that these trainings will not always offer you a CEU and you need to first identify if the training is approved by the NBCC otherwise you won’t get the CEU and it would have just been a waste of time! Some of these trainings cost serious money and I do not want to waste my time and especially my money on a training that will not even offer me a CEU. I just would like to learn how to identify if a training is approved by the NBCC before I apply for the training.

    Reply

    • Shannon O'Brien
      Feb 20, 2020 @ 15:33:19

      Jayson – thank you for being so open about your personal experience with therapy! I think it’s awesome that you have found the experience so helpful in multiple aspects. I think it is so important to best understand where out client’s distress as well as success stems from. It makes us more relatable and human. I also really benefitted from the information about the CEUs and what trainings are actually approved. I had no idea about these requirements before and none of us want to waste our time especially when we are looking to gain/maintain our licenses!

      Reply

  6. Rachel DiLima
    Feb 19, 2020 @ 10:46:18

    Regarding continuing my level of competency, I found this chapter helpful in making a checklist of factors to consider in my future employment. Since I already prioritize good supervision and peer support, I found it validating that those factors are important for competency. I also found it really interesting when the chapter recommended observing people on a similar skill level, rather than someone more advanced. I had taken the opposite track and assumed that observing people at a higher level than I would help me become a more competent counselor. Reading the points Dr. V made about observing similar skill level, however, has convinced me that I need to do more of that currently and in the future. Continuing in that vein, self-observation and “practicing what you preach” is very important to me, and it is something that I continue to work on. In example, I got into a car accident while driving down to DE over Christmas. It totaled my car, and it put me off from driving long distances. I recognized this, and realized the best thing for me to do would be to make the drive again and not avoid it. Essentially, exposure. So, this past weekend I took the opportunity to drive down to DE and back. I was VERY anxious (especially driving through the state I got into the accident in), but getting through it was very helpful. Driving back home felt even less stressful. If I expect my clients to expose themselves to anxiety-producing situations, I should be ready to also do it myself. I also work on self-monitoring and challenging unhelpful thoughts, which can be difficult but beneficial. Finally, the list of necessary CEUs to maintain licensure was helpful (although stressful), and it hammered home the importance of checking to see if a future employer will provide fundamental education or offer opportunities to go off-site to receive the necessary education. All in all, its a continuing journey.

    Reply

    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Feb 19, 2020 @ 11:58:07

      Rachel,

      I had the same exact thought as you in terms of observing people on a similar skill level because I also thought that it was always the opposite but now reading that, I have to be more aware of that now and in the future as well. Also, thank you for sharing your own personal experience because I can only imagine how you must have felt in that scary situation. However, you were able to use the skills you have learned to help yourself and I think that is really brave of you to apply the skills you learned to yourself and takes courage especially in terms of exposure because that is not an easy intervention to do. But, you were able to do it and overcome it and I appreciate you sharing that.

      Reply

  7. Mikala Korbey
    Feb 19, 2020 @ 13:04:38

    I plan to take full advantage of supervision and consulting with my co-workers, as well as attend CEUs. I just worry about the expense of CEUs, and finding the time to go. Are the trainings during the week? Will I have to use a personal day in order to go? Will my employer offer a reimbursement for the trainings? Those are questions I know will be worked out in time, especially once I know where I am working, they are just things I wonder. I also think it would be great for me to start incorporating more mindfulness things into my daily life to keep my anxieties and worries down, and that is something that was discussed in the readings as a way to practice what you preach. That is something I fully agree with, I am not be good at it always, but I do think it is important to practice what we preach, and I think moving forward, I want to make a more conscious effort to do so. I also think that mindfulness and meditation will help me stay more calm and be a better clinician.
    As mentioned in the reading, I have also heard from others in the field that having a therapist is something that can be really helpful for a lot of people. One woman I am close with, who works in the field, continuously emphasizes the importance of people in the mental health field having therapists. I am curious if other people have heard that as well from supervisors or others in the field too.

