Rationale for Seeking Specialization in a Clinical Counseling-Related Program I would like to pursue counseling as my career and become a successful leader in the field. I have always had a passion to assist people in emotional distress. As a qualified professional in the counseling field, I would be able to identify their problems as well as offer them the most appropriate solutions that may help them deal with their situations.
However, working as a professional counselor requires that I possess the relevant skills and knowledge that would enable me to offer quality services in which I think that I can obtain the skills at Capella University. As a professional clinical counselor, I would have to deal with clients with different problems, so my role would entail listening to their problems, preventing further damage/harm as well as relieving them from the psychologically based dysfunctions (emotional, nervous, mental and behavioral dysfunctions).
In addition, I would have to create conducive environment for them, which promote their personal development and well-being. Consequently, I would therefore have to provide both vocational and educational planning for the patients. To achieve this effectively, I would require training that would enable me to administer and interpret various psychological personality tests as well as the standardized tests of memory, functioning, and intelligence. A clinical graduate degree in counseling at Capella University would enable me to get the necessary licensure that will grant me the authority to practice legitimately.
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My interest in counseling developed early when I was still in high school, where I offered fellow students advice on their personal problems; with time, my reputation as a great advisor grew and most students and roommates at the school often consulted me for advice. This interest developed further when I had an opportunity to offer voluntary services at the American Counseling Association and my work experience as a paraprofessional for mentally ill adults and children with behavioral problems.
During and immediately after my undergraduate course, I had the opportunity to work as a volunteer at the American Counseling Association and as a houseparent for an institution that houses mentally ill individuals. The association welcomes students and encourages them to offer voluntary services while they have an opportunity. My experience at the association, as a houseparent, and currently as a paraprofessional for mentally ill adults and children with behavioral problems provided me with a solid footing as well as the necessary resources to prepare for my career in counseling.
The experiences gave me an opportunity to attend several conferences and workshops where I had the chance to meet and interact with other professional counselors. These opportunities opened me up and exposed me to numerous challenging situations that helped me to grow both personally and professionally. Interacting with more qualified and experienced people in the association, institution for the mentally ill, and agency that I currently work for has helped me to develop confidence in my work as I sought their assistance and guidance whenever I needed help.
The experiences gained while working at the association was helpful to me as I could apply that knowledge and the skills learnt to help my church members. At my church, I was a youth leader and so the skills gained while working at the American Counseling Association proved very beneficial as I could offer counseling to troubled youth members. I assisted youth members that had various difficulties such as domestic problems, emotional traumas, alcoholism, educational problems and people with low self-esteem among many others.
These experiences have strengthened my conviction in the need to pursue a clinical graduate degree in counseling. Culturally Relevant Interpersonal Skills As a student at Capella University pursuing a clinical graduate degree in counseling, I perfectly understand the importance of cultural competence. By ensuring that I am culturally competent, I would be able to comprehend well the culturally relevant information and facts relating to a client’s culture to facilitate skillful intervention that would bring positive change through my counseling.
For this reason, I am always keen to handle all people in a respective manner irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation or gender among other differences. To develop multicultural competency, I would have to assess the cultural awareness needs so as to have a better and more accurate understanding of people from different backgrounds, then, I would develop multicultural knowledge resources and lastly work on improving on my multicultural skills.
These would help me find a common ground between the different groups or individuals that I would have to work with as well as create a firm foundation for both interpersonal and intrapersonal harmony. In addition, I would have to seek affiliation with a large multicultural organization where I would be able to develop and grow my interpersonal skills to enable me to deal with a culturally diverse clientele. Self-awareness As I was growing up, I personally had to deal with numerous stressful situations, an experience that was highly traumatizing.
Among the problems, that I had to deal with was an alcoholic father, who was abusive and negligent. Having gone through these experiences, I can easily understand what others feel and think while they are in such situations. I can therefore relate to their circumstances well because I have the ability to reflect inwardly with regard to their situations. I faced/confronted my problems through wide reading on many counseling books, an experience that strengthened me and gave me the courage to face my difficult circumstances as well as help other people facing similar problems.
Reading widely on psychology instilled in me patience, discipline, compassion, diligence and resilience, virtues that have helped me to understand other peoples’ predicaments. Having had to undergo through my personal problems and yet act as an advisor to my classmates and roommates strengthened me and gave me the will to look beyond problems by seeking practical and responsible solutions to all kinds of problems. These reasons make me believe that I am an appropriate person to pursue a clinical graduate degree in counseling. Future Professional Goals in Counseling
One of my career goals is to obtain licensure and practice in Georgia. To achieve my career goals in counseling, I would need to meet the licensure requirements for Georgia in which I believe that I can obtain at Capella. These requirements include completing my counseling master’s course for my master’s degree in counseling, securing postmaster’s professional placement (requires completion of at least 32 hours a week) so as to begin accruing the required 3000 hours of supervised training (including 1000 direct clinical hours to clients) as per Georgia state requirements.
In addition, while accruing the required 3000 clinical hours of practice, an appropriately credentialed supervisor must supervise the counselor, it is also a requirement by the Georgia state that the counselor/applicant should complete the 3000 supervised hours in at least two years. Upon completion of the application, payment of the required fees and submission of other supporting documents, the professional counselor’s section deliberates and determines the eligibility of an applicant.
Having obtained my license, I would like pursue my second goal, which entails being involved in research work in the field of counseling. As I had a deep interest in the subject, I would like to conduct a research in one of the common problem areas. With the vast knowledge and skills gained, I would then pursue teaching; specifically, I would like to teach counseling to undergraduates. Lastly, my other goal would be to write a book in one of the subjects that I would have researched on.
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