Topic 6: Professional Identity {by 3/4}

Based on the readings due this week consider the following discussion points:  (1) When you hear the words “professional identity,” what comes to mind?  Is this something you have ever thought about before?  Who/what has most influenced your professional identity development?

 

Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 3/4.  Post your two replies no later than 3/6.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

46 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jess Costello
    Feb 26, 2021 @ 13:01:29

    In the past, when I thought of my own professional identity, I would mostly consider it in terms of populations served and theoretical orientation. Because our program is so grounded in CBT, that has been the main framework through which I see my clinical work, and my education has influenced how I approach every aspect of work, from conceptualizing clients’ problems to using assessments and evaluating outcomes. However, my site supervisor has also noted the value of bringing in aspects of other orientations and perspectives that I’m not as familiar with, so I do not think my professional identity will necessarily be set in stone throughout my career.

    Another part of professional identity as a master’s-level clinician is how we will fit into treatment teams that will likely be composed of other clinicians, psychiatrists, licensed psychologists, social workers, and others with varied education and training backgrounds.

    Dr. V’s chapter highlights some additional aspects of professional identity, like membership in professional organizations such as ACA and AMHCA, and becoming involved in social and political activities with peers with the same license. I think it’s also important to emphasize an LMHC’s similarities with similarly-licensed peers like an LICSW or school counselor since there is probably more overlap in our backgrounds than differences and people from different disciplines will likely be collaborating on cases and offering perspectives.

    Reply

    • Katrina Piangerelli
      Feb 27, 2021 @ 20:03:45

      Jess,

      I agree that there are a few aspects of someone’s professional identity such as the populations you serve and your theoretical orientation. There are also the different treatment teams we are a part of and possibly organizations as well. I think there are also some characteristics of who we are that make up our professional identity especially in this field where many of us are very sympathetic, empathetic, and share similar values and morals as well.

      Reply

    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Feb 28, 2021 @ 11:27:38

      Jess,

      I am glad you discussed professional organizations such as ACA and AMHCA in your post. I am a firm believer in things such as labor unions (although these organizations are not a union, they are the closest approximation we have), and I see great value in supporting these groups. Although the ACA and AMHCA are flawed in various respects, they still advocate for our profession on a legislative level. Thus, I believe joining such an organization should be a part of anyone’s identity.

      Reply

  2. Melissa Pope
    Feb 27, 2021 @ 15:01:18

    When contemplating what professional identity means; which is something that I think about on a consistent basis, there are a plethora of matters to consider. I believe that a person’s professional identity consists of one’s values, morals, shared-professional ethics, as well as their knowledge, skills, and idiosyncratic qualities that set them apart from others in the same field. Each component reciprocally builds upon the others and continually changes or strengthens overtime to create “you” as a professional and as a person. Personal identity is an integral part of developing professional identity, and as you age, professional identity will shape and mold your personal identity. Personally, I believe that I am the most influential person in my identity development. I have always been tenacious, hard-working, creative, compassionate, and held a great deal of integrity to who I am, and what I do, to keep me grounded, and moving forward.

    Reply

    • Katrina Piangerelli
      Feb 27, 2021 @ 20:04:18

      Melissa,

      I agree with you that professional identity and personal identity tend to go hand in hand especially in this field. They impact one another and build off of each other. I also think that you are right about there being multiple characteristics that comprise your professional identity.

      Reply

    • Kelsey Finnegan
      Feb 28, 2021 @ 15:13:46

      Melissa, I like how you applied reciprocal determinism to professional identity. I agree that professional identity shapes and molds your personal identity as well, and that is probably especially true in our field. I also like how you describe yourself as the most influential person in your identity development because we (ourselves as clinicians) ultimately have the most control over which opportunities (trainings, seminars, job settings, etc.) we decide to pursue and the people we choose as mentors.

      Reply

    • Jess Costello
      Mar 01, 2021 @ 14:54:04

      Hi Melissa!

      I love that you linked professional and personal identity and pointed out these pieces of ourselves grow, change, and influence one another reciprocally. The values we hold personally impact how we function professionally. I also appreciate that you identified yourself as a key person in your professional development because ultimately our decisions influence not only what we do and learn but what we take away from opportunities like education, trainings, and even working with particular clients.

