Counselors help clients solve their personal problems or conflicts, which they are unable to resolve on their own. They may help families work through conflicts by improving communication and relationships. Mental health counselors work with clients who struggle with substance abuse, other addictions, marital problems, stress and aging.
Counselors are employed in a variety of settings: community mental health centers, drug rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities. In addition, master’s prepared counselors may work for themselves in private practice. The work week is 40 hours and may include nights or weekends for the convenience of the patients. School counselors work the same hours and months as teachers.
Employment of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected in both occupations as more people have mental health counseling services covered by their insurance policies.
Counselors receive their education through academic programs at community colleges, colleges and universities. Most counselors receive a 4-year bachelor’s degree plus a graduate degree. There are 2-year associate degrees that offer certification in specialized areas of counseling.
Licensure is required in the state of Connecticut. Prerequisite: In addition to an earned Master’s degree or Doctoral degree, a counselor must pass NBCC’s, NCE or NCMHCE exam, and participate in 3000 hours of postgraduate degree supervised experience in professional counseling, including a minimum of 100 hours of direct supervision by an appropriately licensed individual.
American Counseling Association
5999 Stevenson Ave
Alexandria, VA 22304
American Mental Health Counselors Association
801 N. Fairfax St, Suite 304
Alexandria, VA 22314