A mental health counselor, or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimal mental and emotional health. A mental health counselor evaluates and treats mental and emotional health disorders, relationship problems, and life challenges. Through various methods of psychotherapy, counselors work with patients to develop significant behavioral changes. They also offer survival strategies to overcome life's difficulties.
Mental health counselors can help treat mental health conditions and other sources of distress, such as relationship problems or grief. They do this by providing people with a space to explore their feelings and teaching them beneficial skills and coping strategies. NYC Well is your connection to free, confidential crisis counseling, support, information and referrals on mental health and substance use. The toll-free helpline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone, text message and online chat.
The behavioral health professionals there can connect you to the services you need. A counseling counselor is a mental health professional who has a master's degree (MA) in psychology, counseling, or a related field. To be licensed, the professional counselor also needs an additional two years of experience working with a qualified mental health professional after graduate school. A mental health counselor is qualified to evaluate and treat mental problems by providing counseling or psychotherapy.
Once the provider has made a diagnosis, the patient's mental health team can develop a treatment plan and advise the patient on the outcomes and risks related to the plan. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but in general, mental health counselors have an accredited master's degree in counseling and have 2 to 3 years of supervised counseling practice. To become a certified clinical mental health counselor, the National Board of Certified Counselors requires that individuals have education in areas such as the diagnostic process, psychopharmacology, treatment planning, mental exams, and psychosocial evaluations. Adapting to new living arrangements, managing with limited income and dealing with chronic physical illnesses contribute to the growing mental health crisis among older people.
In describing what mental health counselors do, the American Counseling Association (ACA) emphasizes the collaborative nature of the process between counselor and client. Cognitive restructuring is a technique that involves changing beliefs that are not useful to improve mental health. Mental health counselors can teach a person healthy coping strategies or self-help techniques, or they can simply give people a space to find solutions on their own. According to the National Mental Health Alliance, it takes 11 years, on average, for a person with symptoms of a mental health condition to receive treatment.
The mental health counselor uses standard mental health evaluation and evaluation protocols, develops patients' psychosocial histories, writes treatment plans, documents patient progress, facilitates consultations and referrals with other providers, and implements discharge plans. Licensed mental health counselors work with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and age groups. They work with individuals, couples, families, groups and organizations using brief techniques, such as crisis intervention and solution-focused approaches, or long-term approaches to treating chronic mental health disorders or disabilities. To determine if mental health services provided by a licensed mental health counselor are covered by insurance, check your plan benefits with your insurance provider.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, What substance abuse, behavioral disorders and mental health counselors do. However, while mental health counseling and therapy are often used synonymously, there are key differences, Sternlicht says. .