For many of those in the psychotherapy and counseling field, a mission statement for one’s practice often receives some curious looks. Perhaps it’s because there is a tendency to view this as a kind of branding, marketing, or branding technique of one’s own personal brand. Or maybe some people are simply confused by the idea of mission statements. Fortunately, for those confused about what a mission statement might actually mean, here are some mental health examples that explain what they are intended to portray and what they do – or at least should do – for those who use them.
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A mission statement is a statement identifying the purpose or focus of one’s practice. The most common, and simple to implement, example of this is a religious organization. It might be described as its purpose or mission statement. Religious organizations might have a creed or a dogma as a focal point, and a statement might be included at the end reflecting the standards that the church holds for such beliefs and practices. This clarifies both what the church believes and stands for, while also allowing its members to know where they stand.
This has obvious benefits for people trying to achieve mental health, but it also has a number of drawbacks. Namely, since the focus of the document is given in terms of what the church believes and preaches, there is often no room for exploration or discussion of other possible points of view. This can leave people feeling unclear and even alienated towards their religious community. It may even cause those who value their own mental health to develop an automatic antipathy towards religion, since their religious community will see their deviation from the accepted norm as a direct challenge to its values.
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In other cases, a mission statement can serve to solidify various aspects of a person’s personality and belief system. In fact, it may be used as a means of defining the character of the person practicing it. For instance, a person with a mission statement that includes commitment, advocacy, and sharing can be likened to someone with an interest in world affairs, public speaking, and diplomacy. The former is a matter of personal interest, while the latter is not; the former is a matter of vocational interest while the latter is not.
Because the practice of mission statement creation provides a strong sense of identification with a group or organization, it may be used to support a person’s own belief system. A person who values her spiritual health might feel encouraged to adopt a more concrete description of that goal. By creating a more detailed mission statement, she can draw on other aspects of her personality for guidance and use her inner voice to guide her decision making. This gives her a sense of control over her own destiny. While she is still not committed to any particular belief, she has clearly articulated her personal vision for her own mental health.
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This same principle is true when it comes to understanding the value of a mission statement for promoting mental health. Since it is a statement about how people see themselves and what they hope to achieve, it provides an opportunity for the creator of the document to speak directly to the people who will read it. It provides a safe harbor where people can seek guidance and find out for themselves what kind of life they want to live. When the creator of a mission statement knows something about the journey she is on and what she hopes to attain, it allows her to be more aware of the needs of the people who will read it.
Mission statements are an important part of the work of many mental health professionals. When used correctly, they can serve as a great starting point for clients who are struggling to find a direction for their own mental health. Understanding the power of this writing, many people have discovered that it can give them a new lease on life. Whether it comes from a religious perspective or addiction-focused one, a mission statement can help a client map out a course of action for improving their mental health. It is possible to find a purpose for life that is meaningful to the individual, and a mission statement can help to make that happen.
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The creation of a mental vision board is a great place to start on the road to recovering your own mental health. When the mental health professional is working with someone who is in therapy, the mission statement may be used to get the person to focus on what he or she wants to accomplish within the sessions. The same thing can be true when the professional is working with a client whose life is on the line. In many cases, people are unaware of what kind of impact their actions have on their health and well-being. With a statement in hand that speaks to their innermost core values, people can begin to reclaim their own happiness and regain the strength to move forward towards their goals.
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