Topic 5: Professional Development {by 2/25}

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 2/25.  Post your two replies no later than 2/27.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zacharie Duvarney
    Feb 15, 2021 @ 10:35:16

    What are your thoughts on the best ways to assure you continue developing your counseling competencies?

    At the start of this week’s reading, Dr. V talks about how one must implement counseling skills into their own life to become proficient. Personally, I have been working at this for the last several months. I discussed in my last blog post how I have begun to incorporate mindfulness exercises into my daily routine. This is one counseling technique among many I have begun to incorporate into my life. I have found that employing these skills not only helps me become more knowledgeable about how they work, but also allows me to experience the challenges my clients face when attempting these things for themselves. As counselors, I believe one of the most important things we can do is diversify our interests, competencies, and experiences to allow us to better empathize with others. In this regard, I have already noticed how confronting these challenges myself has improved my work with clients, as I am better able to understand them and offer suggestions and insight.

    Another suggestion Dr. V makes in his chapter is that practicing counselors should engage in their own therapy with another counselor. Again, I have personal experience in this domain, as I received counseling for about 1 year in my adolescence. These past experiences have been greatly beneficial to my professional development, as I can often anticipate what questions, concerns, and anxieties clients will have when engaging in therapy for the first time. As such, I often address many of these questions and uncertainties in my first several sessions with a new client, often before they ask. I have had multiple clients tell me that this approach was tremendously therapeutic. I also feel that I am able to “get the ball rolling” on therapy much faster, as being able to anticipate and quell client concerns leads to far less client resistance.

    Finally, among many other topics outlined in the chapter, Dr. V suggests attending professional seminars and training. This is something I have yet to do, but something I intend to do once I leave graduate school. I feel that remaining up to date on best practice is an essential part of our profession, especially as the field as a whole becomes more accountable and continues to integrate into physical healthcare systems. I anticipate that the continuing education (and hopefully pay grade) expectations of counselors will become more rigorous, and that these professional seminars will become more commonplace. As such, I will be striving to attend these seminars as much as possible. Also, I want to become proficient in emerging evidenced-based therapies as they arise.

    Reply

    • Jess Costello
      Feb 15, 2021 @ 13:49:15

      Hi Zach! All of the points you made are great methods for ensuring that your skills continue to develop after graduation. Engaging in your own therapy as a client with another counselor, plus practicing the techniques you recommend to your clients, will definitely help you identify the areas you have to improve on and get a better feel for some of the obstacles your own clients might be facing.

      Reply

    • Katrina Piangerelli
      Feb 15, 2021 @ 18:36:06

      Hi Zach,

      I think a lot of what you wrote overlapped with what I thought as well. There are a lot of different ways we can continue to develop professionally and personally. I have also been more aware of utilizing different skills in my personal life. I think this has helped me to become a better therapist and also has helped me personally. I have also attended therapy in the past and found that it was helpful in different ways. Attending different trainings and seminars is also important in gaining more knowledge about different interventions and populations of clients. Another important part of developing professionally is also supervision through your supervisor. This is something that has definitely helped me learn a lot and also better myself professionally.

      Reply

    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Feb 18, 2021 @ 08:33:17

      Hi Zach,

      I really like what you mentioned about trying to implement counseling skills into our own, every day lives. I think there is a lot to be said for being able to utilize and practice the skills ourselves before we ask it of our clients. I have definitely tried using skills like exposure in my own every day life and have found that I can benefit even from being “my own therapist.” I have also tried implementing behavioral activation strategies and keeping myself on as structured of a routine as possible. That way, I can keep my motivation up.

      Reply

    • Melissa Pope
      Feb 20, 2021 @ 13:52:18

      Zach,

      One of the funny things about personal and professional development is that with the plethora of ways to grow, only a select number will work for you as a person. I always try to keep that in the back of my mind, because there is so much that I want to do, and so very little time, and unfortunately only one life in which to do it.

      I applaud you for the mindfulness, I have done some grounding and then teeter totter back and forth with the meditation and calm app to help me, but my ADHD always gets in the way (lol-monkey brain). And as a good therapist would say, all the more reason to keep going, but it is really hard. I envy those who are committed to doing it- because the effects seem to be really beneficial.

      I have in the past too had a therapist, and that is very helpful for me as well. That is on my list of things to do once I get a job, i think it will be important during all the stress to go to a non-partial person to process everything out with.