      Reply

  3. Katrina Piangerelli
    Feb 27, 2021 @ 20:03:19

    When I hear the words “professional identity” a few different things come to mind. I think one major thing is any concentrations, specialties, or interests we each have within our professional career. There are also the populations that we work with or wish to work with and the different theoretical orientations we may specialize or be interested in. In this field I think our professional identity also has a relationship with who we are personally. Many of us are interested in this field because of personal experiences or influences and the desire to make a difference in the different people we work with.

    I have thought about my own personal professional identity and I think it is something that is still changing and molding and probably will always be something that is changing depending on what I am learning about or what is influencing me. This may be a recent training I went to, classes I am in, the current caseload I have, and other things that may influence my professional identity. I also think some parts of my professional identity are pretty consistent such as my drive and motivation to help others, being sympathetic and empathetic, and having specific values and morals that influence who I am personally and professionally. These things have been pretty consistent.

    I think my experiences have mostly influenced my professional identity development. My personal and professional experiences have shaped who I am today and pushed me to continue in this field.

    Reply

    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Feb 28, 2021 @ 11:30:34

      Katrina,

      You discuss how one’s professional identity should be constantly evolving, a viewpoint I agree with. Across professions, those with much work experience and seniority tend to become complacent in their skills and knowledge. This of course, leads to incompetency and narrow-mindedness. Therefore, I feel it is important for us to be constantly evaluating our professional identity, especially as it relates to which populations we can effectively serve.

      Reply

    • Kelsey Finnegan
      Feb 28, 2021 @ 15:01:16

      Katrina, I agree that our professional identities will probably always be changing and molding to incorporate new experiences and knowledge, especially in this field. I’ve also found my professional and personal identities to be consistent since transitioning to this field, and that was part of my motivation for pursuing a career as a mental health counselor. I think this is something that keeps people going in this field despite the challenges and sometimes low-pay.

      Reply

    • Adam Rene
      Mar 02, 2021 @ 10:54:55

      Katrina, I liked in particular what you said about ‘current caseload.’ When I think about professional identity, or any identity in fact, it’s always rooted in the past to me. Things i’ve already done, people I’ve already interacted with, etc. But it’s so important to take stock of how your current caseload is impacting your identity and your development. Imagine how worthwhile it would be to be able to process with your supervisor how a current case in challenging you and to find the value in that rather than getting caught up in the negativity of how challenging that case is. Makes me think.

      Reply

    • Bianca Thomas
      Mar 03, 2021 @ 13:49:55

      Katrina,

      I really like your point about your professional identity being ever-changing and molding based on the influences around you. As we all know, all too well from our oral exams, the influences in our life significantly determine who we are and what we do, and that’s no less in a professional setting. I like your point about drive and motivation being constant and consistent facets as well!

      Reply

    • Melissa Pope
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 10:56:46

      Katrina,

      Many of your points are ones that align with my own beliefs about professional and personal identity. However, you did mention the constants that are grounded in “who you are”. That was beautifully put. I whole-heartedly agree with it, but never thought of it that away. Metaphorically all i can think of is a tree. Those constants are our roots, and as we learn and experience life- we grow, and change. We may have different parts of the self- however our roots are always there holding us up.

      Reply

  4. Zacharie Duvarney
    Feb 28, 2021 @ 11:52:05

    Professional identity is something that crosses my mind quite regularly, especially when working with new clients. As others have already pointed out, when I first consider professional identity, I think of theoretical orientation and work experience with specific populations. I believe that these two factors constitute the foundation of professional identity. Regarding my own professional identity, I would classify myself as someone competent in CBT and motivational interviewing, and I would state that my area of expertise is in substance use and depression.

    Something I have not seen mentioned yet is accounting for one’s weaknesses within professional identity. I think it is equally important to recognize where one is not proficient when summarizing professional identity. It demonstrates that you are considerate towards clients, aware of areas for growth, and realistic in your interpretation of yourself. Furthermore, it means you know which areas you need to focus on to become more competent in your work. Personally, I have been working to become more proficient in working with suicidal clients, as this was an area of weakness for me at the start of my internship.

