Helping Others To Transform Their Lives: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Would you like to make a difference in the world and assist people who are struggling with mental or emotional disorders? Does the thought of helping people in need to heal and discover their own happiness sound appealing? If so, then a degree in clinical mental health counseling is one of the best paths to take towards making this a reality. A degree in clinical mental health counseling is not just able to assist you with inquiring the skills required to work in this industry, but can also help you to focus on the specialization that interests you most. Most of the degree programs that are available are geared towards licensure, which means completing your degree can fully prepare you to become a mental health counselor.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree Information

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a mental health concentration is available as an online degree with a total of 120 credits. This type of degree can prepare students for careers such as a public relations specialist or human resources manager. It can also be an important stepping stone to a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. This type of degree program is available online and may include courses such as Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Psychology, Statistics for Psychology, Counseling Process and Techniques and Scientific Investigations.

Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling Degree

The Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling is a degree program that features both online coursework as well as opportunities for face-to-face experiences, which is necessary for gaining clinical training. This in turn ensures that students are eligible for state licensure after completing the degree program. A total of 90 program credits are required for graduating from this program. Core courses may include Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis, Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Counseling, Crisis Assessment and Intervention, Theories of Psychotherapy, Life Planning and Career Development, Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations, and more. Specialization courses range from Marriage and Family Systems to Child and Adolescent Counseling, Human Sexuality, Group Counseling and Clinical Applications in Mental Health Counseling, and more. As part of this degree, you may also have to complete a minimum number of total practicum hours and internship hours.

Licensure

To become a licensed mental health counselor, students must also complete national professional exams and apply for licensure. Make sure that the degree program that you choose is able to adequately prepare you in all the core areas that are recommended by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree FAQ

Is It Possible To Earn This Type of Degree Online?

There are online programs available for this type of degree, which offers students more flexibility compared to traditional campus based programs. Due to the nature of this degree, it may also require students to take part in live web conferencing activities in addition to learning audio and video recordings. Students must have access to a computer or laptop with an internet connection in order to enroll in this type of course. Since most of the course materials can be completed when and where students have the time to do so, it is ideal for students who have work or family obligations that prevent them from pursuing a traditional campus based degree.

What Type of Career Options Might Be Available To Me With A Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree?

There are a number of career options that may be available if you have a degree in clinical mental health counseling. The most common careers in this field are licensed mental health counselors, licensed professional counselor and licensed professional clinical counselor. Other jobs include mental health therapist, clinical manager, clinical therapist, clinical supervisor and mental health clinician.

Employment options also exist in a wide range of professional settings. These range from correctional facilities and social service agencies to residential treatment centers, community mental health centers, wellness centers, as well as public or private hospitals and healthcare settings. In addition, a number of people in this profession also choose to set up a private practice.

How Much Can I Potentially Earn When Working In This Type of Industry?

Your potential income when working in this type of industry will depend largely on your occupation, level of experience as well as your geographical location. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual wage for mental health counselors is in the region of $42, 840, although those in the top 90% can earn in excess of $70,100. The top paying states for this type of occupation are Alaska, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon and New Jersey. The job outlook for people in this type of profession is also very positive, with a projected growth of 23 percent until 2026. This can be attributed to people continuing to seek mental health counseling services as well as the need that military veterans will always have for counseling care. There are also still many rural areas that are under-served in regards to mental health practitioners, which means better job prospects.

What Type of Responsibilities Might I Have When Employed As A Mental Health Counselor?

The primary responsibility of mental health counselors is assisting people to get their lives back on track when they are suffering from emotional or mental problems. Mental health issues can range from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder to stress, anxiety and even schizophrenia. Mental health counselors play an important role in assessing, diagnosing and then treating these conditions.

What Are The Other Advantages of Earning This Type of Degree?

Millions of people suffer in the United States suffer from some type of diagnosable mental disorder, which for some can be serious enough to impair their day to day functioning. Many of these people do not receive any form of treatment, which is why it is so important to have mental health counselors who are able to provide them with this valuable, and life-changing, service. Assisting others with getting their lives back on track can be immensely rewarding and you know that you are making a positive impact in the world. The work done by mental health counselors can literally save lives as untreated conditions can lead to chronic medical conditions and even suicide.

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