      Reply

  2. Jess Costello
    Feb 15, 2021 @ 13:42:26

    Beyond receiving competent, CBT-grounded supervision in my next full-time position and attending trainings and seminars for CEUs, I think one of the most crucial ways to maintain my competencies after graduating is to practice the exercises I would recommend for some of my clients on myself. In addition to helping me improve my own thoughts and behaviors, this process will help me gain more insight into what it’s like for the clients to challenge themselves and some of the obstacles they may face in processes like exposures and cognitive restructuring. I also feel that personal therapy will be useful and hope to be in a position to take advantage of such services. It will also be important to stay aware of new evidence-based strategies.

    Reply

    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Feb 15, 2021 @ 14:20:15

      Jess,

      I think practicing interventions in your personal life is a great method of maintaining competency, and as you saw in my reflection, is something I have done myself. I suggest starting with the skills you find to be most uncomfortable, as this will mostly accurately resemble the challenges your clients will encounter. For me personally, mindfulness exercises were very awkward at first, and for this reason, I forced myself to continue practicing them.

      Reply

    • Katrina Piangerelli
      Feb 15, 2021 @ 18:30:55

      Hi Jess,

      I agree that trainings and supervision are great ways to continue to learn and develop professionally in this field. I think it is also beneficial for us to utilize the skills we are teaching our clients. This helps us to gain a better understanding and also will benefit us as we improve our own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. I also think what you said about staying aware of new evidence-based strategies is important.

      Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Feb 18, 2021 @ 23:49:39

      Hi Jess,
      I agree that emerging ourselves into seminars, trainings, and CEUs is a great way for us to expand in our professional development. I think with those types of educational tools, we will be able to gain not only more basic insight, but specifically more diverse clinical skills which will be helpful while we are working with clients in the field.

      Reply

    • Kelsey Finnegan
      Feb 21, 2021 @ 22:14:45

      Hi Jess,

      I agree that practicing exercises we use with our clients on ourselves is an important aspect of maintaining professional competency. Like you said, this can help us anticipate obstacles our clients may face and generate more practical ways for them to overcome those obstacles.

      Reply

  3. Katrina Piangerelli
    Feb 15, 2021 @ 18:23:41

    Based on the reading due this week, there are a few different things I would consider to be important in professional development and personal growth. One of these is implementing counseling skills into my own personal life. This is something that I have recently started trying to do in more direct ways. Previously, I would use some skills, but never really became as committed as I have been since starting my internship. I think teaching these skills while also utilizing them myself has really made a difference in my understanding of the skills. I think this has also improved my work with my clients because I am better able to understand what they are going through and any potential areas of confusion. The reading also suggested that we seek our own personal therapy. This is something that I have done in the past and has helped me gain a better understanding of therapy from a client’s perspective. It has also helped me gain a better understanding of client’s potential areas of anxiety when seeking therapy for the first time or seeking therapy with a new therapist. I think it is also important to seek supervision from a competent supervisor who has experience and knowledge of evidence based practices. Lastly, attending professional seminars and trainings are also important and will be necessary in the future. Currently, I try to attend any training that I find interesting or that may help me gain more knowledge in interventions for different clients. I think that this has helped me learn a lot about the field and different treatment modalities such as DBT, TF-CBT, Seeking Safety, and more.

    Reply

    • Melissa Pope
      Feb 20, 2021 @ 13:45:28

      Hello Katrina,

      I chose your post to reply to because I feel that we have some stuff in common. I too have more recently in the past year been trying to implement the different therapeutic interventions on myself, and it is amazing how you do find a more fluid comfortability once trying them on yourself. I found myself the other day in the car, uneasy about something in myself and doing the “downward arrow” to get at the root of what it means about my core beliefs. And funny enough my end result was a core belief that i struggle with.

      I have to also say, that your working more on yourself certainly show in your clinical skills proven by the wonderful process recording you presented in seminar last week. Keep up the good work, you are doing a great job.

      Also, I need to find a therapist in the future, i have had a few in the past and they did do wonders for me. I firmly believe that if I am taking care of my body then i should take care of my head, and check ins with a therapist is a good way to do that.

