In more recent years, the American Counseling Association (ACA) has recognized that professional counselors, like all helping professions, are at a higher risk for burnout, vicarious trauma, and impairment. The purpose of the Benchmark Counselor Impairment and Wellness Paper Assignment is for you to be able to objectively explain issues that arise from being a professional counselor and how to mitigate those through personal wellness and self-care strategies.


For this assignment, you will:

  • Write a 6 page paper in current APA format with professional guidelines including a running head, title page, abstract, and reference page. The abstract must provide a brief, but detailed, overview of the paper in 150–250 words. The title page, abstract, and reference page do not contribute toward the page requirement.
  • Your paper should address the following:
    • Define Impairment: This section should include a discussion of how and why counselors become impaired, what that impairment looks like, and how it can impact the practice of counseling. It should be 2 pages long.
  • Implications of Impairment:This should include a discussion of ethical misconduct.   In your own words, summarize the information in the course learning activities on frequency of ethical violations in the field.  Additionally, research your state’s counseling board website and if available, summarize the most frequently occurring ethical violations in your state.  If this information is not readily available online, discuss your state’s process for obtaining the information.  It should be 1 page long.
  • Impairment Prevention: This section should include a discussion of what counselors can do to protect against impairment. It should be 1 page long.
  • Wellness Plan and Reflection: You will assess your own risks and develop a personal wellness plan. This section should be 2 pages long. Begin by taking the assessments listed under the Benchmark Counselor Impairment and Wellness Paper Resources on the Benchmark Counselor Impairment and Wellness Paper Assignment page. Discussthe results of the assessments and in what ways you see your results reflecting your current life.
  • Develop a Wellness Plan as a result of your assessments. Include reflections of the following question:
    • What areas of your life need more or less attention?
    • What changes do you need to make?
    • What steps are you willing to take to reach your goal of implementing needed changes?
  • In addition to the textbook reading and chapter video, complete the other Learn items assigned for this Module: Week.
  • Save your paper as a Microsoft Word document using your name and assignment title (e.g., Doe_J_assignment_1).
  • Submit your paper using the Benchmark Counselor Impairment and Wellness Paper Assignment link. This assignment will also be submitted via Tevera. All Benchmark assignments—including those submitted in Canvas and/or via Turnitin—must be submitted to Tevera in order to receive credit for them.

Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.

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