For this assignment I need response written to each peer’s posting, the response needs to have at least 2 references included to support the response that is provided to each peer.
First peer post.
Who was interviewed?
I interviewed Melissa Edelmayer. She is a licensed independent social worker. In Ohio, social workers are eligible to practice counseling with the proper training and education. I have known Mrs. Edelmayer for approximately 9 years. She currently works at a private practice agency called Providers for Healthy Living. She specializes in mental health counseling with juveniles with training in CBT, Motivational Interviewing, and I-FAST where she has addressed substance abuse disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety disorders, and family dysfunction
- In what kind of environment does the person work (school, community center, private practice) and how has that environment affected his or her own career development?
As stated above, she currently works in private practice. Prior to her joining a private practice agency almost two years ago, she worked in a myriad of positions in non-profit mental health organizations ranging from Clinician to Director of Residential Care. Her experiences in residential have greatly influenced her career development and decision to join private practice. With larger agencies, there exist a larger bureaucracy that controls the direction of clinical practice. Mrs. Edelmayer stated that she has been appreciative of the experiences she received in these environments; however, she required some additional freedoms that allow her to spread her “clinical wings” into a new area.
- How does the interviewee integrate career counseling into his or her practice?
Mrs. Edelmayer stated that she has not solely focused on integrating career counseling into her practices as most of her clients tend to be youth and are afflicted with mental health and behavioral issues; however, she admits that there is some career counseling involved with many of her juvenile clients especially towards the middle of her treatments. Mrs. Edelmayer stated that this is useful in planning as career (or in the case of many of her clients, education) goals tend to be universal in many settings and situations throughout the lifespan process.
- What career counseling models does the counselor use in his or her practice (school counselors should consider P-12 comprehensive career development; mental health counselors consider theories and models of clinical mental health counseling)?
Mrs. Edelmayer states that she is extensively trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Because of this, she has utilized it in ways that implement career counseling objectives and goals. Because CBT is rooted in the theory that cognitive processes (which includes feelings and beliefs) determine behaviors, it makes sense that irrational or miscommunicated feelings and beliefs can lead to incorrect behaviors. Especially when working with youth, it can be a matter of challenging these feelings and beliefs in an attempt to change the behaviors so they can be more congruent to accepted societal norms. With career counseling, it can provide hope to break cycles of poor behaviors.
- What inventories or assessments does the person use and how are they integrated into the individual or group career plans?
Mrs. Edelmayer was asked specifically about career inventories. She stated that for her older adolescent clientele (and more), she uses the Career Thoughts Inventory. She stated that this has been especially useful in helping her clients help make decisions about which direction to take with their careers and appropriately integrated into her mental health sessions to work towards having unifying goals. She is able to streamline her services with their wants and needs.
- Describe their work with those who are of a different culture or race.
Mrs. Edelmayer describes working with people of all different backgrounds including variations in race/ethnicity, cultural identity, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ableism, and socioeconomic status. She also acknowledges that her own unique cultural background has made her much more aware of how these different roles intersect for people of all backgrounds.
- What strategies for career development program planning, organization, implementation, administration, and evaluation does the interviewee use?
Mrs. Edelmayer states that this is not necessarily the focus of her role since her clientele is largely juveniles with mental health concerns; however, with her partners, the topic is discussed during their supervision and consultation.
- What are the rewards and challenges to the job?
Mrs. Edelmayer states that with her being in the field so long, it is always nice to see former clients who were on the brink of despair return from that place and lead happy, healthy lives in the best way they define it. The greatest challenges have been losing clients to death for circumstances that have been outside of her care.
- What advice did the person have for you as a counselor in training to integrate career counseling into your specialization?
Mrs. Edelmayer re-emphasized her above statements by saying that it does not have to be particularly challenging to add career counseling goals into mental health treatment. She stated that if clinicians look at the totality of the client, it only makes sense for career counseling goals to be integrated into the clinical sessions.
- How did this informational interview increase your knowledge about integrating career counseling into your specialization?
Because I have worked with Mrs. Edelmayer in the past, I have already had a decent amount of these conversations with her. With this particular interview, I was better able to understand how to implement career counseling by using CBT as I, too, have novice experience with it. We also discussed how using Motivational Interviewing in conjunction with our clients who have a substance abuse issue could benefit from these conversations; however, we both agreed that it is best to address the substance abuse issue first before discussing career goals.
Second Peer Post
Regina White is a mental health counselor in the state of Indiana. The counselor states that she works in private practice in a large city. The counselor has a case load with many homeless clients. Her education has improved her techniques and methods of working with her clients. Regina states that she uses career counseling in her practice frequently. People who are homeless need lots of help finding a job opening, obtaining the job, arranging transportation to work, and support as they transition into their new careers.
Strategies, Evaluations, Models and Assessments
Regina states that she uses a lot of person-centered therapy, and solution-focused therapy theories with her clients. As far as assessments, Regina states that she does not use a lot of formal assessments when working with her clients. She states that many of them do not know where to begin with addressing their current problems and issues, or in getting a job. These clients are overwhelmed with the cares of life. Regina utilizes a card-sort activity to help her clients, and an open-interview style of talk-therapy to assess what jobs might be appropriate for each individual client. She states that the card-sort activity comes in handy when looking into what strengths and weaknesses the clients have. Furthermore, she can use this activity to decide if they need further training for a specific job.
Regina states that her case-load is diverse, with people from all different cultures and backgrounds. The counselor states that she is not an expert on all cultures. She has learned that doing a little research on particular cultures is beneficial. However, what helps the most is sitting down with the client and talking about his or her cultures, beliefs and traditions. Understanding a client’s culture can only be done by hearing the client describe in detail how he or she feels or believes.
Rewards, Challenges and Advice
Regina states that her work can be very rewarding. When she has a client who finds a good job, gets the job and does well on the job, it makes her happy. Once they get on their feet, she feels like she has really helped someone begin their journey toward career development and has helped improve their life overall. Regina states that there are also many challenges that come with the job. She states that some of her clients have become comfortable with being homeless. They have accepted this fate and feel that there is nothing else for them in this life. They have lost any hope that they might have had for making their lives better. Regina says that these clients are often very resistant to the process of getting a job.
Regina gave future counselors some great advice. Regina warned students that while there is a lot of great information that they are learning in school, there is much more to learn once they begin practicing. The counselor reminded them not to get discouraged if they don’t get it right the first time. She stated that she did not get it right the first time either. Regina told students to keep trying and not to give up, and that they will get the hang of it with a little bit of experience.
Regina reminded students how important continuing education is to continuing the successful practice of counseling. Anctil, Smith, Schenck and Dahir (2012) state that continuing education is very important for counselors who have been practicing for a long time, and for those who are new to the field. The authors state that when counselors get together and discuss methods and strategies, the experienced counselor can gain a fresh outlook. The inexperienced counselor can gain a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will guide them in their future work. Regina also discussed self-care and how important it is to start practicing self-care as a student and to continue that once work begins. The counselor also stated that this interview was as helpful for her as it was for current students. She said that it inspired her to work harder to integrate career counseling even more than she already does, and it gave her a reminder for why she got into this field in the first place.
Anctil, T. M., Smith, C. K., Schenck, P., & Dahir, C. (2012). Professional School Counselors’ Career Development Practices and Continuing Education Needs. Career Development Quarterly, 60(2), 109-121.