DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is entry 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 and other public and private treatment providers and health care agency representatives for the purpose of providing/coordinating direct treatment services, consultation, referral, exchanging information and resolving problems. The public service and assistance involves intensive interaction with clients during counseling therapy.
An employee in this class provides psychotherapeutic counseling to assist the client in improving functioning, obtaining symptom relief, preventing psychosocial dysfunction or changing personality. The employee receives close supervision from a licensed therapist, receiving progressively more complex case assignments as the on-the-job training progresses. The employee's work is reviewed through records, conferences and observations. Available guidelines include professional psychotherapy and counseling principles, methods, and theories; diagnostic and evaluative standards of practice; 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. Work involves identification of issues and conditions (e.g., history, symptoms, behavior, etc.) in each case; assessment of those issues and conditions (e.g., type and level of clinical/mental health needs, personal risk/public safety threat, case management needs, eligibility determination, etc.) and selection of a course of action from many alternatives (e.g., therapeutic approach, intervention and treatment; referral to public/private sector for mental health, medical or social services; report to enforcement authorities, etc.) The employee's work has an effect on the well-being of clients and their families, the accomplishment of program objectives and the general safety and productivity of the community. Work is primarily sedentary, is performed in a variety of clinical settings (e.g., crisis center, mental health center, health clinic, residential shelter, 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)
Under the supervision of a licensed mental health care professional, the employee provides crisis intervention therapy and direct psychotherapy and clinical counseling. Conducts comprehensive clinical assessment, mental status and diagnostic evaluation and recommends treatment plan and placement. Develops therapeutic case management services to clients who have varying presenting problems (e.g., serious mental illness; substance abuse use or relapse; emotional or mental conditions)
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 closely with supervisor and other mental health/medical professionals and recommends diagnoses. Develop and recommends client treatment and/or care plans; makes appropriate referrals/placements and follows up to ensure clinical appropriateness of placements.
Coordinates referrals and provides appropriate linkage for clients to community services; 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 recommendations regarding appropriate treatment interventions.
Performs related duties as required.
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 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 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. Ability to learn the Federal, State and County policies and procedures governing the delivery of treatment services.
Ability to learn helping strategies, support systems and available community resources for referral and placement and how to tailor these mechanisms to the client.
Ability to learn to provide treatment services appropriate to the personal and cultural identity of the client.
Ability to learn to apply research findings and outcome data to improve clinical practice.
Ability to develop supportive and therapeutic relationships with clients.
Ability to learn to apply crises management skills to client crises.
Ability to learn to make constructive therapeutic responses when the client's behavior is inconsistent with stated recovery goals.
Ability to learn to work cooperatively with other professionals and agencies. Ability to learn 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 by the employee:
Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)
Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LGPC)
Licensed Graduate Marriage and Family Therapist (LGMFT)
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: January 1988
Revised: May 1996(M)