A Day in the Life of a Mental Health Counselor

Best Essays
It is a privilege to interview veteran therapists who are exiting the counseling arena after a long career in the profession. I was honored to shadow Lea Keylon, a seasoned counselor, who on the eve of retirement set aside time for a student interview. The enlightening interview opened my understanding to the importance of proper diagnostic coding for insurance reimbursements, the financial struggles of private practice, and the poignant effect of forensic counseling on therapist (L. Keylon, personal communication, March 26, 2010). Lea was eager to share her counseling accounts; however, the excitement of retirement planning could be seen in her demeanor. Private practice requires self-discipline, constant research for legislative changes, peer support and consultation, time management, tenacity, and patience. The encounter with Lea impressed the importance to surround myself with colleagues that are enthusiastic about learning and continuing education opportunities, to hire assistance for time-consuming administrative task, and adequately assess a proper caseload that will sustain my counseling practice and without avoid counselor burn out (L. Keylon, personal communication, March 26, 2010).

A Day in the Life of a Mental Health Counselor

I spent the day with Lea Keylon, sole owner of Keylon Counseling & Consulting in Arlington Washington (L. Keylon, personal communication, March 26, 2010). Lea is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) performing mental health and forensic counseling services (L. Keylon, personal communication, March 26, 2010). Over a thirty five year period, Lea worked in a variety of settings e.g., Echo Glen Children's Center (a juvenile offender detention center); Triage Supervisor for Snoho...

... middle of paper ...

...urance provider. The scenario reinforced the urgency to seek reputable agency training with seasoned supervisors who provide good training in diagnosis codes.

The small town setting of Lea's private practice heightened my desire to have a business in a large city. Although, the small town is very charming, the probability of seeing clients outside of the counseling setting is too great for my comfort zone. I enjoyed the candid interview with Lea. The understanding and prudence shared was well worth office visit.


Counseling Washington State. (2010). Counseling Washington State. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from

Washington State Department of Health. (2010). Washington State Department of Health. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from