So, I’ve been working in mental health for a while now…Okay, if by a while you mean approximately 1 year and 6 months, then yes, it’s been a while. Although I’m a counselor new to the working world, I am observant, and there are some things that concern me. I’m not sure if they are blatant and complete ethical violations, but they are things that sorta raise a red flag for me. Oh, or maybe I have common sense?
One thing is the “refusal of service” that some mental health professionals and facilities engage in. If a client doesn’t have a way to pay, they cannot be served. They are referred out (ethical) to places that consist of mostly interns, who are not “billable” (somewhat fishy). Now, why can’t people who have no insurance or low income get “top notch” (licensed and experienced) professionals to service them? Just a question.
Another thing…I’ve encountered individuals who have questionable educational backgrounds. I am a true believer in getting a masters degree at an accredited university. And in the counseling field, the actual counseling program should be accredited. I think that this gives the counselor experience that cannot be substituted by online universities or programs that merely expose students to the “bare bones” of mental health and are then expected to get the rest of their experience from internship. The people who are getting degrees from online universities or other “short 48 hour programs” I believe may or may not be trained well (basically a crap-shoot). Some individuals I have met who are trained in these schools are not fully aware of some ethical matters, and I believe it can be detrimental to the clients they encounter and the agencies they work for. For example, a counselor complaining about their clients to other counselors in the perimeter is not professional. This is a caring/health profession and individuals should be trained to handle severe and acute cases with professionalism and humanity.
Oh and believe me, I bring it up during group supervision and such…so I am doing my part to address these things with my colleagues. I suppose it’s better to bring it to their awareness later than never.
I’m probably going to get some crap for this. But it needed to be said.