Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Forensic Counselors Work To Evaluate The Mental Health Of Criminals

A forensic counselor is the mental health professional who counsels those who need help when they are working their way through the criminal justice system. Forensic counseling uses therapeutic techniques and principled evaluations that relate to probation, parole, victim-assistance, as well as law enforcement. A forensic counselor will also provide expert evaluations during a legal proceeding, like divorce.

Forensic counselors can be certified through the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI) or the American College of Certified Forensic Counselors (ACCFC). The certification processes allows experts to authenticate the knowledge and qualifications of the counselor seeking certification. These organizations are responsible for the development of the practiced standards as well as the clinical guidelines for those treating criminal and civil offenders.

Mental Health

The criminal justice system has seen an increasing need for this expertise as well as the pertinent skills possessed by a forensic counselor. Often, this professional can facilitate the resolution of legal cases, as well as recommend effectual treatment of the offenders. This counseling specialty will require its practitioners to have a working knowledge of mental health laws that often includes the juvenile justice system.

The purpose of these certifications is to create a specialized and resourceful population who is available, when needed, by the criminal justice system. The benefits of certification include increased job opportunities and, often, a job promotion that leads to a higher salary. Additionally, a certified counselor can seek additional privileges that include an educational reimbursement.

Prior to certification, a counselor who wishes to further his or her education can apply for a non-clinical certification status. Specifically, the ACCFC offers a non-clinical certification (known as a Certified Forensic Counselor) to a candidate who has not yet achieved a Master's degree but otherwise meets the remaining certification criteria. A Certified Forensic Counselor certification allows its holders to pursue additional training under the auspices of a clinical supervisor. Coursework will include classes that teach an individual effective techniques for working with members of the offending population, conflict resolution, and the legal system.

The ACCFC is the specific commission of the National Association of Forensic Counselors (NAFC) that awards certification. In order to receive your certification as a Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor, you must document that you have a minimum of two years experience in the field a state counseling license, and hold a Master's degree in psychology, addictions, education, or social work.

The American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI) has a certification available known as the Accredited Forensic Counselor (AFC). This certification mandates that the counselor has three years of related work experience as well as a Bachelor's degree. Additionally, this certification process requires the candidate to successfully pass a review course prior to passing an examination administered by ACFEI.

Forensic Counselors Work To Evaluate The Mental Health Of Criminals

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