Where is Mental Health Counseling Found?
Counselors are professionals who help individuals, couples and families address problems of mental health. They may work in a variety of settings, including clinics, hospitals and schools.
Counselors are trained to assess and treat a wide range of emotional, behavioral and social issues that affect their clients. They may also provide crisis management and prevention programs.
Types of Counselors
Mental health counselors work with people to help them cope with their problems and achieve their goals. They usually collaborate with other professionals and set clients up with community resources, such as support groups.
Counselors and therapists use different methods to treat their patients. Counselors are trained to provide guidance and counseling in their field of expertise, while therapists typically offer psychotherapy or a similar form of therapy.
They are usually licensed to practice, though some therapists do not have licenses. Both therapists and counselors offer services that affect mental wellness, and each requires different education and licensing standards.
Counselors work in a variety of settings, including private practices, government agencies and hospitals. They also volunteer to help communities deal with issues like domestic violence or a natural disaster.
Counselors in Private Practice
If you want to work with people going through tough times, a career in mental health counseling is a good choice. However, it requires a lot of time and energy to run a private practice.
Counselors in private practice typically have their own offices and set their own schedules. They also may hire a staff that helps with administrative tasks, including ordering office supplies, paying taxes and managing client records.
The average salary for a private practice therapist is between $100,000 and $130,000 a year. This figure depends on the amount of revenue your therapy business generates and the number of hours you see clients each week.
If you are considering opening a counseling business, make sure you have insurance coverage that protects your business and your therapist. This includes liability, malpractice and workers’ compensation insurance.
Counselors in Public Practice
Mental health counselors may be found in a variety of settings, from hospitals to rehabilitation centers. They provide counseling services to clients who are suffering from a variety of mental illnesses and disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Counselors also work in a variety of educational environments, such as schools and colleges. They offer academic counseling, advising, and counseling to students in order to promote their emotional and social development.
They also offer short-term counseling intervention and referrals to community resources for long-term support.
A professional with a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling can assume a position in a local school system to provide counseling for children and teens. They often use techniques that are both therapeutic and counseling, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and person-centered counseling.
Licensure laws vary by state, but all require a minimum number of supervised experience before an individual can be licensed. In addition, some states require an additional licensure exam.
Counselors in Hospitals
Mental health counselors are a key part of a multidisciplinary team that treats patients with a range of illnesses and conditions. They help patients cope with stress, develop positive behaviors and improve their lives.
Some counselors specialize in treating specific diseases and medical problems, including depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Counselors may work as a part of a hospital team or at a community health clinic or nonprofit organization.
To become a mental health counselor, you must earn at least a master’s degree in counseling. You also must have a few years of supervised clinical experience and pass a certification exam. Some counselors go on to earn a PhD in clinical psychology, counseling psychology or mental health therapy.