    Reply

    • Sarah Mombourquette
      Feb 20, 2020 @ 10:53:47

      Hi Mikala, I definitely can relate to your concerns about the time and money needed to go to CEUs. I also share that concern about having memberships to journals that will allow for staying up to date on research. It seems like it all really adds up to a lot. I agree with your point about mindfulness. Ultimately I think that can be so beneficial to personal growth and competency because it allows for increased attention and awareness and it also allows for more practical applications of mindfulness for clients. I agree that it is important for us as therapists to have our own therapists. Since this job can definitely lead to burnout, prioritizing mental health for us is just as important as our clients’ prioritizing their mental health.

      Reply

    • Dee
      Feb 20, 2020 @ 20:11:50

      Mikala, I share your worry about CEUs. I feel like given how we learned our salaries will be relatively low, I worry about affording to pay for these CEUs out of pocket and if we will be expected to do them on workdays and take time off and ultimately lose double the cost. I just wish there were more clear answers here even though I know it depends on your workplace

      Reply

  8. Dee
    Feb 19, 2020 @ 18:58:12

    I have definitely had thoughts about how I can assure that I am continuously developing and maintaining my counseling competency. This program has continuously emphasized using evidence based practiced and effective techniques. I do all I can to keep up on research and try to attend the Beck conferences when they are available so that I am informing my treatment with effective interventions. I intend to do this even after graduate, both in between the years of getting my license and after. I understand that CEUs are intended to keep licensed counselors up to date, but on top of what is expected, time permitting I would like to seek out conferences and trainings that interest me and are applicable to my current case loads. As many of my classmates pointed out, I also enjoyed the section on practicing what you preach and I intend to use this even after graduating and licensure. If I find myself catastrophizing I attempt to challenge my distortions, or try out coping skills etc. In essence I do try to use the skills I use on my client, and when I assign a worksheet I do try it out first so that I know what I am asking of my client. In all honesty it really does help in treatment because you know that much more about the treatment and you are truly empathizing with your client as you’ve gone through it as well. Another thing I considered similar to my classmates is that supervision, as it is now, will be really important for me. I have really benefited from relying on those more experienced than myself, and even after graduating and licensure I will continue to utilize supervisor to challenge myself as well as check in on my counseling skills and techniques overall. I’m hoping to have a checks and balances type of system to assure that I am being the most effective counselor I can be, with room to grow and learn more.

    Reply

    • Marissa Martufi
      Feb 20, 2020 @ 10:53:55

      Dee, I agree that relying on those more experienced than myself. It’s so important that we be honest as far as what we know and what we don’t know and that’s where supervision really comes into play. I understand that CEU’s and outside trainings are also important but having a supervisor that can challenge us and also check in with us as to what we are doing well and what we need to focus on improving. I want a supervisor that can be honest in providing me that type of feedback too.

      Reply

  9. Sarah Mombourquette
    Feb 20, 2020 @ 10:33:14

    I think that the most important thing for me to feel as though I am continually developing and maintaining counseling competency is to stay up to date on evidence-based research. As I continue to develop in the field, I think it is so important to be able to recognize where evidence-based research evolves. I recognize that this will take consistent effort and upkeep on my part as sometimes this information can be difficult to find, but hopefully I will be involved in an agency that allows for increased opportunities to learn and grow through access to new research. A second important aspect of this for me would be to have a competent supervisor. When I first started my internship, my supervisor asked me what is most effective for me in terms of how criticism is communicated to me. I told her that I like to hear it upfront, without sugarcoating. This has allowed me to have clear and concrete instructions for how to improve. I feel that if I had a supervisor who was not able to be upfront with me like this, it might not allow for me to develop as much. In terms of supervisors, I would also like to have a supervisor who prioritizes evidence-based research and who is willing to explore new research findings as the field continues to evolve. Furthermore, I would also hope to work in an agency where learning from peers is possible. I often have found that discussion with co-workers is how I learn new and creative methods of implementation of interventions for working with kids that I wouldn’t have found in a textbook. Although I am currently planning to continue working with the population I am with right now, I also think that it would be beneficial for personal growth and development to explore and learn about work with other populations.

