Developing your professional identity overview

 

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Because few undergraduate programs offer courses in counseling, one of the areas in which new counselors struggle is that of developing a professional identity. This course has provided the basic ideas and practice exercises that you need to begin developing your own professional identify. The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to describe the role and function you envision for yourself as a counselor, to distinguish yourself from other helping professions, and to explain how you will find the resources to assist you in continuing to develop your capabilities. Take advantage of this opportunity to think through where you are headed, both in your program and in your career.

While you are expected to support your ideas with evidence from the professional literature, it is understood that you are beginning a new professional journey, and there may be some areas in which research alone cannot determine your personal direction. Acknowledge any uncertainty in your personal direction, and challenge yourself to express the reasons for that uncertainty.

Directions

Organize your paper into the following five topic areas:

  • Specialization within the field of counseling: State your specialization and explain how your role differs from counselors in other specializations. Take time to define, as specifically as possible, the areas in which you would like to focus your practice.
  • Counseling philosophy: As a counselor-in-training, describe how you integrate the concepts of wellness, resilience, and prevention into your approach in your identified specialization. Dig deeper, and explain the assumptions you are making that help you see a connection between counseling theory and your practice.
  • Licensing and certification: Describe what you have learned about state licensure and certification requirements for your specialization and explain how your coursework plan aligns with these requirements. Identify any areas in which you have found a state requirement that you are not certain will be met by your coursework, and describe how you will take action to resolve this uncertainty.
  • Ongoing professional development: Compare and contrast two professional counseling associations, and assess how these organizations can help you conceptualize your professional identity, and assist you in continuing professional development. Be specific about your areas of interest, and provide examples of ways in which these associations can assist you.
  • Impact of technology: Evaluate how technology might affect your clinical specialization, including assisting you in creating more efficient formats to help your clients, as well as raising ethical questions for you. As in other areas of the paper, provide specific examples.

In each case, support your ideas with evidence from professional literature, including the assigned articles and those you found related to professional identity, key philosophies, and technology within counseling. Include what you learned from your Internet research on state licensure or certification requirements.

Given the personal focus of this paper, it is appropriate to write in the first person (using the words I, me, and my, for example).

Review the scoring guide given in the resources to make sure you understand how this assignment will be graded.

Other Requirements

Your paper must meet the following requirements:

  • Resources: Cite and reference at least three resources from the professional literature that you use as the basis of the information and ideas you provide.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations must be formatted according to current APA style.
  • Font and Font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
  • Length of Paper: Doing a thorough job on this assignment is likely to require approximately 4–5 typed, double-spaced pages.
  • Turnitin: You are required to submit your final version of this paper to Turnitin to generate a final report prior to submitting the assignment for grading. From the Turnitin tool, first submit to the draft link to check your work for any necessary edits. Once the paper is finalized and all edits have been made, submit your final paper to the Final report option for the assignment. Please be advised it can take up to a day to obtain the percentage from Turnitin. When your paper is downloaded and viewable in Turnitin, save the originality report. Refer to the Turnitin Tutorial: Viewing an Originality Report (linked in the Resources) for guidance.
    1. Submit your assignment using the following file naming format: Your Name_AssignmentNumber_Assignment Title (example: Ima_Learner_u10a1_ProfessionalIdentity).
    2. In the comment section, provide the percentage from the final Turnitin report (example: Final Turnitin percentage = 4%). Please be prepared to provide your faculty member with a copy of the Turnitin report should this be requested of you.

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