      Reply

    • Kelsey Finnegan
      Feb 21, 2021 @ 22:26:39

      Hi Katrina,

      I agree that receiving our own personal therapy can allow for greater empathy and understanding of potential anxieties our clients may face when seeking therapy for the first time or seeing a new therapist. I’ve also found that attending trainings of different treatment modalities has helped expand my knowledge of the field and how to tailor my approach according to best practices for specific disorders and populations.

      Reply

  4. Ashley Foster
    Feb 15, 2021 @ 22:00:36

    I think an important area for myself for personal growth will be too slow down once after graduating and finding a new balance. As stated before, I have overloaded my whole time while in this master’s program and I am really seeing the signs and side effects of burnout. I will of course be working after graduation and still be busy for sure, but I want to begin to start picking up the pieces that I have avoided for some time so I can be the best “me” I can be. Apart of this will be implement exercise back into my schedule as I haven’t been able to partake in physical activity due to time restraints. Another piece of this is I want to start working on my own problem areas in counseling which I also have been avoiding. I’ve found that much of my overloading comes from my roots of avoidance and keeping myself at full capacity all the time keeps me from becoming immersed in emotions. I want to be able to not only set an example to my clients that getting help is a normal part of life but also for my daughter.

    For my professional development, I want to start expanding my understanding of the medical field. My main goal outside of private practice is to bring mental health, clinical counseling, and medical together as one while working in some sort of medical intensive care unit. Working in health care and my own medical primary and secondary experiences I have gained somewhat of a basic understanding for the medical model, policy, and procedures, but there is much more to learn. I believe growing in this area will help me achieve my goals and make me a better provider as a whole. I plan on continually developing and maintaining my own counseling competencies through supervision and outreaching and consulting with other professionals in the field. I also want to continue implementing interventions I have learned from this program and expand them to find ways in implementing with my ideal population.

    Reply

    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Feb 17, 2021 @ 09:30:30

      Ashley,

      I think that gaining an understanding of medical practices, particularly within the realm of psychopharmacology, is a worthwhile endeavor in terms of professional competency. It is important that we as counselors understand how medications influence our clients’ presentations. It is also important we learn to coordinate with medical professionals for the purpose of improving treatment adherence on both ends.

      I also think it is important to have a basic understanding of various physiological ailments, as these conditions often affect mental health presentation as well.

      Overall, I think your interest in the medical field is beneficial for professional competency.

      Reply

    • Jess Costello
      Feb 17, 2021 @ 12:12:06

      Hi Ashley,

      I know you have overloaded and worked extra hard in this graduate program and can definitely relate to feeling some burnout. I also look forward to being able to pick up some pieces of my life after graduation that there just isn’t time for while working and going to school. Identifying your own avoidance strategies and becoming the best you is a great goal, especially as you stated to be an example for your clients and your daughter.

      Reply

    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Feb 18, 2021 @ 08:36:17

      Hi Ashley,

      I definitely understand the burnout you are feeling! Having overloaded the entire program myself too, I know how stressful it has been and you have the added factor of being a mom on top of it all! Though I am thankful I had the opportunity and drive to be able to graduate early as you have decided to do as well, I definitely wonder what our experience would have been like had we not overworked ourselves quite as much. I would not change a thing about what I have done so far, but I am certainly looking forward to slowing down and beginning a normal schedule of one commitment (work) rather than juggling work, internship, classes, and everything else that goes on in my days.

      The finish line is in sight; we got this!

      Reply

    • Bianca Thomas
      Feb 21, 2021 @ 13:22:29

      Ashley,

      Thank you for being willing to be so vulnerable and express those challenges, personally and occupationally in your development. I think so many of us are faced with the challenge of being overworked, overloaded and under-nourished (both mentally, emotionally and spiritually), due to the chaos that has been going on along with every other responsibility that we’ve had. I noticed within myself I really struggled keeping some of the goals I set for myself, such as weight-loss and sticking to a diet due to the stress I was feeling over the past few semesters. Partaking in my own counseling and coaching on and off over the past few years made a significant change in my ability to function adaptively and healthily, so I hope that you are able to find that same peace as I did.