    Another important aspect of professional identity is organizational affiliation. I think that membership to organizations such as the AMHCA is an important aspect of both networking and advocacy. Obviously, the services we provide to individuals within the therapy room is important. I would argue that contributing to the field and working to improve our profession as a whole is equally important and speaks to your investment in the profession. I plan to join the AMHCA once I graduate. Although I concede that the organization is flawed and has made less than ideal decisions at times, I feel it is important for us to support legislation that benefits our field. To improve the lives of ourselves and our clients, we must organize and push legislation. Currently, organizations such as the AMHCA are out best vehicle for doing so.

    Finally, to touch upon the last part of the question, I suppose the thing that has influenced my professional identity the most is my own personal experience and upbringing. Throughout my life, I have been a firm believer of “being the change you want to see”. In this respect, I see that our profession is very flawed and needs much improvement. I also see the inherent value in counseling. Therefore, I try to conduct myself in a way that aligns with my personal views on the profession. I think counseling needs to be more accountable and evidenced based. As such, I try to hold myself to high levels of accountability, including the use of evidence-based practice.

    Reply

    • Jess Costello
      Mar 01, 2021 @ 15:23:52

      Hi Zach! I like how you included weaknesses in your description of your own professional identity. It is important to be aware of our shortcomings as professionals so we can improve our competencies and grow in those areas, as with any other skill.

      I also agree that our profession has showed some flaws and so individual clinicians have to be accountable and evidence-based as possible.

      Reply

    • Paul Avolese
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 07:00:56

      Hi Zach,

      Similar to Jess, I appreciate how you have included recognizing areas for improvement in your reflection. I think our professional identity is in constant change as we gain further experience in life and integrate new information with old information. It reminds me how important it is to stay connected with other professionals too. I believe we talked about the dangers of professional isolation in our ethics class and can see how connectedness with others can be beneficial in enhancing our professional identities as well.

      Reply

    • Monique Guillory-Farrish
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 17:29:25

      Zach, the idea that our “professional identity” requires consistent self-awareness practices, along with investments in self-improvement align with my own beliefs. The populations we are most competent working with are indeed a reflection of our professional identity, yet as you mentioned our capacity to expand that knowledge is ever present.

      Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Mar 05, 2021 @ 09:15:32

      Hey Zach,
      I can identify the influence you mention of “being the change I want to see” in myself and much I do. I think when you’ve had negative associations in the field or seen it first hand, it is hard not to jump and try to be superman. I think one thing to remember, which I know I’ve been struggling with is even though our expectations are high for individuals in this profession, most of the time, that mark won’t be met. Luckily though now that we are going into the field, we can at least be that change for our clients and hopefully rub off on other professionals around us to do better.

      Reply

  5. Kelsey Finnegan
    Feb 28, 2021 @ 14:52:49

    When I think of the term “professional identity,” I think of how I view myself as a professional and the values and standards that I hold myself to. As a graduate student, I’m still in the process of developing my professional identity, and this is something that will continue to grow and change over time. Prior to my decision to become a mental health counselor, I worked a variety of different jobs in a few different fields, and I found my professional identity to be somewhat inconsistent with my personal identity. Therefore, part of my decision to pursue a career in mental health counseling was to develop a professional identity that more closely aligns with my personal values and beliefs. In terms of my professional identity as a mental health counselor, my education from a CBT-based program and clinical internship experience have most strongly influenced the development of my professional identity thus far. Therefore, CBT is and will continue to be the underlying theoretical lens that informs my work with clients.

    Reply

    • Adam Rene
      Mar 02, 2021 @ 10:50:31

      Kelsey, I really like what you said here about finding a professional identity that matched your personal identity. I can imagine that must’ve been a difficult but ultimately rewarding process to get involved in the counseling world after trying so many jobs. I myself did a whatever job in college and it was the worst experience I ever had – my heart, my values, etc. were not even close to being in it but once I found a job in the psychology field I was obsessed and invigorated by the work I was doing. I fully expect as you grow in experience and competence that your identity will only get stronger.

      Reply

    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Mar 03, 2021 @ 09:48:31

      Hi Kelsey,

      I also have a similar view that CBT will remain as an underlying part of my practice that will influence my clinical decision making. I also liked how you mentioned that professional identity is malleable. I completely agree that developing a professional identity is a never-ending process.

