Identification and fulfillment of Professional Potential
Integration of Theory and Practice
Ongoing Professional Developments
Alcohol (and other drugs) abuse is not just a problem of an individual but that of the whole society. This implies that the whole society has a role to play in the rehabilitation of the people who resort to drug abuse when they find it hard to put up with the ups and downs of life. Particularly, the counselors working at the rehabilitation center have a major role to play when it comes to restoring the independence and normalcy in an addict's life.
Personal Vision and Learning
During the course of my degree, I have acquired vast amount of knowledge on how a counselor should go about when he or she is dealing with an alcohol (or any other substance) abuser. It is not only just about counseling the residents of the rehabilitation center to give up on the drugs, but also about various aspects of that person's personality and role in the community. I believe that it is vital for a counselor to understand and respect the individuality of a person and the uniqueness of a community before he goes ahead with his professional tasks of counseling, within the ethical principles of the profession. Appropriate knowledge of social and cultural diversity is very important for anyone who is part of the social work, be it a counselor or any other kind of social worker. In modern societies, according to Hannerz (1992), counselors and social workers are confronted with intense changes in their professional life in which they have to face unfamiliar cultures and micro-cultures. Therefore, Grothe and Straub (2008) are of the view that it is mandatory for the social workers and counselors to adapt themselves according to the changes and at the same time enlarge and reconstruct their competencies.
Social and cultural diversity is not the only field in which a counselor has to reconstruct his or her professional competencies. I reckon I was always (and I believe every counselor should) very enthusiastic about learning novel as well as old alcohol and drug rehabilitation techniques that are being used in the most renowned rehabilitation centers, the world over. Being familiarized with these techniques and applying them in my professional work has always been one of my top priorities.
Although, it is not an easy task to work in a group, over the course of my degree I learnt to alter my professional skills in a way that would be helpful in integrating myself and contributing in a group. I feel accomplished when today I am able to provide substantial contribution while working in a group.
Many reports including the Research Report Series (2012) have concluded that the Therapeutic Community model, designed for the treatment of alcohol and other drug abuse people, is better than many drug-involved treatments for this purpose. The role of the counselor is further highlighted in this kind of model. Working in this model, I have to make sure that my social norms are balanced in a way that would prove to be a source of influence and motivation and influence for the addicts. It is important for counselor and social workers like me to do so because there are no drugs involved in this kind of treatment and the only way drug abusers can be brought to normalcy is through the development of effective social skills by the counselors.
I also learnt to appreciate the difference between rehabilitation and habilitation at the therapeutic community models, which would require me to adopt different approaches for the residents as a counselor. Rehabilitation is for residents who present with a normal social and family history in the past. The reason why they are here is alcohol and other drug abuse. Meanwhile, Jainchill (1997) said that those who need to be habilitated are people who have never been exposed to a normal social life. Jainchill (1997) also said that one of the most important principles that I had to come at terms with while working in a therapeutic community is "self-help," meaning that the individuals who are receiving treatment are those who contribute to the change process.
While I have studied and analyzed many rehabilitation techniques, I have come to the conclusion that the ones used by Odyssey House McGrath Foundation can prove to be very beneficial in the social uplift of the alcohol and drug abuse residents. The treatment method that is used here does not only confine to the treatment of addiction but also extends to misuse and related types of anti-social behavior as an underlying cause of drug addiction. Therefore, methods like self-motivation, C.B.T and brief counseling are made use of. The CEO of Odyssey House, Pitts (2012) claims that the treatment at Odyssey is based on the five pillar theory of love, honesty, trust, concern and responsibility. I reckon the use of such tactics to give relief to the residents is very beneficial for the individual as well as society. Working with these methods, I developed the concepts that drugs are a symptom of an underlying problem and the basis on which a treatment should be founded is the feeling of well-being.
I understand that while working in this profession, I will have to face a lot of emotional blocks and upheavals. Therefore, one of the biggest goals that need to be achieved by me and my fellow counselors is how to deal with these feelings and emotions in a particular situation. One of the key principles that we need to keep in mind is remaining composed and collected as well as showing concern and consideration to the resident as he or she feels the emotional trauma in a specific environment.
3. Mission Statement
For the proper growth of a professional counselor, it is necessary for him or her to have a mission statement that would define his or her values and principles in accordance with the professional code of conduct. The mission statement will also determine how he or she wishes to treat the residents of the rehabilitation centers so that they can once again have normal social interactions. Studying different aspects of alcohol and other drug abuse I have also devised a mission statement for my professional life. I believe that all the organizations working for the social uplift of alcohol and other drug addicts should be non-profit organizations. All the counselors who become a part of these organizations should be dedicated to provide dynamic and various kinds of services to the clients who are seeking these services. The residents of the rehabilitation houses should be helped to overcome their dependencies through self-help and motivational treatment. I will be committed to instill in these residents the ability to live and contribute in the community.
4. Ethical Framework
The ethical code of conduct in counseling is a vast subject. According to my knowledge and research, I would sum up this vast subject into three main headings; values of psychotherapy and counseling, personal moral qualities of psychotherapists and counselor and principles of psychotherapy and counseling (Code of Ethics, 2012: 8-11).
Values of Psychotherapy and Counseling
When I talk about the values of psychotherapy and counseling, I refer to the commitment that is required by the counselors pertaining to the respect of human rights and dignity. They need to make sure that the integrity of counselor-client relationship is kept intact. Counselors should be dedicated towards improving the quality of their knowledge and they should apply this knowledge for the relief of personal suffering and distress. One of the fundamental principles that should always be remembered by counselors and other social workers while working with alcohol and other drug abuse is the appreciation and respect of social and cultural diversity.
Moral Qualities of Counselors
Counselors' moral qualities are of great importance because they directly affect the treatment of the clients. All the services that are rendered by the counselors and social workers need to have a moral and ethical component to them, as this is determines what kind of people the clients will be in terms of virtues and morals when they return to the society.
Ethical Principles of Psychotherapy and Counseling
Now comes the most important part of the code of conduct in counseling and social work; the ethical principles of psychotherapy and counseling. This is yet again a very comprehensive topic so I will summarize it in a few sentences. Counselors should keep their fidelity intact. The right of self-governance should be respected when dealing with the clients. The services being provided to the clients should reflect the commitment to promote the well-being of clients. At the same time, the counselors should also be committed to avoid any practice that would harm the clients. Counselors and social workers should ensure impartiality and justice in their services.
5. Professional Strengths and Limitations
Just like any other profession, there are many strengths as…