History, Philosophy and Trends of Clinical Mental Health Counselling
The concern for substantial mental health issues started in ancient Greece. The famous Greek philosopher, Hippocrates, evaluated that someone’s temperament affects an individual’s body fluid balance (Garriga et al., 2020). The philosopher noted that imbalanced body fluid causes poor mental health. Besides, he said that the poor behaviours in an individual were due to community factors. Another philosopher, Epicurus, also said that an individual’s mental health is taken away by reducing one’s pleasures moments. He believed that the peace of mind in an individual viewed life was the key to their success. Treatment for mental health issues was available during this time, although most communities believed that the conditions were superstitious. Society believed that anyone who had mental health issues was possessed by a demon or had evil spirits. In this case, the only intervention provided was through inhumane exorcism. In the 16th century, asylums were developed, which worsened as people drowned in their wastes (Murphy et al., 2018).
Counselling education began in the 20th century, although it could not provide mental health interventions. During the Great Depression, counselling activities increased, and many people discovered that they could use it as an education. Therefore in 1940, Carl Rodgers developed psychotherapy whereby he thought that his clients would explain their problems to help identify the most appropriate interventions to solve the problem. After World War II, people realized that counselling was an essential part of life as it would help people out of their distress. During and after the war, many counsellors were employed to help the soldiers who required mental preparedness to go to war and to overcome the traumas they got after the war. The realization caused massive transformation to the counselling sector as it led to modern counselling, which incorporates mental health as a specific issue. In 1963, John F. Kennedy initiated the development of the Community Health Act since he believed that the treatment centres would help individuals overcome their mental illnesses instead of taking them to mental hospitals. The demand for treatment centres increased the demand for counsellors, although the available counsellors were less qualified to meet the needs of mental health treatment. In 1970, licensure issues emerged to ensure that the practising counsellors were suitable to meet the mental health patients’ demands. Virginia was the first to implement the licensure agreement before spreading it to other states in America. This move led to the birth of clinical mental health counselling.
As technology continues to grow and mental health issues diversify, there are many clinical mental health counselling trends. For instance, the field is likely to shift to digital platforms where diagnosis and counselling are made through digital media. In this case, mobile apps are developed to enable individuals to evaluate their mental heal condition, giving them room to seek intervention when it gets beyond a particular level. There is also an increase in the critical behavioural health support where many stakeholders participate to ensure adequate care to mental health patients. In this case, there has been a rise in governmental interventions. Also, there is the emergence of many non-governmental bodies aiming at eradicating mental health issues in the community. There is also a rise in artificial intelligence that helps manage big data, which help predict the future state of mental health in the community (Taylor et al., 2020).
Theory of Counselling
In modern clinical mental health counselling, humanistic theories are the most used approaches. Unlike the past theories that focused on negative behaviours in an individual, humanistic theories look at the individuals goodness to help an individual achieve self-growth and self-actualization. As a practising therapist, I would use gestalt therapy to help the client focus on the current events in an individual’s life rather than what’s said during the therapy session. The gestalt therapy approach is holistic and person-centred psychotherapy that evaluates an individual’s present life instead of capitalizing on past experiences (Mann, 2020). The approach emphasizes understanding their current life and taking responsibility for each occurrence instead of blaming it on other people who caused painful past experiences.
The basic principles for clinical interventions for gestalt therapy include experience influences perception, context matters, the present, working through pain and self-awareness. Concerning perception through experiences, the gestalt therapist knows that the client is not entirely objective, and their environment and experiences shaped their perception towards life. Hence, as a gestalt therapist, I will allow the clients to share their experiences without making any judgment and instead of accepting the client’s experiences. On the context matters, the therapist tries to understand the client’s experiences by applying different techniques to help the client know their experiences, perceptions and responses towards a particular event in their life. Instead of asking the client to bring out their past experiences, I would help the client develop an awareness of their situation, hence helping them overcome the existing roadblocks.