      Reply

  6. Adam Rene
    Mar 02, 2021 @ 10:48:00

    When I think ‘professional identity’ the first things that came to mind were the professional/personal self as well as specialization/setting/population served from Dr. V’s reading this week. When it comes to the professional/personal self, I’ve often reflected on the ways in which I have created boundaries for myself when it comes to these two selves – for example, I’ve been offered opportunities to be a ‘helper’ through my church with regard to community outreach and support but I ultimately turned it down because I didn’t want my professional life crossing too far over into my personal life. With regard to specialization/setting/population I definitely feel rooted here in terms of my professional identity because I have worked in a particular setting (community/home-based in North County) for so long. In terms of who/what has influenced my professional identity, it absolutely comes down to the people I’ve worked with, both in terms of teams and clients. Just recently, I had a TM client have a total meltdown while in session and refused to leave with me so I could bring him home – I felt my experience in working in residential settings come creeping back and I was able to negotiate with him and get him home. Under any other circumstance I may have been really intimidated or scared by that situation, since it was one that was somewhat out of my control – but the impact of working with those clients in that setting provided me with the skills to manage that situation without it becoming too big of a deal. With regard to teams, I am heavily influenced/inspired/motivated by the people I work alongside, sharing ideas, sharing tears, and overall just the sense of ‘being in the trenches together’ and working towards making these clients’ lives better.

    Reply

    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Mar 03, 2021 @ 09:51:43

      Hi Adam,

      You mentioned something I believe to be especially important in creating boundaries between personal life and profession. This crossover can seem to be so hard to recognize at times that it’s great to hear how effectively you can implement boundaries.

      Reply

  7. Anthony Mastrocola
    Mar 03, 2021 @ 09:42:48

    1.When you hear the words “professional identity”, what comes to mind? Is this something you have ever thought about before? Who/what has most influenced your professional identity development?

    I frequently think of my professional identity as I’m beginning my career. I tend to think about my professional identity in terms of my current standing in the field as well as where I would like to end up. The term “professional identity” to me, describes how I am perceived by others as well as myself. As described in the reading, central to my professional identity is prioritizing ethics and learning into my practice. Yes, I agree that finding my place within a professional organization such as the ACA or AMHCA is important in developing my professional identity, but for right now I’m prioritizing my ability to say to myself that I’m being the best clinician that I can be according to my standards. Contributing to this ability is developing my competence as a scientist-practitioner, working within my diagnostic understanding and supervision, and following all ethical guidelines. Engrained in my professional identity, I consider myself a “cognitive behavioral therapist” (upon graduation). Within a field of countless therapeutic approaches and orientations, I take pride in this specific training and curriculum. I plan to build upon this base in CBT to move towards an eventual specialty by completing different trainings and certifications. There are a number of professionals who have contributed parts to my professional identity development. I find that various professors from undergrad and graduate school, my supervisor, and authors from psychological texts have contributed the most.

    Reply

    • Bianca Thomas
      Mar 03, 2021 @ 13:45:52

      Anthony,

      I really admire and appreciate your take on professional identity with regard to prioritizing your ability to say that you are being the best clinician you can be according to your standards. I agree that the other facets like which organization you are in are important, but I agree with you that it starts from within. If you aren’t the best you, you can be then I don’t think it matters what organization or theoretical orientation you prescribe to.

      Reply

    • Olivia L Corfey
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 10:27:51

      Anthony,

      I completely admire your perspective of professional identify. Particularly how you it describes how you are perceived by others as well as yourself. I completely agree with this perspective. I believe how we perceive ourselves directly influences how others perceive us! I also have a lot of people to thank from undergrad and graduate professors! Assumption has served us well!

      Reply

    • Mariah Fraser
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 18:01:47

      Hi Anthony,

      I like how you mentioned that when you think about your professional identity, you consider your current standing in the field as well as where you’d like to end up – we have similar perspectives on that! I also agree that although it’s important to determine our places within different organization, the most important thing right now is focusing on being the best we can at this point in time.

      Reply

  8. Paul Avolese
    Mar 03, 2021 @ 10:03:29

    Historically, I have thought about my professional identity as my integration of concepts and expectations within a particular profession. This definition was influenced by the working class elements of my background. Since beginning internship, I have been trying to be more mindful of my individuality within my role. My supervisors and peers have been very influential in this shift in perspective. As I incorporate myself more fully into my work, I can see my growth as a counselor as well as how clients benefit from my personal utilization of empirically supported treatments.