      Reply

  5. Taylor O'Rourke
    Feb 18, 2021 @ 08:27:13

    I think one of the best ways to assure that I am continually developing and maintaining my counseling competency is receiving frequent, good quality supervision. I know that many employers will not provide supervision, especially once post-grad internship is completed, however I find it essential that supervision is ongoing throughout one’s career. There is always going to be a counselor out there that knows more than you and has more experience, so it is important to take advantage of that and learn from them. Ideally, I would prefer getting supervision from a CBT-oriented counselor. However, if this is not possible, it can still be beneficial to gain other perspectives from different theoretical orientations as well. Another way that I can continually develop and maintain my skills in counseling is by attending workshops, seminars, and other presentations that count as continuing education credits. I love that CEUs are mandatory in this field because it forces us to stay up to date and to continuously learn. Because counseling is so subjective and there are many skills and orientations to learn, it is refreshing knowing that everyone in the field continues to brush up on their skills or learn new ones. Lastly, I also think there is a lot to learn from colleagues; not just supervisors. I know in my office for internship, not all of us have a strong CBT foundation. It has been interesting to hear different perspectives and ideas of how other counselors would handle certain client situations.

    Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Feb 18, 2021 @ 23:42:57

      Hi Taylor,
      I agree that having supervision is one of many ways to continuing on our journey with professional development. Although I also do prefer working with someone with a CBT background, I do enjoying hearing other perspectives. I think this alone we as CBT therapist can learn a lot from. I think as CBT therapist we can get stuck on the fact of it having to go the “CBT way”, but hearing from others in the field, that isn’t always true. I think CEUs is one way that we can expand not only in our CBT professional development, but also educating ourselves to what else is out there and what is up and coming.

      Reply

    • Bianca Thomas
      Feb 21, 2021 @ 13:18:04

      Taylor,

      I really appreciated your comment on wanting to maintain supervision as long as possible. I feel the exact same way and want to try my best to gain mentors as well as peers who can continually give me feedback and challenge me to grow throughout my professional career.

      Reply

  6. Melissa Pope
    Feb 20, 2021 @ 13:37:36

    Upon graduation, I will be continuing with a CAGS, for the sole purpose to continue and develop my competency/knowledge within the counseling framework. Furthermore I plan to get an initial job within a public school system that will require CEU’s to maintain my license. Once I obtain my LMHC, I do have a “bucket list” of certificate programs and other licenses that I want to have, to assure that I am the providing the most up to date and a variety of approaches for my population, which will be pediatric trauma, medical, and palliative care. I have even considered getting my PA degree which would put me back in school full time at some point for 2 years. Not sure where the road will lead, but I am one of the few that thoroughly enjoy learning, so I have no worries of continuing my professional and personal development till the day I have died.

    Reply

    • Adam Rene
      Feb 23, 2021 @ 14:43:17

      Melissa, it certainly sounds like, unsurprisingly, you’ve got the next several years planned out! My biggest advice to you is not to be afraid to roll with the punches, especially if things don’t happen on the timeline that you expect. I fully expect you to gain an incredible wealth of knowledge and be such an incredibly asset to your clients, that’s for certain. But also knowing you, I wouldn’t want your time table to set off any insecurities or anxieties, as that is something that we are encouraged to own and not be under the authority of as counselors!

      Reply

  7. Bianca Thomas
    Feb 21, 2021 @ 13:16:04

    have set a goal for myself to read at least 10 books each year (only 10 because I really want to master them and not just read them leisurely) around any psychology, human development and relationships topics to ensure that I am staying up to date and constantly learning. I truly have a growth and learning mindset and believe that I am a forever student. I truly love learning so I am going to make sure that I stick to that goal, as well as go to seminars and other trainings whenever possible.

    Reply

    • Paul Avolese
      Feb 24, 2021 @ 11:04:12

      Hi Bianca,

      I really like your goal of reading 10 books a year with the mindset that you can master them. I have a habit of buying a lot of books and am slowly making my way through the ones I have while still purchasing others. It’s really nice to sit with what I read and review and reference the books from time to time. It also helps with recommendations for clients!

      Reply

    • Mariah Fraser
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 18:21:06

      Hi Bianca,

      I like the goal you set, of reading consistently as a way to ensure that you are up to date and constantly taking in new information. You’ve mentioned a few books in the past (maybe not specifically CBT or therapy-related) that have been interesting to me, and I’d like to take a look. I think I’d forgotten how much I love to read a good book that challenges you and motivates you to look at your own life and choices.

