Skip to content

Mental Health Counseling

Mental health counseling is not designed to treat various mental health conditions. In fact, mental health counselors have the job of examining everything that could potentially cause mental health conditions in men and women. Mental health counseling involves looking at the emotions, the environments, the physical health and behavioral health of a person.

What is Mental Health Counseling?

Mental health counselors look at different influences that could give the counselors an idea of why men and women deal with their lives in various ways. In addition, mental health counseling can help people who are suffering from low self-esteem, depression and other mental conditions. The people who suffer from these conditions can learn what causes their condition. Mental health counseling can also deal with individuals who are recovering from substance abuse and addiction. There are even mental health counseling fields that work with marriages and families after divorce in order to help everyone deal with the situation. There are even some mental health counselors who work with medical professionals. For example, mental health counselors may work with cancer patients. They may help cancer patients deal with the changes that are happening to their body due to the treatment they are receiving.

Mental Health Counseling Education

In order to become a licensed mental health counselor most states require you to have a Master’s degree. Many mental health counselors have a Master’s degree in psychology, counseling or other related fields. In order to get a Master’s degree you have to have a bachelor’s degree and get the minimum required score on the Graduate Record Examination. Most future mental health counselors in the Master’s program take classes in counseling psychology, cognitive psychology and professional ethics.

Mental health counselors who want to practice independently have to be licensed. Licenses show others that the mental health counselor is professional and has the needed education or experience to do the job correctly. Licensed mental health counselors have to have two years of experience working with certified or licensed mental health practitioners. They also have to have a Master’s degree in a mental health field. Once this has been completed, the license exam must be passed.

Certification is a voluntary option to mental health counselors. However, getting a certificate in a specific field is beneficial to a mental health counselor’s career. The National Certified Counselor certificate is one of the first certificates that can be obtained. It is earned by licensed professionals and college graduates. Although requirements vary based on the type of applicant, passing the National Counselor exam is required for those who are licensed and graduates interested in the certificate. Once the mental health counselor has earned the National Certified Counselor certificate, they can choose to earn the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor certificate. This certificate requires men and women to pass the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor exam. In addition, they have to have a certain amount of hours of counseling experience. Those with experience in addiction can also obtain the Master Addictions Counselor certificate. Exams must be passed in order to obtain this certificate.

Featured Programs

Mental Health Counseling Salary

Mental health counselors who have a doctoral degree in psychology can make an average of $64,140 a year. However, this depends on where the mental health counselor works. For example, mental health counselors who work in schools may earn more money than those who work in outpatient treatment centers.

Mental health counselors who have a Master’s degree in social work normally earn an average of $37,210. Again, this amount depends on where the mental health counselor works. Those who work in outpatient treatment centers earn more money than mental health counselors who work in residential facilities.

Mental health counselors who have a Master’s degree in counseling or a doctoral degree in counseling earn salaries that range between $34,295 and $47,632. Factors that could change a mental health counselor’s salary include the workplace location, the employer and the years of experience.

What Do Mental Health Counselors Do?

Mental health counselors have the job of helping different patients work through various personal issues. These personal issues may include addiction, stress, relationship problems, self-image issues, parenting, aging, suicidal thoughts, depression and anger management. Mental health counselors might provide crisis management, substance abuse treatment, diagnosis, assessments and psychotherapy. They may also work at healthcare organizations, employee assistance programs, hospitals, substance abuse centers and community agencies.

Mental Health Counseling Resources

American Mental Health Counselors Association: This association is a community of over 6,500 counselors. The goal of this association is to provide a network of professional peers and expand the knowledge of mental health counselors.

American Counseling Association: this is the world’s biggest association. It represents professional counselors and promotes the development of these counselors.

Degree Rankings