April 5, 2017
Dr. Stephanie T. Burns, assistant professor in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology, has published the journal article "Crafting a One-Minute Counselor Professional Identity Statement" in the Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy.
Counselors are frequently asked to describe their vocation in order to help distinguish their profession, as well as their specialization, within the field (Mellin, Hunt, & Nichols, 2011). For individuals in fields without a strong professional identity, such as counseling, developing a professional identity and communicating, it effectively can be more challenging (Mellin et al.). Because the vocation of counseling does not have a well-established professional identity in society (Myers, Sweeney, & White, 2002), counselors must communicate not only their own professional identity, but simultaneously define a centralized identity for the field of counseling (Simpson, 2016). A balance between defining the vocational and individual professional identity is required in order for counselors to successfully communicate with potential employers, clients, and individuals from other vocations. The article proposes a seven-step format to create a One-Minute Counselor Professional Identity Statement, which showcases the identity of the field of counseling as well as the subspecialty practiced and the unique attributes of the individual counselor. Counselors need to create clear counselor professional identity statements to help to ensure that they can maximize their ability to work with their client population(s) of interest, receive reimbursement for counseling services, offer the full range of services they have been trained to provide in accordance with their scope of practice, as well as be taken seriously when advocating for clients (Myers et al., 2002). Creating a One-Minute Counselor Professional Identity Statement can help counselors clearly establish their distinct counselor professional identity to the public and other health-care vocations in order to maximize their career potential.