      Reply

  8. Kelsey Finnegan
    Feb 21, 2021 @ 14:43:06

    Other than receiving quality supervision and regularly consulting with colleagues, I think one of the best ways to ensure that I am continually developing my counseling competency is to maintain a focus on personal growth and self-reflection. Journaling and practicing the same skills/techniques I utilize with my clients is an important piece of that. Engaging in my own therapy from time to time is also something I plan to continue with as I believe having an unbiased, outside perspective allows for greater self-awareness, which will in turn improve my effectiveness as a therapist. Additionally, I plan to continue expanding my competency and knowledge by regularly attending workshops, seminars, and trainings once I graduate.

    Reply

  9. Paola Gutierrez
    Feb 22, 2021 @ 16:06:49

    As several others have already mentioned, engaging in my own therapy is something that I’m currently doing, both to help me with some personal stuff as well as to process and reflect on the therapeutic relationship and experience. Like others have talked about, grad school has been a busy time and I have been feeling some burnout. Although the pace of work likely won’t change all too much in the next couple of years, I hope to be able to re-incorporate activities that I have neglected for awhile, such as exercise. Spending more time engaging in healthy, fulfilling activities will not only promote my own self-care, but to provide that model for clients to do the same.

    Part of my ongoing professional development would involve staying updated and informed on the research literature as much as possible in order to continue providing empirically-supported treatments and interventions with my clients.

    I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in several trainings through my internship site. I plan to continue my training once I graduate and hope to learn several treatment interventions, such as prolonged exposure.

    And of course, continued regular supervision – ideally from a CBT practitioner, but I recognize the opportunity to learn different skills or approaches from others with different theoretical backgrounds. I’ve appreciated group supervision as well during my internship, and one of my goals is to continue participating in group supervision opportunities post-graduation.

    Reply

    • Adam Rene
      Feb 23, 2021 @ 14:46:54

      Paola, I so resonate with your statement about neglecting areas of your life during grad school. I don’t think anyone could’ve accurately prepared us for how life-consuming grad school & internship can be. I am currently struggling with burnout myself and working to address it. Participating in trainings, if they’re good, can be so rewarding and give you a new perspective. in my experience these trainings can add a new wind under your sails and can promote fresh ideas. I look forward to attending more of these after graduating.

      Reply

    • Paul Avolese
      Feb 24, 2021 @ 11:11:52

      Hi Paola,

      I had forgotten my own therapy as a way to continue to grow; thanks for reminding me. It is nice to supplement the work that we do by seeking a sort of “personal” supervision as opposed to a professional one. Therapy has been especially important for me as I experience countertransference in internship. If I did not have the opportunity to work through my thoughts and feelings with someone else, I do not think I would be as effective as I could be with clients.

      Reply

    • Olivia L Corfey
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 14:32:50

      Paola,

      I most definitely identify with your experience, this busy time has negatively impacted my attention to my own self-care. Hopefully, once we graduate we have more time to evaluate our routine and work more positive self-care activities in there! So close! The trainings you have been engaging in seem to be really interesting and such a great way to actively learn and grow!

      Reply

  10. Adam Rene
    Feb 23, 2021 @ 14:39:53

    I had several thoughts related to concepts from Dr. V’s reading this week. With regard to practicing what you preach, I have utilized several of the CBT skills we’ve learned in my personal life and can thus speak to (1) their effectiveness and (2) creative ways to approach barriers to completing this skills outside of session. Regarding counseling for myself, I have really seriously considered in the last year investing in my own mental health professionally, as I am finding that as I work on practicing what I preach there are some things I’d like to work on to make me a better me. Regarding quality supervision, I am thankful that my work supervisor has been a key figure in my growth as a mental health counselor, she has literally watched me grow into the position I’ll be entering in to when I graduate. However, I am not completely satisfied with my current supervisor with regard to her empathy and sensitivity towards growth areas – she has recently been promoted and is thus much more focused on the ‘bottom line’ and less on the quality of work and the mental health of her staff. A new supervisor should step into her shoes within the next year, so this is encouraging to me that I get to start fresh in this new position with someone new. Regarding the continuation of formal training, I am fortunate that I have many opportunities through my agency to attend unique and variable trainings that I could use for CEUs. I firmly believe and was attracted to this field even more that staying up to date with new techniques, orientations, etc. was such an important component to maintaining licensure. I was also encouraged to read that acceptance of insecurities and anxieties is a plus and basically mandatory, rather than focusing on perfecting myself to be the ‘perfect’ counselor. I believe our own life journey and the uniqueness we bring to the position makes the job even more effective.

