The process of developing a professional identity was discussed in this chapter. What specific personal characteristics or experiences might facilitate positive professional development? What specific characteristics or experiences may hinder positive professional development? Peer 1 Gabrielle As mentioned by our text developing a professional identity is a continuous and developmental process (Gerig 2018). An individual in search of developing a professional identity is open minded and is flexible in order to collect valuable information through mentors peers or even through experience. It is especially important to be patient in the process of developing a professional identity as one might find themselves intimidated surrounded by other professionals who have already achieved their personal identity (Gerig 2018). As aforementioned developing a professional identity is a process and with all processes comes the important characteristic of patience to see it through. Further certain experiences can help facilitate positive professional development such as the attendance of continuous training or the shadowing of a mentor. In a continuance of the development of professional identity one will go from relying on an external factor to taking responsibility for their own work. Finally a counselor must commit to lifelong learning in order to continue to contribute to their professional identity (Gerig 2018). One thing that could hinder the development of positive professional identity is becoming stagnant in training. Because facilitation of professional identity is a lifelong process it is important to continue training and learning upcoming methods of how to interact with clients. If one becomes too comfortable in their position and level of knowledge in counseling methods it can greatly hinder the process of developing a professional identity. In addition one becoming frustrated or overwhelmed in the process can lead to the individual either not putting in the full effort towards their professional development or remaining stagnant in their current position. Gerig M. (2018). Foundations for clinical mental health counseling: An introduction to the profession. New York NY: Pearson Peer 2 Marion Bell What specific personal characteristics or experiences might facilitate positive professional development? Many researchers have claimed that professional development for counselors is an ongoing process and can progress through that individuals natural life (Gerig 2018 pg.15). Some personal characteristics or experiences that may help facilitate positive professional development in counselors can include developing a sense of identity autonomy collegiality and calmness. Counselors will also begin to be more comfortable with their professional and personal (self) roles. In a nutshell we are beginning to know ourselves and what path we will take to serve those around us. What specific characteristics or experiences may hinder positive professional development? Some characteristics/experiences that may hinder positive professional development can include a counselor becoming increasingly dependent on their supervisor. It may become overwhelming and cause anxiety for counselors as they are learning to apply their newfound knowledge in various counseling situations. It is understandable though as it takes much time before counselors will experience “a stable sense of professional identity and competence (Gerig 2018 pg.16).” Reference Gerig M. (2018). Foundations for Clinical Mental Health Counseling: An Introduction to the Profession (3rd Edition).New York NY: Pearson. Peer 3 Natalie Crossland Developing a positive professional identity as a counselor has many similarities to developing any vocational identity. Our text makes it relevant to counselor professional identity by introducing us to the six-stage developmental model by Friedman and Kaslow (1986) and by highlighting three transformational tasks that lead to professional identity development from Prosek & Hurt (2014) (Gerig 2017 p.15). The six-stage model is as follows: 1) anticipatory stage 2) dependency stage 3) rely on supervisors but move toward independence 4) initiating autonomous counseling interventions and positive client responses 5) develop sense of autonomy and 6) settle into profession exhibiting calmness and collegiality. The three transformational tasks include 1) internalizing learning 2)responsibility for professional development and 3) forming a systemic identity. On top of these experiences there probably are personal characteristics and/or skills that could help as well. My current practicum/internship site is a career counseling center and one of my favorite theories is Planned Happenstance. This theory states that individuals can make the most out of planned and unplanned events through the honing of 5 skills optimism persistence curiosity flexibility and risk-taking I could see how these skills could relate to this context as well as novice counselors move through vocational identity development by making the most of their experiences. I could imagine the opposite of these skills could hinder the path towards positive professional development. So cynicism being irresolute uninterested inflexible and overly cautious would be characteristics that could dampen how much you could get out of an experience which could slow down how much you are getting out of an experience such as the practicum’s internships and subsequent counselor training. Peer 4 Andrea Brown Although the textbook discusses the facilitation of positive professional development and experiences that can hinder positive growth I feel as though depending on the individual we could see different outlooks on how we view positive development. Achieving a coherent professional identity as a professional mental health counselor has to do with who you are as a person and your personal developmental context and history (Gerig 2018). The shape that your professional identity takes is influenced by your ongoing interaction with a number of sociocultural forces such as economic systems societal and cultural values mores beliefs (Gerig 2018). No matter who the person is and the experiences they have endured the importance of implementing positive development into a new counselor is vital for continuous success. In addition counselors rely on professional associations as resources for continuing education and professional advocacy (Gerig 2018). Having guidance from professionals during graduate studies and post-graduate experiences is what can continue to foster positive professional development. After reading the text the huge takeaway from the positive mindset is “Proceed down the path with trusted peers and a knowledgeable mentor to walk alongside and fully invest yourself in your training experience (Gerig 2018). I feel as though my personal mindset about counseling and what good can be done in this profession I find it difficult to think about the negativity that could dismiss positive development. In regards to having experiences that might hinder positive growth professionally is seeing certain learning experiences as one-sided or continuously having a negative connotation with something within the profession. Gerig M. (2018). Foundations for clinical mental health counseling: An introduction to the profession. Pearson. Requirements: normal
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