    Like Chapter 2 states, values, morals, ethics, and laws are all integrated in our professional identities. I think in my case, I tried to separate my more personal qualities from my professional ones to an inappropriate degree. I can imagine as I grow as a counselor, striking a balance between integration and separation will become more complex and nuanced.

    Reply

    • Melissa Pope
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 11:05:53

      Paul,

      I applaud your open honesty. It is refreshing to read responses to our blog questions, that are somewhat vulnerable. I think that this a great quality of your personal identity that will blend very well intro your professional life. You are in the position to show vulnerability and honesty with a client, without giving too much of “your self” away. Clients will pick up on this- appreciate it, and develop a solid rapport as a result. I also feel that by integrating personal characteristics into your professional identity you will very quickly get a good sense of client/clinician fit. Keep up the great work in blending your personal and professional identity- while still not crossing boundaries. It will probably take us all a life time of practice, but it is definitely worth it.

      Reply

    • Mariah Fraser
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 18:00:47

      Hi Paul,

      I liked what you said about trying to balance the integration and separation of personal qualities versus professional qualities, as I can relate to that challenge at times. I, too, have found that there have been moments where I’ve tried harder than I should to find that separation, and by doing so I may come off as inauthentic, which can be off-putting.

      Reply

  9. Bianca Thomas
    Mar 03, 2021 @ 13:42:40

    In all honesty, I’ve never heard of the phrase “professional identity.” What comes to mind when I hear that is the persona or person as well as the character traits you attempt to demonstrate in your professional setting. I am someone that, regardless of where I am, try to live by a strong moral and value base. I truly value service, leadership, empathy, courage, persistence, growth and love. In every facet of my life, I strive to live by these, and that is not any different in my professional life.

    My friends and business partner have most helped me in shaping my professional identity, along with my father. They all possess such a high degree of professionalism, leadership and a significant desire to serve, and that has really inspired me to follow in their lead and to show up every day as the absolute best version of myself.

    Reply

    • Olivia L Corfey
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 10:02:00

      Bianca,
      I really admire your perspective of professional identity. I particularly respect that regardless of where you are, you maintain your values. I think this is really important especially with preventing burnout!

      Reply

  10. Ashley Foster
    Mar 04, 2021 @ 09:31:03

    When I think of the term of “professional identity” the thought of how I view myself and how others view me as a professional comes to mind. Of course, there is the basic level of this as a mental health provider or clinician/ therapist/ counselor, but I think there is more to this. I think when we talk about professional identity, it is the terms that describe us and the skills we hold as a profession such as empathetic, knowledgable, understanding, experienced, and so on. Furthermore, professional identity can make or break you in the professional world. If we go out and use our skills that we’ve learned in this program and do “real therapy”, we are more likely to be recognized for that than someone who take a lazier approach and does not utilize work within session.

    For myself, I have thought about my own professional identity a lot, especially since I got into this program. In Rhode Island, we are a small enough state that most everyone knows each other especially in my town and they know what you have gone and accomplished (or not) after high school. Now looking at moving and working in Massachusetts, I feel I have more to prove in the professional world. This is especially true in the sense of job searching. Like I’ve mentioned before, I want to work as an integrated clinician in the medical field, which I need to be able to identify as a profession and have other potential coworkers to recognize that as well in those settings to be successful.

    The most influential people on my professional development is the people I look up too. First is my dad. He got his masters when my mom had myself, and my brother and sister and was very successful in doing so. Today, everyone at his company look up to him and he is a regional manager for National Grid and runs many programs and committees for the United States gas policies and regulations for engineering. My dad has worked his way from the bottom moving from Canada and being a successful professional. Although we are not in the same field of study, my dad has guided many of my professional values and motivations to succeed even when the odds were against me.

    Reply

    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 15:24:00

      Hi Ashley!

      I completely understand how you feel about potentially relocating after graduation. My original plan was to head down south but things have since changed my mind and now I plan to stick around in New England until I am licensed. Also having looked into moving to Massachusetts (since they seem a lot more ahead in the game of mental health), it is a tough choice since my internship has already offered me a position that I am highly considering taking. Luckily it is close enough to MA that the commute still would be doable if I chose to move out of CT!

