There are national requirements for education, training, and clinical practice for the distinct profession of clinical mental health counseling.
Clinical mental health counselors work from a wellness perspective, which places an emphasis on moving away from distress, dysfunction, and mental disease and toward optimal human functioning in mind, body, and spirit.
Overview of clinical mental health counseling
When doing an assessment and providing treatment, counselors investigate all facets of a client’s environment since they see wellness and illness as developmental in nature.
In order to give their clients the most thorough care possible, counselors usually work in teams with other mental health specialists.
Clinical mental health counselors assess, treat, and follow up with patients suffering from a wide range of mental health issues.
A counselor may work with patients suffering from depression one day and children suffering from behavioral disorders the next.
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Clinical Mental Health Salary
As a mental health counselor, you’re not just preventing disease; you’re also promoting wellness,” says Eric Beeson, a clinical associate professor at Northwestern University and former president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association.
According to Beeson, mental health counselors’ approach to their work stems from training in “a wellness and human development framework.” Mental health counselors can work in a variety of settings. While some work in or start private practices, others provide community-based care.
The average annual salary for a clinical mental health counselor in the United States as of June 25, 2022, is $70,445 per year. If you need a quick pay estimator, that comes out to be about $33.87 per hour. This amounts to $5,870 a month or $1,355 per week.
Furthermore, the majority of Clinical Mental Health Counseling salaries currently range between $48,000 (25th percentile) and $84,500 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $117,000 annually across the United States, which reports annual salaries as high as $140,000 and as low as $24,500.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling typical salaries varied widely (by as much as $36,500), indicating there may be numerous prospects for promotion and higher income dependent on skill level, region, and years of experience because the average pay range for a clinical mental health counselor can vary substantially (by as much as $36,500).
Clinical Mental Health Counselling Online
A rewarding career as a certified professional counselor begins with a master’s in clinical mental health counseling.
You have a variety of specialized options, a strong job outlook, the flexibility to work virtually anywhere, good compensation, and the chance to contribute to the happiness and health of others in this line of work. Salary expectations for counselors with master’s degrees are higher than for those without.
A master’s degree is one of the requirements for licensing, which is required by every state in the U.S. for counselors working in private practice. However, without the official training acquired through the advanced degree and licensing procedure, your practice and compensation opportunities are severely constrained.
Courses vary by program, but degree candidates can expect a mix of core and elective courses as well as a required internship.
Theories of counseling, ethics, and legal issues in counseling, couples, and family counseling, and mental health counseling practicum and/or internship are all common courses.
1. Mental Health Counseling Internship
Students can apply for their mental health counseling internship after completing all graduate coursework and meeting practicum requirements.
Learners must apply their counseling skills and provide services to patients in mental health settings.
2. Ethics and Legal Issues in Counseling
This foundational course provides an overview of the ethics and laws that most directly affect mental health counseling.
Enrollees can learn about child abuse assessment, mandatory reporting, and intervention techniques. This course promotes an understanding of mental health’s cultural, social, and psychological implications.
3. Couples and Family Counseling
Depending on the program, this course may be required or optional. Couples and family counseling classes teach students about the cultural, gender, and ethnicity dynamics that influence mental health. The theory is applied by students to improve, restore, and maintain family relationships.
4. Theories of Counseling
This foundational course examines counseling and psychotherapy theories. Students learn how to recognize issues and respond with evidence-based interventions.
Also, this course discusses how theories influence the treatment process through case studies.
Schools offering Clinical Mental Health Counselling online
Below, you will find some of the schools offering clinical mental health counseling courses;
- Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University provides two online Master of Arts in Counseling programs, one in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and one in School Counseling.
Whether students want to work with children or adults, in the public or private sector, Wake Forest prepares them to be compassionate community counselors and leaders.
- University of Louisiana – Monroe
The Master of Science in Counseling program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe prepares students for either clinical mental health counseling or school counseling.
Students in each track receive a high-quality education that will help them become innovative and compassionate counselors and mental health practitioners.
- Southern New Hampshire University
Students pursuing licensure as counselors can enroll in Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Counseling Online program at any time. Students work with an experienced faculty to become experts in individual and group counseling, the ethics of mental healthcare, and other areas. On a rolling basis, applications are accepted.
The New England Commission on Higher Education has accredited Southern New Hampshire University.
- The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a three-year master’s degree that can be completed part-time and online.
Students receive a CACREP-accredited education, become licensed as mental healthcare professionals, and complete the knowledge required for future careers in this field. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has accredited the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
- North Carolina State University
The online Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from North Carolina State University provides an excellent education in patient care on a flexible schedule for working professionals.
Students can gain hands-on work experience through the program’s various internship opportunities, and they can customize their study concentrations.
Why You Should Pursue a Degree in Mental Health Counseling Online
For working students, online clinical mental health counseling programs provide affordability and flexibility.
Online programs also provide greater access to top schools without incurring relocation or commuting costs. Distance learners who are self-motivated and capable of pursuing their counseling goals on their own are ideal.
Earning an online counseling degree does not imply sacrificing academic merit; many online counseling programs are accredited by regional or national accrediting organizations.
Furthermore, much of the coursework in online programs is similar to that of traditional on-campus programs.
What are the Prices of Online Clinical Mental Health Counseling Programs?
The total cost of obtaining a master’s degree in mental health counseling varies depending on the school and program.
For the 2018-2019 school year, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that average graduate tuition ranges from $19,314 at public institutions to $25,929 at private institutions. Tuition rates can be influenced by a school’s reputation and whether it is public or private. Nonresident tuition rates may apply to students who attend school out of state.
Many online clinical mental health counseling programs, fortunately, offer flat-rate or in-state tuition options for all virtual students.
For the 2018-2019 school year, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that average graduate tuition ranges from $19,314 at public institutions to $25,929 at private institutions. Financial assistance may be available.
Conclusion on the Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Counselors who are licensed in mental health assist people with their emotional and behavioral needs.
A master’s degree in mental health counseling prepares compassionate students to professionally support, assess, and treat people suffering from mental illnesses.
To qualify for licensure and begin practicing professionally as a counselor, candidates must have at least a master’s degree.
Many online clinical mental health counseling programs offer the necessary coursework and skills to become a professional counselor. Accredited online programs also assist graduates in preparing for licensure exams.
Mental health counselors assist people in thriving. That can include guiding clients through difficult times. Giving them tools to help them achieve new levels of happiness, inner peace, and success is sometimes necessary.
Most counselors focus on one aspect of mental health. They may assist people who are dealing with relationship issues, substance abuse issues, trauma, or any of a variety of other issues.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) about the clinical mental health counseling
- Can mental health professionals diagnose?
They have received training in conducting clinical interviews, psychological examinations, and testing to assess a person’s mental health. They can offer both individual and group therapy in addition to making diagnoses.
- Can a counselor diagnose PTSD?
PTSD can be identified by a medical professional with experience treating patients with mental diseases, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
An adult must experience all of the following for at least one month in order to be diagnosed with PTSD: at least one symptom that is recurring. at least one symptom of avoidance.
- What is the highest-paying job in mental health?
Patients with mental diseases receive pharmaceutical prescriptions from psychiatrists. The highest-paying careers for psychology majors are unquestionably those of psychiatrists. According to PayScale, the typical wage is $217,798.
- What’s the difference between a therapist and a counselor?
Therapists frequently offer the same guidance that counselors might in order to assist their patients in addressing similar concerns.
The fact that therapists frequently try to go further by assisting the patient in understanding the how and why of an issue marks a significant difference.