professional development plan Essay


Time after time in life, it is paramount for us to think deeply about what career path we will take. It helps to better clarify who we are as people, what we stand for, it enables others to know our qualifications and influences, as well as, why we are so ardent about it, and why we chose to pursue a particular path in life. This paper will respond to the several questions as we ponder when the first time I remember a time an individual applying counseling skills with me, my feelings, the end result, and how has that affected my counseling outlook.

Will identify what I think is the best kind of help for me when experiencing a personal crisis. Will explain the first time that I pondered the counseling profession and what was occurring in my life at that time, which will establish how it forms my counseling view. Will explain what I believe is my quintessential personal traits of a professional counselor, find out what characteristics I already hold and how I plan to obtain those I do not presently have.

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Explain what I think fosters constructive change and finally, learn how my life encounters have primed me to be a counselor. ?

Counselor Identity Statement

The aim of this paper is to have a finer comprehension of self as an individual, acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses, comprehend my thoughts as to what I feel a counselor should be and needs to be, as well as examine whether there are things I should and need to work on so as to make me a better and well-rounded counselor.

I can honestly say that in growing up, I did not have a person in my life who depicted a type of role as a counselor, I grew up in an environment where children should be seen and not heard, we all had a role in the family, and things had to be done in a certain way. As the oldest in of the children and parents were working parents, my role was nanny, cook, and maid. The adults in the family were the authority. It was a responsibility that helped me but also hurt me because I really had no time for friends and socializing was only with other family members. I grew up in a strict and over protective father, which was destructive because as much as he tried to protect there were things he could not protect me from. I did go to a psychiatrist for therapy because I was out of control, this happens when a child is protected to the point that she or he has no identity except for being a mother to the siblings, a housekeeper, and a cook with no outside life except with family. The true reason why I went to therapy was that I was sexually molested by family members at the age of seven. At the time I didn’t tell my parents or anyone else, not even the psychiatrist. I know it was an opportunity but he was a male and he ended molesting me. I never told anyone I just acted out more and more. It wasn’t until one day a family member wanted to have sex with me, I was sixteen and I had enough. I told my parents and I thought I would be safe and my parents would take care of it. No, my father betrayed me, he did not believe me and for me, that was the ultimate betrayal.

If I would have had someone to talk to maybe things would have been different. I struggled for a long time with the inability to verbalize my feelings. A lot of times growing up I would have different emotions and feelings of anger, rage, sadness, and betrayal knowing what brought me to this level and more importantly unable to handle it. Over time, however, I would find relationships to bridge that gap. These relationships were both physically, emotionally and sexually abusive. Experienced vulnerable times with break downs of not being able to cope with my moods. Even though I never saw a counselor I started to understand how much stronger I felt after I started talking about my experiences. As time went on I started to play another role of listening to others. The reason I did this was that I felt great. Helping others brings me joy and completion.

On 2011 my academic career began, I was accepted into the Bachelor’s psychology program at Argosy University. After finishing that program I started the Master’s program on forensic psychology in 2013, completed and graduated. In 2016, I started the Mental Health Counseling program. Unfortunately, the school closed on March 8, 2019. On March 25, 2019, I was accepted to Walden University, which is a great opportunity to finish the program.

To me, being counseling is a profession that empowers people, families, and groups in order to achieve mental health. The reason for wanting to become a counselor is because I was told that I was a good listener and I think with what I have experienced provides a type of connection with others. I have a desire to help people. I prefer to work with adults. I also want to work in a community and private practice setting.

Counseling is a rewarding career that is growing. Have a strong desire to interact with others, I believe I good communication skills, and the capability to finish the program. Completing the program shows great commitment to myself, to my family and friends, and to society.

Professional Development

What influenced me to pursue this degree was that Ocala, Florida has many individuals with mental disorders related to substance abuse. Eventually, I would like to open up my own treatment center, and also work with sexually and physically abused men and women suffering from substance abuse.

I am enthusiastic about counseling and the progression it makes in the field of counseling. Counseling utilizes tools in identifying and comprehending mental disorders. Identifying clients’ clinical past, and various testing are performed and compared; this is what a substance abuse treatment center, treatment center in a correctional facility, and in the center I work for exactly does. I have faith in that if you mend a client’s way of thinking and behavior it can actually alter their life, from somebody who is in pain and hates themselves to somebody who completely values all that life has to offer and loves being who they are without faking it. I believe that if a client comprehends their disorder and can essentially see the results that their disorder has on their behavior the client will be more eager to change. The counselor empowers a client by providing that sense of control in their lives. As a counselor, it is to provide a client with the coping skills needed and empowering them with self-discovery.

To continue my growth in the counseling field entails continued education since the field is constantly changing. I believe growth in the counseling field relies on the growth of the individual we serve. We need to constantly ask if the clients we serve are getting better, are they seeking help before their issues get out of hand, and are the client’s needs being met. These thoughts are crucial to a counselor identity, focusing on documenting effectiveness and preserving my core values.

Regarding theories, a counselor needs to integrate informational and an evidence-based theory, which in practice is vital. When working with such a diverse population a counselor must perform research utilizing evidence-based theories in order to be able to document evidence of what works in sustaining mental health.

Counseling Growth

To continue my growth in the counseling field I plan to join workshops presented by the American Counseling Association (ACA). To continue growing and become a great counselor I would need to improve and incorporate valuable alliances and inspire hope and optimism. According to Shallcross (2012), a great counselor swiftly centers on attainable goals, cautiously selects evidence-based theories, takes full advantage of change prospects, and facilitates treatment and assures that the achieved is maintained after the counseling relationship has ended.