      Reply

    • Paola Gutierrez
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 17:39:02

      Hi Ashley – You made a good point about the importance of our professional “reputations” in this field. Coming from Texas, I hadn’t given much thought to the interconnectedness between mental health professionals in smaller regions like Worcester or even Rhode Island. I’ve heard about other professionals and their practices in both positive and negative terms in my internship so I recognize our “reputations” have an impact on our professional identities.

      Reply

  11. Olivia L Corfey
    Mar 04, 2021 @ 09:51:19

    When I hear the words “professional identify”, I think of who I want to be in this field, how I can make a difference in other’s lives and maintaining my standards. As Dr. V’s reading mentions, professional identify is integrating ethics and continuous growth into practice. This also includes staying up to date on research in order to provide the most efficacious interventions. When I continue thinking about professional identify, I think of how I want to be seen as a CBT therapist and how I see myself as a CBT therapist. Therefore, continuing to learn, grow, being open to a multitude of perspectives, integrating ethics and using the most efficacious evidenced based treatments is my top priority entering this field and shaping who I am within this field. I believe my professors and my supervisor have been crucial in shaping my professional identify. My professors shaped my CBT perspective and my supervisor helped to foster self-compassion as we are continuing to learn and grow and applying theory into practice.

    Reply

    • Paul Avolese
      Mar 05, 2021 @ 09:33:06

      Hi Olivia,

      I appreciate your more “active” perspective on professional identity. Sometimes, I focus heavily on past experiences and learning from them to help me grow in my identity. At the same time, there is so much we can be pursuing in the present to also influence our development. Like we have talked about in class, this really seems to be a professional lifestyle. Engaging in growth from moment to moment makes me think of the present-focused orientation CBT generally utilizes.

      Reply

  12. Kara Rene
    Mar 04, 2021 @ 13:54:28

    When I hear the words “professional identity,” I first and foremost think about my level of confidence in calling myself a clinician or therapist. I have been focusing a lot and working with my supervisors in building my confidence in my professional identity as a clinician during my internship. Beyond that, I believe that one’s professional identity encompasses the theoretical orientation(s) a clinician subscribes to and utilizes in their work as well as their personal style- how they connect with clients, the unique spin they put on their rapport style and interventions, their values, skills, and preferences, and what drives them to continue doing this work. As such, I believe that professional identity has a somewhat unique “flavor” for each person, and also continually develops throughout a professional’s career as the person changes, learns, trains, and evolves. My own professional identity has been strongly influenced by the Assumption professors as they have taught us not only how to be a CBT therapist, but also what values a therapist should hold. In addition, both of my internship supervisors have come alongside and supported me during my internship as I explore (and sometimes flounder!) the process of clarifying and owning my own budding professional identity.

    Reply

    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 15:20:31

      Hi Kara,

      I like what you said about your level of confidence being a big part of your concept of professional identity. This is not something I had thought of prior to reading through others’ blog posts and I think this piece is essential. I have certainly been working on my own self-efficacy and confidence throughout my internship and know that our confidence will only increase and continue to grow post-graduation!

      Reply

    • Paola Gutierrez
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 17:33:32

      Hi Kara – I appreciate your honesty in addressing confidence in professional identity. That’s something I’m working on, too. Confidence not only influences how we assess our competence/skills but also how our clients and colleagues perceive us. I have faith that we’ll both get to that point where we clearly recognize our strengths (and capitalize on them!) and continuously strive to improve at the same time.

      Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Mar 05, 2021 @ 09:24:03

      Hi Kara,
      I understand that confidence and/or self efficacy outlook when discussing professional identity. This component holds a big role in our clients listening to us and believing us. In the beginning, when we are still new to the table, I think apart of that is faking that confidence if you are struggling with that with your clients and like you mentioned getting good supervision until you’ve worked on that belief in yourself.

      (p.s. remind yourself you’re a power house that got through a challenging program in a pandemic so you got this! 🙂 )

      Reply

  13. Taylor O'Rourke
    Mar 04, 2021 @ 15:12:20

    When I think of professional identity, I think of what makes up my “personality” as a therapist. For my own professional identity, I would consider myself to be an outpatient community mental health counselor who works with adults and uses a cognitive behavioral orientation. A professional identity may consider the population you work with, the area in which you work, and how you conduct yourself as a professional. Your professional identity may also include how you fit into your clinic or place of work; whether you are in a private practice setting or work as part of a larger interdisciplinary team within a hospital or outpatient clinic.