    Reply

    • Kara Rene
      Feb 24, 2021 @ 20:25:02

      Adam,

      It is so true that it is necessary to accept our own insecurities. I think that, if carefully presented, it can even be helpful to our clients and the therapeutic alliance to know that we are not perfect and are working to grow alongside them!

      Reply

    • Paola Gutierrez
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 17:15:47

      Hi Adam – I was encouraged by your comment about acceptance of our own insecurities and anxieties – I know I certainly have my share of those. I read your comment right after attending a DBT training, and your comment reminded me of that dialectic of acceptance and change. It’s important that we recognize and accept our insecurities and anxieties and at the same time work on those areas with the goal of becoming competent counselors.

      Reply

  11. Paul Avolese
    Feb 24, 2021 @ 10:57:17

    Continuing to develop as a counselor is something I have been trying to be mindful of since deciding to enter the field. I have noticed that when people neglect personal growth in their field(s), performance and effectiveness can suffer. As the chapter discusses, I try to stay up to date on literature. I perform my own research as well as read recommended findings. I also enjoy learning from other professionals through one-on-one conversations and pre-recorded lectures/presentations/podcasts.

    I do not think absorbing all this information is enough though. I also try to synthesize what I learn with who I am as a person. I practice techniques I read about on myself to gain a better understanding of their facets, including difficulties I may experience. I believe this helps me help clients to more effectively problem solve. In this way, I grow as a counselor. Understanding certain information on a deeper level also guides my path of development and helps me decide future areas for improvement.

    Lastly, continuing education is something I value. After spending several years outside of education before returning, I understand the importance of the academic environment’s role in my life. I can only accomplish so much on my own and seeking out communities of like-minded individuals inspires me to expect more out of myself. I have already started pursuing what would be considered CEs if I already had my degree and am planning on obtaining some certifications soon after I graduate.

    Reply

    • Kara Rene
      Feb 24, 2021 @ 20:22:43

      Paul,

      I completely agree with your point about how work quality suffers when people neglect to continue developing in their field. As someone who has been a client myself, I have chosen to walk away from counselors who seem to be clinging to outdated modalities or who do not seem competent in the intervention they are proposing!

      Reply

    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 15:19:36

      Hi Paul,

      I agree that remaining up-to-date on current (and past) literature is necessary in optimizing clinical ability. I liked how you expanded upon this thought by mentioning how you enjoy learning through one-on-one conversations with professionals. I find that I often forget about this basic, yet excellent form of learning that we all engage in so often.

      Reply

  12. Kara Rene
    Feb 24, 2021 @ 20:20:28

    I think that the most important way to assure that I am continuing to develop my counseling skills is to continually look honestly at my competencies and the work I am doing with my clients to ensure that I am not becoming complacent or over-confident in my skills. It will be equally important to engage in regular supervision with a competent, experienced, and knowledgeable supervisor and to actively seek relevant training and CEU opportunities. In addition, it is important to ensure that I am practicing the skills I am teaching my clients. This is an area in which I struggle and need to improve. Dr. V’s other suggestion of seeking my own counseling would help me be more accountable to this. In addition, seeking my own counseling provides valuable insight into what it is like to be a client and provides an important space to receive support and ensure that I am as emotionally and mentally healthy as I can me so that I can continue to have the emotional resources it takes to be a therapist!

    Reply

    • Olivia L Corfey
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 14:38:14

      Kara,

      I really admire and appreciate your perspective that seeking our own counseling helps to ensure that we are mentally and emotionally healthy in order to effectively help others. Really attending to ourselves and our own care is truly essential and really is the most self-less thing we can do.

      Reply

    • Monique GuilloryFarrish
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 17:22:36

      Kara,

      I agree that self-awareness, and the understanding that competency requires a consistent effort towards growth, is essential for an aspiring clinician to value. We are teaching skills that contribute to optimal development, as research supports, so it seems as though it is imperative that we uphold a high level of self-care, modeling, and encouragement.

      “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

      ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

      Reply

    • Mariah Fraser
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 18:20:41

      Hi Kara,

      I thought it was interesting what you said about not wanting to become complacent or over-confident. I hadn’t thought of those reasons for wanting to stay up to date. I like what you said about seeking therapy yourself, if we don’t seek out that support then burnout is likely to get us! We may even find things to be helpful in our own sessions that we can then take and apply to our clients!