    Reply

    • Alyce Almeida
      Feb 21, 2020 @ 13:53:25

      Sarah I loved your comment on learning from your peers. I think this gets totally looked over a lot and feel like it could be so important for us! I too agree with being able to learn from our fellow peers we’re working with because their experience and ideas could be so different and quite helpful for our clients and professional growth as well

      Reply

    • Mikala korbey
      Feb 21, 2020 @ 16:48:31

      Sarah, I completely agree with you about having a competent supervisor. Without that I feel like a lot of opportunities for learning and growth are missed. I value supervision so much, and am not as satisfied as I could be with my current supervision, and that is something I am definitely going to be looking for going in my job search. I also value learning from peer/co-workers. They are the people who are in the same agency and field as we are and I think they can be valuable tools. I find it helpful to talk with the other intern I work with now, or other friends who are in the field to run ideas by them and use them as sounding boards. You never know what other things other people have tried and it can be a great way to get new ideas!

      Reply

  10. Marissa Martufi
    Feb 20, 2020 @ 10:42:00

    I think professional development is critical, especially after graduation. I think it may be easy to feel like once you are in the field, then you don’t need formal professional development, but I think that professional development and personal growth is essential for making you a better professional/clinician in the field. I think one of the best ways to assure that you are continually developing and maintaining counseling competency is to be in frequent contact and connection with a supervisor. As an intern, we have constantly interaction with our supervisors which is helpful to growing as a clinician and learning as we go through the process of internship. However, this is important to continue beyond internship, after graduation. Having a supervisor that is willing to be honest with you, show you and guide you through the things you are doing well and not so well is also extremely important. If you’re not being told what you’re doing wrong or how you can improve upon what you are already doing, then how can you be the best clinician you can be? This also ties into personal development and working on your skills independently too. Attending trainings, reading new literature, doing “homework” to increase your knowledge and continuing your education in the field is so important. As a clinician, you will never have all the answers but it will be important to continue to learn new skills and remain up-to-date with what’s going on in the field and also what new skills may be beneficial to you and your practice. Continuously getting feedback and support from a supervisor and also independently pursuing continuing education are critical for professional development.

    For personal growth, I think it will be important for me to find a therapist for myself. I think something I struggle with is separating work from home or leaving work at work and feel that I may overwhelm or burn myself out due to this. I think seeing a therapist will be extremely beneficial because it will also allow me to practice what I preach and also work on myself as a person. Self-care is something I really struggle with and am aware I need to improve upon. I think that seeing a therapist and also scheduling time for myself to do the things I enjoy will be critical. I need to be honest with myself and allow myself the time to focus on me in order to be the best therapist I can be in the work environment.

    Reply

    • Liisa Biltcliffe
      Feb 22, 2020 @ 12:05:38

      Marissa, I think you have good insight into what you need for yourself. Like I said to Shannon, I have been in therapy for years and it’s been really beneficial for me, as well as giving me an inside perspective for helping my clients. I agree that having a good supervisor is extremely important and that continuing to have access to someone after graduating that can provide that aspect is super important. This is one reason why I wanted to work in an environment that had a team aspect to it because I wanted to have the access to colleagues for advice/feedback while working.