For growth, fortitude is needed. A safe environment needs to be formed and a structured treatment so a client is able to engage in the prospects of change. I also believe that the most valuable skills a counselor can have when counseling is, self-awareness, empathy, and flexibility in order to grow as a counselor. Additionally, learning to listen to a client meticulously allows the session to advance. Providing structure not only provides a client with some kind of insight, ability to make decisions, and acknowledgment, but most importantly it empowers them.

Learning Strengths and Resources

In taking the VARK (2018) assessment I learned that I was a kinesthetic learner, which means that I focus on the application of ideas. I learn more through by doing or experiencing the ideas. This helps in creating a better connection. To be successful as an online student and a counselor, persistence is the greatest key. Since this is not my first time as an online student I have had many challenges with technical issues. However, I have asked for help and worked through the issues challenges in order to complete those assignments. It is my belief that my learning style allows to better my communication skills, resolve conflicts, make better decisions, and with managing my time. Additionally, my learning style would be beneficial in helping others as a tutor or helping one of my peers.

The resources provided by Walden University would strengthen my learning style by providing the needed and necessary resources to better enhance my learning, with books and videos since I am more a hands on learner videos of how other counselors approach to therapy and their style of communication would be a better fit. The resource I use is the Purdue Online Writing Lab, I have used this resource throughout my academic career. I find that when I have an issue on I can go to the website and find the appropriate way to cite a passage or a journal.

The American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (2014), is very informative, which I have several copies. Since I work as a victim advocate/counselor I keep a copy with me at work and at home. Throughout my academic career, I use the ACA for assignments, however, I use the information if I have questions regarding dual relationships, professional responsibility, evaluation or assessment. Learning and understanding the entire ACA takes time, but I feel knowing and understanding is dependent on the situation. However, in achieving this throughout the academic career is important but again having a copy to look at when a situation present itself, which is important. However, learning the ACA is most important in regards to confidentiality, professional responsibility, counseling relationship, and do no harm.

School of Counseling’s Professional Dispositions

In order to learn and demonstrate the School of Counseling Professional Deposition throughout the training program, the following has to take place:

• Improve skills in evaluating, diagnosing, case conceptualization, and treatment formation.

• Improve skills in individual/cultural dissimilarities and ethical and legal criterions with the purpose of providing ethical and socially delicate amenities to culturally varied populaces and establishments.

• Improve skills in counseling and beneficial interventions, approaches, theoretical abilities, remediation, and session.

• Improve transcribed and verbal skills in the methodical procedure and the presentation of these skills to the scholastic and theoretical method.

• Improve individual and relational skills vital for conducting in a proficient and educated way.

According to CACREP Standards (2016, p. 21) students that are getting ready to major in as a mental health counselor need to show the skilled understanding and skills required to aid clients in building life strategies, as well as, focusing on a broad range of situations within the framework of clinical mental health counseling. To have learned and demonstrated the skills needed to effectively these skills the plan is to learn from the assignments and take the feedback from the professor and fellow students, as well as, using these skills at work with supervision from the supervisor.


I have been a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) since August 2018. I will be looking into other associations such as the American School Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counselors Association. I have not chosen a speciality division, but my state branch is the Florida Counseling Association (FCA).

Potential struggles or challenges

I have encountered personal obstacles and struggles that could have affected me both academically and professionally, which could have detoured me from continuing. However, I have a great support system. My family especially my husband supports me and pushes me when I feel lost and second guess myself.

To anticipate any stressors that may come my way can sometimes be a challenge, but to avoid stressors and maintain self-care I am very much cognizant of the symptoms. Showing signs of distraction while I am with a client can subsequently lead to burnout. In order to maintain self-care as a counselor, it may be hard to say no to a client, which can be especially difficult when working with clients who are grappling with extreme dependence and therefore force the boundaries. However, talking with clients and ascertaining the expectancies and responsibilities from the start of the counseling relationship is insightful and soundest practice. By setting boundaries, it promotes chances that I will stay aware of my personal importance and self-care. According to Pope & Vasquez (2005) sustaining healthy regard for boundaries is an asset to a counselor’s personal and professional life. Apart from setting boundaries, being flexible with time and scheduling guarantees that I have time for me.

Another strategy I utilize to maintain low stress and self-care is mini vacations, which offers a much-needed break from the office and home. The best strategy is having a support system. Having support from my family, friends, colleagues, and my fellow peer’s guarantees that I always have someone I can depend and lean on. My support system helps in getting me through the hurdles I am facing. If I am having problems in persuading a client to open up, I ask my supervisor who is a licensed counselor for suggestions. Time with my family or friends is a great diversion from the difficulties of work.

Clinical and Curricular Training

1. Pre-Practicum Lab 1: between quarter 4

2. Pre-Practicum Lab 2: between quarter 7

3. Start to prepare for a search for a field site: quarter_1_

4. Start contacting prospective field sites: quarter_3_

5. Request support for a field site if you need it as early as quarter_4_

6. Begin field experience application process: quarter_6_

7. Start Practicum application: quarter_7_

8. Submit Internship I application: quarter_9_

9. Begin practicum: quarter_9_

10. Begin Internship: quarter10

11. Complete all Internship requirements: quarter 11 year _2020_


To achieve the utmost fundamental desire is to instantly work on continue to outline a growth plan. The attainments of the first plan can be useful to a new plan and permits in accomplishing greater depths than I formerly believed conceivable. The focal idea is to not become stationary in my career development just because I am in a good place. Continued growth means constantly learning and growing during the course of my entire profession.

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