      Reply

  13. Olivia L Corfey
    Feb 25, 2021 @ 14:21:01

    I think one of the best ways to continuously foster competency is to have a desire to learn and grow. I believe when we remain stagnant, we limit our ability to adapt and grow to the best of our abilities. Therefore, I will continue reading books published by educated authors and maintain a passion for learning. My goal is to listen to at least one audiobook on something I am interested in and once a month. As my commute to my internship and future workplace is a bit of a hike, this will be a great way to take advantage of that time. Two birds with one stone!

    Reply

    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 15:16:19

      Hi Olivia,

      I agree with your point about stagnation in that it is the enemy of growth. I also think your goal of listening to the audiobooks is great and I may decide to do the same thing!

      Reply

    • Monique Guillory-Farrish
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 17:27:11

      Olivia,

      I also have a passion for learning. I believe that knowledge is power, much like psychoeducation empowers our clients to attain their treatment goals.

      “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” ― Abigail Adams

      Reply

  14. Monique Guillory
    Feb 25, 2021 @ 15:01:44

    After reading this week’s chapter, a few ideas come to mind for continuing to develop my own professional growth and competency skills. First, I plan to land my first job in an environment that mirrors the level of competency I aspire to gain throughout my career. This includes having well rounded supervisors who continue to seek professional development and are able to identify their own level of competency skills. I also plan to find a work environment that has a wide variety of clinical experience that aligns with CBT’s core principles, so that I may be encouraged to further apply the skills that I have learned thus far. The chapter does touch upon the hesitancy that new clinicians often experience when utilizing the CBT skills in practice. Reflecting on my use of CBT skills in my practicum vs the tail end of my internship, I see the amount of confidence I have gained through practice and implementation; yet I also see the exponential room for further cultivation of each skill, or the skills that I have yet to use. Practice and application are essential components to skill acquisition and competency. Some other ways in which I will continue to develop my level of competency is to select CEU’s that will expand my knowledge and challenge me to develop new areas of specialty. I’m also an avid reader, and plan to continue to expand my small, but growing library of books related to different theoretical perspectives, self-improvement, and CBT toolbox worksheets. Throughout the pandemic I’ve also learned that I enjoy audiobooks. There is a never ending list of reading material, webinars, and CEU’s to supplement my clinical experience post graduation.

    Reply

  15. Anthony Mastrocola
    Feb 25, 2021 @ 15:13:56

    What are your thoughts about the best way you can assure that you are continually developing and maintaining your counseling competency?

    I believe that the best way for me to continually develop and maintain my counseling competency is to continue learning. One of the reasons I decided to pursue a career in Psychology is to enter a field of never-ending learning. I look forward to remain up-to-date on the best, most empirically supported treatment approaches to support my engagement in evidence-based practice. I am also looking forward to having a competent supervisor who is going to support me during the initial development process. Not only do I want to learn about clinical practice, but also how to maximize my ethical and professional standards in the workplace. Simply put, I want to continue pushing myself to maximize my professional potential. Aside from consistently reading psychological literature (articles and books), I also plan to frequently attend professional seminars/webinars and other forms of continuing education. I want to learn from others in the field who see the world and clinical practice with different perspectives. I think that the worst thing I could do to my career is enter a period of stagnation, so I plan to continuously challenge myself by learning and expanding upon my professional competency.

    Reply

    • Paola Gutierrez
      Feb 25, 2021 @ 17:09:37

      Hi Anthony – you touched on a good point there about the negative impact of stagnation on professional development. It reminded me of a comment a couple of my clients have said to me about their appreciation for working with a less-experienced counselor, because someone who is newer to the field has a greater interest in learning new perspectives and techniques and is not likely to be closed-minded which can happen with stagnation.

      Reply

  16. Mariah Fraser
    Feb 25, 2021 @ 18:21:24

    I believe that there are a few things I can do to assure continued development as a competent counselor. The first thing I can do is to implement the skills that I encourage clients to use, in my own life. This would really speak to ‘practice what you preach’. I would also engage in my own personal therapy, not only to gain the client’s perspective, but also to keep up with my own struggles outside of the work environment and decrease burnout. Additionally, I would ideally find a competent supervisor to meet with on a semi-regular basis. Finally, attending conferences and trainings will be helpful in keeping me up to date with the latest evidence-based practices.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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