      Reply

  11. Shannon O'Brien
    Feb 20, 2020 @ 15:27:29

    I think I need to adopt lot what is suggested out of this week’s reading. First, practicing what I preach needs to be accomplished. The best way I can explain to my clients the importance of each intervention or worksheet is if I have practiced it myself. There have definitely been times where I introduce an intervention to a client and explain it’s importance to their treatment while also thinking to myself , “Um you don’t even do this to help yourself, so how can you confidently tell this person to try it???” All joking aside, I think practicing some techniques and effectively integrating them into my own life will help me truly understand the benefits as well as the difficulties. I also feel as if I should strongly consider therapy for myself. I had been as a teenager, but I was extremely resistant to it and never gave it a fair shot. I think this could better help me put myself into my client’s shoes. I also feel as if there is always room for personal growth! More specially related to my internship population, I definitely need to hit up a few AA/NA meetings. This is something I wish I have already done. However, it is a goal of mine. It is something I recommend frequently, but sometimes feel weird doing it as I really have no idea what a meeting is like. Even thought I am close to the end of my internship experience and have a set schedule and group of clients, I still sit in on other clinician’s groups when I have time. I learn something new every time and find new ways to engage my clients for my own groups. Finding a site that emphasizes CEUs is a huge priority for me. Obviously I will want to attend to keep up my license, but I will also want to be encouraged to end more classes/trainings than required. Staying up to date on empirical research will probably been the hardest for me. It is probably the most convenient to do with the internet, but finding the motivation to read journal articles after years of needing to do them for class I know will be like pulling teeth for me. I wonder so frequently what my life will be like without school, and I am sure for a while it will be lovely. However, I honestly have always loved school and to learn. Therefore, keeping up my education but more on my own terms is something I look forward to for sure!

    Reply

    • Liisa Biltcliffe
      Feb 22, 2020 @ 11:42:07

      Shannon, I am like you, what you said about loving being in school and learning. I love school and learning has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing. There is a part of me that is going to miss it. I tend to thrive when I am in the structured setting of school as well. I like your idea of attending more trainings than necessary to maintain one’s license. That’s a good idea. I also think that you have the right idea about wanting to be on the receiving end of therapy just to see what it is like for your clients. I have been in therapy off and on for many years and find it extremely beneficial, and I find that being in therapy I learn what works for me and what doesn’t work for me. Attending an AA/NA meeting is a good idea too.

      Reply

    • Rachel DiLima
      Feb 22, 2020 @ 22:38:54

      Shannon,

      I really respect your commitment to find ways to empathize with your clients. Attending AA/NA meetings, as well as sitting in as many groups as you can, is a great way to learn more and get different perspectives. I also wanted to commend you on strongly considering therapy. As an adult who has been through therapy, going into the therapeutic experience willingly is far different from attending it as a begrudging teenager (which I also was). Acknowledging when you need a little more assistance is such a strength, and your clients will be able to pick up on that when you encourage them to attend sessions. Keep doing your great work!

      Reply

  12. Nicole Plona
    Feb 20, 2020 @ 15:43:10

    I believe continuing to grow professionally and personally in this field is extremely important to be able to provide effective treatment because new information and forms of beneficial treatment are always being discovered and researched. The best way I can continually develop and maintain my counseling competency is to be an active reader of new studies and research being done in the field. By collecting this information throughout my career I will gather the most up to date information available. Another way I can grow in this profession is to attend trainings that are available to improve upon my abilities as a clinician. The reading mentioned having quality supervision which would also be important to develop and maintain counseling competency. I am currently lucky enough to have a great supervisor at my internship placement, so this will be an important factor for me to seek out in wherever I get a job. I would want my supervisor in the future to be able to assist me with new clients, but also hold me accountable and challenge me to create potential ideas on my own as well. Along with this it would be important for me to hear what I’m doing well or need to work on. I would appreciate if my supervisor gave me constructive criticism of my current work so I will be better able to identify the areas I need to improve.

    Reply

    • Rachel DiLima
      Feb 22, 2020 @ 22:46:14

      Nicole,

      I agree with you that there are multiple ways to keep oneself informed in the field. I also think that keeping up with research and published studies is important to maintain a level of efficacy and relevance as a counselor. I’ve been curious as to how we keep up with research? Is it through involvement in certain organizations? Is it through subscriptions to certain publications? All of the above? I’m looking forward to some guidance as to how to do this without professors recommending articles! But seriously, it will be a challenge to keep up with research in our field, but I’m sure we will be able to handle it!

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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