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The Role and Life of a Clinical Mental Health

COUN 6100: Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling

© 2018 Walden University 1

Final Project: The Role and Life of a Clinical Mental Health

Counselor

You may use the hyperlinks below to access specific sections of this document:

Final Project Overview ~ Final Project Details ~ Final Project Sections ~ Timeline for Completion

Overview

Books, television, and movies are full of stories revealing the day-to-day realities of various professions. These stories provide a behind-the-scenes look at the often unknown stress, joy, and effort involved in being a doctor, law enforcement agent, or even a chef. What do you think the day-to-day life of a clinical mental health counselor is like? What constitutes a typical day for a clinical mental health counselor, or is there no such thing? For the Final Project in this course, you will uncover the hidden realities of the daily life of a clinical mental health counselor. For this Final Project, you will conduct an in-person interview with a licensed clinical mental health counselor.

You are encouraged to seek out an interviewee who works with a population in a setting that interests you. As you write up your interview for the Final Project, apply the information from this course to demonstrate your understanding of what it means to be a clinical mental health counselor.

Final Project Overview ~ Final Project Details ~ Final Project Sections ~ Timeline for Completion

Please note that you must interview a licensed clinical mental health counselor. It is NOT acceptable to interview a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, addictions specialist, school counselor, or other mental health provider for this assignment. Counselors have unique training, credentialing, and ethical standards. Because this course is housed in the School of Counseling, this assignment is to be oriented toward that unique professional identity. If you are confused about this requirement, please contact your Instructor for clarification.

COUN 6100: Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling

© 2018 Walden University 2

Final Project Details

Final Project Due Dates The Final Project consists of three parts to help you stay on task throughout the course:

• Part 1: A 1-page summary of the person or agency you will interview. Due Module 3, Day 7, Week 7.

• Part 2: Conduct the interview. Complete by Module 3, Day 7, Week 9.

• Part 3: Interview Write-up and Reflection. Due Module 4, Day 7, Week 10. Final Project Criteria (Part 3) Part 3 of the Final Project is a 5- to 7-page paper (not including title page or references) that consists of two sections: (1) a narrative summation of an interview that incorporates material from the course, and (2) a personal reflection on the experience of conducting the interview. Remember to do the following:

1. Demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge and critical thinking appropriate to graduate-level scholarship.

2. Support your points with specific references to the Learning Resources (including texts, media, and peer-reviewed scholarly articles) from the course and the interview. Please review the Final Project Rubric located in the Course Information section of the course.

3. Follow APA Publication Manual guidelines. Writing must be free of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors. Information on scholarly writing may be found in the APA Publication Manual and on the Walden Writing Center website.

4. Adhere to Walden’s Academic Integrity guidelines. See “Policies on Academic

Honesty” under Walden University Policies and Information in the Guidelines and Policies area.

Final Project Grading Part 1 of the Final Project, Introduce Your Interview Subject, is worth 8 points. Part 2 of the Final Project, Conduct the Interview, is ungraded, and no submission is required. Part 3 of the Final Project, Interview Write-up and Reflection, is worth 20 points. It is graded according to the Final Project Rubric.

COUN 6100: Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling

© 2018 Walden University 3

Final Project Overview ~ Final Project Details ~ Final Project Sections ~ Timeline for Completion

Overview of Final Project Sections

Part 3 of the Final Project consists of two sections, summarized below.

Section 1: Narrative Summation of Interview Your summation should be presented as a narrative rather than a listing of questions and answers. It is recommended that you audiotape the interview so that you may review it as you complete the Final Project. For the interview, use the following questions. Several questions relate to topics covered in this course so that you may gain an understanding of how the course topics apply to the life of a counselor. If a question is related to a weekly topic, the week number is indicated in parentheses after the question. Interview Questions

1. Describe your motivation for becoming a mental health counselor.

2. How is the profession of counseling unique within the helping professions? How does it differ from psychology or social work? (Week 3)

3. What are your thoughts on the current labor market for counselors?

4. Can you describe what a normal day looks like for you as you do your job?

5. What ethical and legal issues do you have to keep in mind each day? (Week 4)

6. How does understanding and respecting multiculturalism help you as a counselor? (Week 8)

7. How have you engaged in advocacy (for clients, for the profession)? If so, what did that involve and how did it go? (Week 9)

8. What do you do to maintain self-care and wellness? (Week 2)

9. What’s the best piece of advice you can give me as a counselor-in-training?

10. Add one additional question of your own choosing.

COUN 6100: Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling

© 2018 Walden University 4

Write up this section of your paper as a narrative rather than as a list of questions and answers. Use citations to the Learning Resources to demonstrate your application and mastery of concepts from this course. For example, how does what your interviewee said about ethics relate to what you learned in the course? Section 2: Reflection In this section, you reflect on both the interview and the course. In your reflection, respond to the questions below. Your reflection should be presented as a narrative rather than a listing of questions and answers.

1. Consider your response to the Week 1 Spark Discussion question. How has your vision changed over the past 10 weeks? What is the same? What new insights have you gained?

2. What did you learn from the interview that you did not learn in the course?

3. What, if anything, did you learn from the interview that contrasted with what you learned in the course?

4. What do you anticipate the impact of being a clinical mental health counselor may be on who you are personally?

COUN 6100: Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling

© 2018 Walden University 5

Final Project Overview ~ Final Project Details ~ Final Project Sections ~ Timeline for Completion

Timeline and Tasks for Completing the Final Project

Module 1 Module 2

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6

Suggested Tasks • Determine the population and setting to focus on for the

project. • Identify potential counselors to interview. • Make contact with potential interviewees. • Schedule an interview.

Module 3 Week 7 Required Task • Submit by Day 7 a brief (1 page) paper in which you

identify your selected interview subject and explain why you have selected that person.

Week 8 Week 9

Suggested Tasks • Schedule the interview. • Prepare for the interview. • Interview the counselor (by the end of Week 9). • Draft the Final Project. • Make an appointment with Walden Writing Center tutor

to review draft. • Incorporate the tutor’s suggestions into final version of

project.

Module 4 Week 10 Required Task • Submit by Day 7 your completed 5- to 7-page Final

Project.

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