1.1 Professional Identity
As a counselor-in-training, it is
vital that you begin to build your role as a professional, striving toward
mastery of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are identified with the
Clinical Mental Health Counseling profession as well as a professional person
in the world of work.
1.2 Professional Affiliations and Service
An important part of building your
professional identity is choosing activities of interest to you and
participating in local, state, regional, national, and even international
activities related to Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Finding your niche(s)
can be an empowering and exhilarating addition to your professional identity as
Moreover, you will develop
an important voice as an advocate for mental health and can become instrumental
in exacting change at all levels where mental health policy is considered.
1.3 Professional Skills and Limitations
As a student, and later as a mental health professional, it is
imperative that you understand the limits of your own abilities, knowledge,
skills, and authority,
so you can communicate and present yourself
accurately in an ethical and professional way that reflects the standards of
The American Counseling Association, The American Mental Health Counseling
Association, andtheFloridaStateStatutesrelated tothe Professionalof Clinical Mental HealthCounseling
(or those of any state in which you reside).
1.4 Professional Attitudes and Independent Thinking
As a student and future professional it is important that you not only learn and
understand the history, theoretical tenets, and skills of the Clinical Mental
Profession, but also that you think independently, exploring and challengingthe conventional
thinking is what has brought the profession to its standards of excellence
throughout the many years of its existence.
As the Profession moves ever
continually toward evidence based outcomes in therapy, becoming familiar with
and involved in the professional research in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
is a must, not only so you can contribute to the Profession and its
professional literature, but also so you can stay up-to-date and literate in
current and historic research. There is
often a disconnect between current counseling research and practitioners. You cannot count on your place of employment
to keep counselors up to date on research findings. You can count on yourself to seek them out,
resulting in “best practices” in counseling.
1.6 Disseminating Professional Knowledge
An important element of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Profession, for students, counselors, and counseling faculty, is disseminatingprofessional
knowledgetoall interested parties
increasetheeffectiveness ofthepracticeofmentalhealth counseling andenrich thequalityoflifeofthoseindividuals who areserved.
1.7 Demonstrating Leadership
As you move
through the Program and evolve into the Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Professional, your ability to demonstrate leadership is important in order to
build public visibility, credibility and trust, both with clients and other
counseling professionals but also with professionals from various disciplines
with whom you interact.
1.8 Ethical Accountability
As with those who are already working in the field, students areethicallyaccountableto
theProfession, to thepublic,and toeach other.
1.9 Professional Counseling Post Graduate Requirements
In order to be licensed by the state
of Florida, s
Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program must meet
all the State educational
requirements forlicensure as aMental Health Counselor (LMHC).
As ofJanuary1, 2001, all
individualsapplying forlicensureor post-graduate counselinginternship status in the State of Florida are required tohave
a total of 60 hours of combined academic and clinical instruction (1000 total clinical
requirements -- including information regarding
the licensure examination process
and post-graduate supervision -- will bediscussed
during the course of your tenure in the CMHC program. Nonetheless, it is important
that you keep up to dateon current Floridalaws
to post degreelicensure.
1.10 Program Guiding Principles
A foundational guiding principle in the Clinical Mental
Program and mental health counseling profession is that personal exploration
and awareness is an integral part of the process, not only as a student but
also as a lifelong practice.
he followingprinciples haveserved
ofthe CHMC program’s mission, policies
and procedures,curriculum, course
ofessional counselors must value andhonordiversity,equity
across the life span isintegral
to training professional
must advocate forthemental
disabilitystatus, culture and/or ethnicity,gender,or sexual
Professional counselorsareobligated to deal with theirown internal beliefs,
assumptions and behaviors
with regard to sexism,
ageism,racism, classism, disability, andhomophobia,
those belief systems
Professional counselorsare ethicallyobligatedto
strivetoward their own optimal psychological health and
self-careactivitiesrelated to the emotional, physical,cognitive,
spiritual and intra-psychic dimensions of life.
level ofcompetence and
to do so onlywithin their areas of
processmust emphasizethe a
oftheoryto practice andprovide
ample opportunitiesfor experiential learning throughout the program.