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Counseling Specializations and Multidisciplinary Teams

Autor:   •  November 28, 2018  •  1,724 Words (7 Pages)  •  462 Views

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Team Member Collaboration and Communication

When combining services, it is important that both agencies abide by Evidence-Based practices. Integrating mental health services with addictions can increase positive client outcomes. Often referred to as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder, these are not a diagnosis in the DSM-5 and are used only for a reference to having two disorders at once (DSM-5, 2013). Blending interventions into one treatment plan is best for the client. This also can simplify the way the plan is written if both disorders are considered primary. Ideally having a staff from multiple disciplines under one roof would work best. While that is not always possible close collaboration between counselors at different agencies can be done successfully. Cooperation among clinicians and collaboration are essential. There is no “one” solution to this issue, but all agencies should work on adopting some sort of integration (Astramovich & Hoskins 2013).


Professional counseling has many specializations under one title. Each one has an important part in helping the people they serve identify strengths and potential for overcoming problems. Counseling is a collaborative effort between the counselor and the client. The goal of each counselor is to use the key philosophies of wellness, resilience, and prevention. Working with other counselors in a multidisciplinary collaborative way, counselors can be more effective with better client outcomes. As the field of professional counseling continues to grow, we as counselor education students have a responsibility to uphold the highest ethical, professional and academic standards.


The first thing I would do with Paul is see what is going on at home and why he has turned to alcohol. I would do an assessment of his condition, do some testing for PTSD and possibly alcohol abuse. If I determined, he had PTSD I would devise a plan for therapy for 3 or 4 months using CBT. With CBT we could talk about his feelings from his past experiences in combat and the trauma he experienced. A lot of times the client may be blaming himself for the death of another even when he had no direct connection to the death. Counseling this client with this theoretical orientation can help him see the thinking errors and how to correct the distorted thought processes. I would also see if he is interested in medication and an evaluation from a psychiatrist. Often times medication combined with therapy can be a very effective intervention. Last I would monitor his self-reporting of the alcohol he is consuming. If down the road in therapy, he is still self-medicating I would expedite the referral to the psychiatrist. If he is taking his medication as prescribed for a few weeks and still finds the need for alcohol to suppress his emotions I would see if he would be willing to go to an outpatient clinic for substance abuse. I would use the appropriate referrals to each realm of treatment outside of the scope of my practice. I would be timely in my referrals and call the other professionals so there is no delay in his treatment plan. I would follow protocol for the agency I work for but do my best to work closely with them within my professional boundaries. These other professionals have a unique role in the treatment of this client because each one of us is staying within our specialty. Doctors provide medication and addictions counselors provide specific group therapy that I cannot do. I would continue weekly therapy with Paul until we have reached the end of our treatment plan and reassess the situation as needed.



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