    I have thought about what professional identity means before, and how I would want to portray my own to others. I would like to ensure others that my work is ethically and morally sound and that I come from a strong CBT foundation. I also think of it as something that is fluid; it can certainly change over time. I am hoping that as I come into contact with other professionals in the field and get continuing education credits, my own professional identity will become stronger.

    I believe our program has been one of the strongest influences on my own professional identity. Coming from a strong CBT foundation and having professors who share the same passion for this theoretical orientation, it has allowed me to learn and develop the skills needed to practice CBT as well, which I believe is the most prominent part of my identity. I believe that my internship site and supervisor have also played a large role in my professional identity. My supervisor is an Assumption graduate so his own background in CBT has definitely helped mine develop even further. My internship site itself has also been extremely beneficial to me and how I am beginning my professional career in counseling.

    Reply

  14. Paola Gutierrez
    Mar 04, 2021 @ 17:29:35

    When I think about professional identity, I think of not only how I view myself as a professional in the mental health field, but also how others (colleagues, supervisors, clients, etc) view me as a professional. Further, professional and personal identity are not mutually exclusive and are constantly shaping one another, especially where personal character plays in (kind, warm, empathetic, goal-oriented). Especially at this juncture, I think of where I am now in terms of my competence as a CBT therapist and where I’d like to be over the long-term. I wouldn’t consider myself a fully “competent” clinician at this point and recognize that I still have much to learn. Clinical interests are also incorporated in my professional identity – what populations I’m interested in working with. Other facets in professional identity include theoretical approach, interpersonal/rapport style, how much self-disclosure is used, etc.

    There have been several influences in my professional identity development. My own experiences have been monumental in leading me down this career path. My professors, advisors/mentors, clinical supervisors, clinical teams/colleagues, and my peers in this graduate program have shaped my professional identity. The individuals I’ve worked with up to this point have definitely made an impact on my professional identity in encouraging me to continuously learn and grow my skills.

    Reply

  15. Mariah Fraser
    Mar 04, 2021 @ 18:01:20

    When I think about the meaning of “professional identity”, what comes to mind is my perception of myself in a professional setting as well as how others perceive me. Although I have an idea of how I would like to be perceived by colleagues, supervisors, and clients, I know that continuous growth and self-exploration will continue to bring me closer to how I would, ideally, like others to see me. Maintaining competency by knowing the difference between where I am and where I’d like to see myself, in addition to staying up to date with the most efficacious treatments will help me shape my professional identity. I believe the clients I work with have certainly had a large role in shaping my professional identity by challenging me, encouraging curiosity, and providing me with a perspective I didn’t possess prior to this internship. Additionally, other clinicians I work with, my supervisors, my peers, and my professors have had a significant influence on my professional identity at this point.

    Reply

    • Monique Guillory-Farrish
      Mar 04, 2021 @ 18:31:08

      Mariah,
      I really like how you highlighted the idea that how we may see our professional identity and how others may view us may be different at times. Also noting where we may be at the present moment, and keeping in mind where we would like to go is so important for the development of our professional identity.

      Reply

  16. Monique Guillory-Farrish
    Mar 04, 2021 @ 18:28:29

    When I think of my “professional identity” I think about the values and beliefs that drive my work in the field, and propel me to seek new ways to improve my professional skillset. Until taking this class I never put much thought into the professional memberships that are available to professional clinicians. Although there are a variety of theoretical orientations, the chapter touches upon the idea that a variety may better support the mental health needs of a given community, particularly with empirically supported approaches. In my relation to my professional identity, I think of the idiosyncratic characteristics that differentiate clinicians who may practice within a similar competency level or area of specialty. This idea of professional identity seems to be a cumulative process that requires a dedication to seeking continuous education, a high level of self-awareness, and a consistent effort to uphold high ethical standards, while working within my level of competency. The populations that I work with will also shape my professional identity, and reflect back to me the areas in which to seek further training, or credentialing. I am a firm believer that I am the company that I keep, as the chapter highlights the idea that the interpersonal transactions, work environment, and attitude shape the professional identity that we carry throughout our career. I remain selective in my search for my first clinical job after graduation, because I want to continue to create a solid professional foundation that will allow for me to provide quality mental and behavioral health services, not just for my clients, but for myself and the team I work alongside with.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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