Mental Health Counselor
How to Become a Mental Health Counselor
Mental Health Counselor Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Mental Health Counselor
Mental Health Counselor Salary
Influential Mental Health Counselors
Leading Mental Health Counselor Organizations
Top Cities for Mental Health Counseling Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Many mental health counselors obtain a license to practice. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), they are required to uphold certain standards, and the license helps define the role that the mental health counselor assumes. Patients in need of a mental health counselor are also benefited by the license as it can help protect the client in a multitude of different ways.
The LPC title is regulated either by state or federal laws. Depending on the state in which you are applying for your LPC, the general requirements may vary. In terms of education, you can expect to be required to have a master's degree in a field relating to counseling. LPC applicants may also be required to pass the National Counselor Exam. On top of education and the successful completion of any required exams, an applicant will also need practical work experience, involving direct contact with patients.
During the course of the counseling, a mental health counselor may need to address issues relating to a variety of subjects. Among the more frequent issues that a mental health counselor might encounter include depression, which can involve suicidal tendencies, substance abuse or addiction, stress, and even instances of severe grief.
It will be the mental health counselor's job to eliminate or improve these issues that their clients are dealing with in order to assist them with regaining their quality of life.
Communication skills will also be important as this will be a primary method for gathering information from your client. You will need to be able to clearly communicate and put clients at ease during treatment.
Having emotional intelligence will also be beneficial to a mental health counselor. Through emotional intelligence, a counselor can better understand the various feelings that their clients are experiencing. Counselors that can empathize with their clients have shown greater success with treatment.
As of May 2006, it was estimated that the median annual earnings of a mental health counselor in the United States was $34,380. The ten percent that earned the most during 2006 made more than $59,700. The middle half of mental health counselors received wages between $26, 780 and $45,610.
Mental health counselors who were self-employed and had established a successful practice were expected to be the biggest earners. Government positions held by mental health counselors also received higher wages. Those counselors employed at a facility, dealing with residential care, could expect to receive the lowest wages.
Gary Seiler, along with James Messina, helped to form the AMHCA (American Mental Health Counselors Association) back in 1976. By 1979, the association had already attracted 12,000 members.
Artis J. Palmo wrote a book for the AMHCA, which helped the group define the role of the mental health counselor and how it was evolving. The book was based on research Palmo conducted with his clients and included the ways that are best for treating their different concerns during treatment.
The Mental Health Center at the Mayo Clinic has earned a reputation as being a top treatment clinic for mental health issues in the United States. The Mayo Clinic was founded back in 1889 by several doctors, including Dr. Mayo and two of his sons, which ran the practice that eventually became Mayo Clinic. Today, it is a non-profit organization and it is run by CEO and President, Dr. Denis Cortese.
The current top city for available mental health counselor jobs is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania although the entire state has numerous jobs as well. You can also expect to see a large number of available mental health counselor jobs in Chicago, Illinois and Baltimore, Maryland. Atlanta, Georgia and Boston, Massachusetts provide good runners up in terms of job availability as well.
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