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Mental Health Counselor

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What Does it Take to Be a Mental Health Counselor?

Position Description Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. May help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging.

Daily Life Of a Mental Health Counselor

  • Learn about new developments in counseling by reading professional literature, attending courses and seminars, or establishing and maintaining contact with other social service agencies.
  • Evaluate clients' physical or mental condition, based on review of client information.
  • Coordinate or direct employee workshops, courses, or training about mental health issues.
  • Encourage clients to express their feelings and discuss what is happening in their lives, helping them to develop insight into themselves or their relationships.
  • Maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients' treatment.
  • Modify treatment activities or approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients' status.

What a Mental Health Counselor Should Know

Mental Health Counselors state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Counselor
  • Mental Health Case Manager
  • Treatment Coordinator
  • Mental Health Clinician
  • Mental Health Professional

Is There Job Demand for Mental Health Counselors?

There were about 157,700 jobs for Mental Health Counselor in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 23.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 36,500 new jobs for Mental Health Counselor by 2026. The BLS estimates 21,600 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Mental Health Counselor are Utah, Arizona, and Virginia. Watch out if you plan on working in Illinois, Kansas, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What Tools & Technology do Mental Health Counselors Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Mental Health Counselors may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Oracle PeopleSoft
  • Scheduling software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Statistical software
  • Patient electronic medical record EMR software
  • Netscape Navigator
  • Management information systems MIS
  • Office suite software

Becoming a Mental Health Counselor

What education is needed to be a Mental Health Counselor?

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What work experience do I need to become a Mental Health Counselor?

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Are you already one of the many Mental Health Counselor in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Katie Spencer via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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