How to Become a Mental Health Counselor

If you have ever wanted to help people and their families deal with emotions that are in turmoil or at a difficult phase in their lives, then you may want to consider becoming a mental health counselor. A counselor may deal with trauma, bereavement and anger management. He or she may see patients and provide ongoing treatment for people with mental disorders, problems in the mind and mental irregularities*.

But don't let the sound of this anxiety deter you from choosing a career path in mental health, as ultimately it can be richly rewarding, full of compassion, satisfying and gratifying. A mental health counselor may eventually lead a career path to self discovery, an ability to overcome obstacles and growth.

Among the duties of a mental health counselor are treating patients to lead a normal life again by helping them to overcome those obstacles in life that so often seem to get in the way of a patient with deep psychological problems and mental health issues. A mental health counselor may treat psychological disorders, support people that are coming off drugs or alcohol dependency, advise patients that are suffering from depression and bipolar disease, and look after the mental issues that are associated with those that self harm or even harm others*.

A mental health counselor may need at least a master's degree from a university or college that has been recognized as an institution proficient in counseling and mental health studies. This would normally take a student between six and seven years to complete, but fortunately graduate courses in mental health often accept students from an array of academic backgrounds. Some of the courses that may be taken in mental health studies range from social worker studies to human development and psychology*.

The work environment for a mental health counselor includes being part of a team where its members all play a role in care. These can be working as part of a team where there may be social workers, welfare officers, psychiatrists, doctors, psychology specialists and case workers, as well as community development officers. Typically a mental health counselor may meet these kinds of people on a daily basis to discuss their findings with the patient that is being treated*.

On average, mental health counselors make around $43,290 annually**. This may vary based on location, experience, work environment etc. Those wishing to pursue a career in mental health counseling may want to do their research on their state’s requirements to practice.



Are you ready to pursue a career in counseling? Get information on schools in your area and online using our counseling degree finder at the top of this page. ↑



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