Mental Health Counseling History

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Mental Health Counseling: History and Development Laura Ritchason COUN 5223 Mental Health Counseling: History and Development Mental health counselors accept a developmental perspective in that individuals grow and change throughout their lifetime. Therefore the understanding of the principles of human development, psychology, mental health and change theories offers essential serving relationships with individuals from diverse cultures in order to provide assessments, diagnosis, treatment through cognitive, affective, behavioral and systemic strategies in order to facilitate change. Mental health counseling had not evolved overnight as it might appear but history will show us when and how clinical mental health developed and the contribution…show more content…
In concurrent with the continuous concept of mental health care and services, graduates of counselor education programs, who were essentially prepared to work in the elementary and secondary education settings were unable to find employment in those schools with federal dollars for human services programs such as the Secondary Education Act (1965) being redirected towards supporting the Vietnam war effects (Smith & Robinson 1995). By the 1970s, mental health counselors were vaguely defined as a profession without a clear identity or professional organization in which to form organizational structure for support (Smith & Robinson 1995). With a demanding quantity of individuals who were educated at either master's or doctoral level; worked in community agencies, mental health or private practice settings; delivering wide variety of services with similarities to those of psychiatry, psychology and social work felt as though they had no professional home by merit, therefore forming the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) in 1976 (Smith & Robinson 1995). During the mid 1980's, new and more demanding standards were being established in order for mental health counselors to work in the health care system which led to the AMHCA Board of Directors adopted set of comprehensive training standards for mental health counselors in 1986-1987 (Smith & Robinson 1995). These training standards required at least 60 semester credit hours of education and a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical supervision and were modified in 1988 by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) along with the advancement of specialty accreditation in particular areas such as, marriage/couples and family counseling (Smith & Robinson 1995). In 1993, the CACREP standards and ACA policy was used as starting points for which the AMHCA adopted a comprehensive set
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