DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is full performance level professional clinical counseling involving the application of counseling principles and methods in the diagnosis, prevention, psychotherapeutic treatment, and amelioration of psychological problems, emotional conditions, substance use disorders or mental conditions of individuals, families and/or groups. Contacts are with clients served, their families, County Government health care professionals, other public and private treatment providers and health care agency representatives, attorneys, law enforcement agents, public school staff and/or hospital staff for the purpose of providing/coordinating direct treatment services, consultation, referral, exchanging information and resolving problems. Public service and assistance includes intensive interaction with clients during counseling therapy.
An employee in this class serves as therapist and case manager, performing a comprehensive variety of professional treatment services (e.g., preliminary diagnosis, evaluation and/or referral; crisis intervention; and/or clinical case management and service coordination) for the purpose of assisting the client in improving functioning, obtaining symptom relief, preventing psychosocial dysfunction or changing personality. Assignments are carried out independently and subject to clinical review through records, conferences and observations. The employee performs work in accordance with professional psychotherapy and counseling principles, methods and theories; diagnostic and evaluative standards of practice, i.e., Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; Federal, State and County laws and regulations; and established departmental policies and procedures. Available guidelines are not directly applicable to all situations, and the employee must exercise judgment in interpreting the guides to the specific problems and disorders presented by a client. Work is complicated by the need to identify and clinically assess, from an array of possibilities, the severity of a client's mental health and/or addiction condition; identify and develop a plan to mitigate numerous other problems and circumstances (i.e., legal, medical, homelessness, joblessness, limited referral resources, cultural/language barriers, dysfunctional relationships, lack of support network); determine safety risk of client to self and others; and, initiate appropriate level of intervention and/or treatment. The employee must be creative in matching clients, who may be resistant or hostile, to appropriate referring agencies. This class is distinguished from the next lower class by the wide variety of difficult and complex work assignments. An employee in this class is expected to be assigned a large proportion of difficult cases which require assessment of unusual circumstances, variations in approach and analysis of conflicting or incomplete data. The employee's work has an effect on the well being of clients and an impact on the success of the therapeutic program. Work, which is primarily sedentary, is performed in a variety of clinical settings (crisis intervention operations room, residential shelter, mental health center, health clinic, and detention center) and/or home settings; and involves occasional exposure to some risk as a result of aggressive and unpredictable behavior from clients. Work may involve evening/weekend/holiday or rotating shift work.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Provides crisis intervention therapy, direct psychotherapy and clinical counseling, comprehensive clinical assessment, mental status and diagnostic evaluation, treatment planning and placement and therapeutic case management services to diverse caseload of clients who have varying presenting problems (e.g., serious mental illness; substance abuse use or relapse; emotional or behavioral crisis including AIDS, cancer or other life threatening conditions; and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or other crimes).
Collects data and maintains records documenting and tracking clients' progress; documents clinical assessments, mental status evaluations, and treatment plans; prepares and maintains client files; prepares appropriate reports.
Collaborates with other mental health/medical professionals to establish diagnoses, develop and implement client treatment and/or care plans; makes appropriate referrals/placements and follows up on to ensure clinical appropriateness of placements.
Coordinates referrals and provides appropriate linkage for clients to a wide range of community services to address multiply problems (e.g., financial, employment, medical, shelter, education, legal/courts, etc.); works closely with representatives of other agencies (private and public) involved in cases to ensure clinical coordination of services and continuity of care among various treatment/provider agencies.
Attends case consultation staff meetings; provides input regarding appropriate treatment interventions.
Conducts and contributes to orientation and in service training for new professional employees, students/interns and volunteers; provides guidance and assistance to paraprofessional staff and volunteers who perform crisis intervention services.
Serves on task forces and/or committees to address needs of mental health clients and make proposals for better service to this population in the County.
Appears in court as an expert witness, provides depositions, and prepares court reports.
Speaks before community, civic, and other public groups concerning available programs and services.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Two (2) years clinical experience post graduate licensure.
Education: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master's degree in Psychology, Counseling, Social Work or a related field appropriate to the area of specialization required by the position.
Equivalency: No equivalency
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of and ability to apply philosophies, practices, policies and outcomes of the most generally accepted scientifically supported models of treatment, recovery, prevention and continuing care for psychological, emotional, mental, addiction and/or substance-related disorders and conditions.
Knowledge of the established diagnostic criteria, treatment modalities and placement criteria within the continuum of care for psychological, emotional, mental, addictions and/or substance related disorders and conditions.
Knowledge of and ability to assess and treat psychopathology, emotional and mental disorders, personality disorders, and/or alcohol and drug disorders and the accompanying clinical dynamics appropriate to the program assignments.
Knowledge of models and theories applicable to psychological, emotional, mental, addiction and/or substance disorders and conditions.
Knowledge of medical and pharmacological resources in the treatment of psychological, emotional, mental, addiction and/or substance disorders and conditions.
Knowledge of methods of measuring treatment outcomes.
Knowledge of Federal, State and local policies and procedures governing the delivery of treatment services, ethics, confidentiality and clinical responsibility.
Skill in tailoring helping strategies, support systems and available community resources for referral and placement to the clients' needs.
Skill in providing treatment services appropriate to the personal and cultural identity of the client.
Skill in adapting clinical practice to the range of treatment settings and modalities.
Skill in applying crisis management skills to client crises.
Ability to apply research findings and outcome data to improve clinical practice.
Ability to establish and maintain a therapeutic relationship with clients.
Ability to identify and utilize the role of family, social networks, self-help groups and community systems in the treatment and recovery process.
Ability to make constructive therapeutic responses when the client's behavior is inconsistent with stated recovery goals.
Ability to work cooperatively with other professionals and agencies.
Ability to develop therapeutic relationships with clients, some of whom may by hostile, angry, aggressive and potentially violent.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with, and to provide consultation and feedback to, a range of professional and paraprofessional staff, students and volunteers, and with representatives of public and private agencies in planning and coordinating client treatment.
Ability to prepare complete client records and reports.
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively.
Ability to attend meetings and perform other assignments at locations outside the office.
Employees in this class have a mandatory licensure requirement, as cited in COMAR which contains regulations governing the practice of clinical counseling/psychotherapy. One of the following licenses, issued by the State of Maryland, must be held and maintained by the employee:
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapy (LCMFT)
Licensed Clinical Alcohol Drug Counselor (LCADC)
Licensed Certified Social Worker/Clinical (LCSW-C)
Certification as Advanced Practice Registered Nurse/Psychiatric Mental Health (APRN-PMH)
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core Exam.
Class Established: September 1976
Revised: March 1981