On the present principle, the therapist helps the client build trust and safety despite what they perceive the situation to be. When the client opens up about their condition, the gestalt therapist draws the client to the present from the past, lowering their anxiety (Raffagnino, 2019). In this case, I will guide the client to observe various things in the office as I relate them to their situation. This will help them concentrate and stay in the present. Working through pain is when the therapist helps the client shut down all negative emotions that hurt them or trigger painful memories. In self-awareness, the therapist engages experiential exercise to increase awareness and help them to process their present conditions. By assisting the client in developing self-awareness, they will automatically enable the patient to heal.
Model of Ethical Decision Making.
Clinical mental health counselling requires the therapist to hold very high ethics to provide interventions that help the clients without compromising societal expectations. One of the models to use as a clinical mental health counsellor is the deontology ethical theory. This model requires an individual to work according to the rules and regulations about a particular responsibility or duty (Johnson, 2019). Through this ethical theory, I will uphold my commitment as the law expects me hence helping me achieve consistency in my work.
Role in Creating Individual and Community Change
A clinical mental health counsellor has a role in transforming an individual’s life and that of the community. In this case, I would change the life of my clients by applying multiple psychotherapy techniques to diagnose the psychological issues they are experiencing and provide the most effective and efficient intervention to help them acquire a healthy mental state. I would also help transform society on issues surrounding mental health to help reduce the issue’s prevalence. I will enlighten the community on the various mental health conditions and their causes. I will also teach them different ways of preventing the diseases hence achieving a healthy nation.
The clinical mental health counsellor is responsible for different groups of people in the community. These people include the clients and the client system, professional colleagues, and supervisors. To my clients, I will help assess and diagnose the client’s problem by evaluating the prevailing symptoms of distress. I will also provide psychotherapy to clients by analyzing their experiences and thoughts. Besides, I will organize sessions with the client’s family members to ensure that they offer a conducive environment for recovery. To my professional colleague, I will provide evidence-based reports concerning a particular mental health condition to help them provide effective therapy to their clients. I will also work collaboratively with other professionals to make further patient treatment referrals. My supervisor will provide reports on the prevalence of different mental health issues in the community to help in effective policy development.
For an individual to be a practising clinical mental health counsellor, they must meet several qualifications. First, an individual must have a master’s degree in a course in the human services field. A master’s degree and two or three years’ experience under practice enable an individual to be licensed. An individual must also pass the state licensing examination set by the National Board of Certified Counsellors. Currently, I am a master student pursuing mental health counselling. The master’s degree will enable me to get licensure at LPC and begin practising. The licensure will allow me to work in various fields such as hospitals, businesses, government agencies, community health centres, private practices, colleges and universities, schools and correctional facilities.
My short term goals include completing my master’s degree, completing supervised practice, passing the state test from the National Board of Certified Counsellors and acquiring licensure.
My long term goals include establishing a private facility to practice clinical mental health counselling in The Woodlands, TX. I also aspire to do online counselling to create a mobile career to reach out to many people.
Murphy, T. M., Chang, C. Y., & Dispenza, F. (2018). Qualitative clinical mental health program evaluation: Models and implications for counselling practitioners and educators. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 40(1), 1-13. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jmhc/article-abstract/40/1/1/83513
Garriga, M., Agasi, I., Fedida, E., Pinzón‐Espinosa, J., Vazquez, M., Pacchiarotti, I., & Vieta, E. (2020). The role of mental health home hospitalization care during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 141(5), 479. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc7262322/
Taylor, C. B., Fitzsimmons‐Craft, E. E., & Graham, A. K. (2020). Digital technology can revolutionize mental health services delivery: The COVID‐19 crisis as a catalyst for change. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(7), 1155-1157. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/eat.23300
Mann, D. (2020). Gestalt therapy: 100 key points and techniques. Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781315158495/gestalt-therapy-dave-mann
Raffagnino, R. (2019). Gestalt therapy effectiveness: A systematic review of empirical evidence. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 7(6), 66-83. https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation.aspx?paperid=92886
Johnson, C. M. (2019). The intrapersonal paradox of deontology. journal of moral philosophy, 16(3), 279-301. https://brill.com/view/journals/jmp/aop/article-10.1163-17455243-20182527.xml