What is a Mental Health Counselor? or should we say who is a mental health counselor? One’s mental health must be cared for at all costs.
A mental health counselor is a highly trained and experienced professional who assists people suffering from mental and emotional distress.
With the use of different therapeutic techniques, he helps patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and other medical health conditions.
Introduction to What is a Mental Health Counselor
Mental health counseling continues to be one of the most critical medical professions as the number of people living with mental health conditions continues to grow daily.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 1 in every 5 adults in the US lives with mental health illness.
In addition to the excellent grasp of mental health issues by mental health experts, they are also required to fulfill a ton of professional criteria before they are eligible for licensure to practice.
They have to pass clinical and rigorous examinations, coupled with supervised work experience under a seasoned and licensed mental health counselor, before being able to practice.
These professionals work well in treating patients’ emotional and behavioral aspects of mental health and substance use conditions.
They promote leading healthy lifestyles, identifying personal stressors and levels of functioning, and preserving or restoring mental health conditions.
If a mental health condition is left untreated, it may lead to irreparable damage to the mind and the body, which ultimately interferes with peoples’ relationships and works.
Furthermore, If you or any of your loved ones are going through any mental illness by chance, the wise thing you should consider doing is visiting a mental health counselor to assist in dealing with the issue.
Is mental health counselor also a psychologist?
Though both mental health counselors and psychologists may be offering the same services as assisting the victims of depression and any cognitive-related illness, there are differences with regards to their training, education, and licensure.
For instance, mental health counselor holds an accredited master’s degree in counseling, coupled with two to three years of experience in supervised counseling practice.
Some of their professional designations are; Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor of Mental Health (LPCC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
On the flip side, a clinical psychologist holds a Ph.D. degree in the related field, coupled with a ton of field experience in research and practice.
Unlike in the case of a mental health counselor, a psychologist can easily switch career to following academic research due to the level of theoretical loads he has been exposed to and can also pursue the common career of being a clinical psychologist.
Ways through which a mental health counselor helps patient
One of the good things about how a mental health counselor helps a patient is by providing a great space to talk about a person’s issue.
He considers the preference of an individual and gives absolute respect to the wishes. Also, he proceeds in offering actionable advice and supports to deal with whatever issues one is going with.
He completely understands whatever problem a person is going through via properly identifying issues that affect mental health.
Then he proceeds to chart out effective ways to help the patient deal with the issue and over the illness.
With the acquired requisite knowledge and skills via high-quality training of a mental health counselor, he can easily recognize the symptoms of anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression.
He helps people of diverse backgrounds and life-experience tackle issues such as phobia, anger management, bereavement, eating disorders, grief, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and family challenges.
Furthermore, it’s not uncommon to find a counselor who receives special training to help people going through challenges such as sexual assault, domestic abuse, and trauma.
He helps in dealing with the root cause of an issue a person is facing head-on and provides tested and proven coping strategies so patients can work out solutions themselves.
Another good thing about these professionals is that they don’t claim to know it all, as they may refer a patient for further consultation with consultant doctors if the need arises.
Mental health counselors are compassionate and non-judgmental, and this is the more reason many people prefer to see a counselor than talking to their family members about some issues.
How to choose a mental health counselor
So you’ve decided it’s high time you visited a mental health counselor to assist with your issues; you don’t know who should be your best bet as there are many of them out there?
Choosing the best counselor to help with your journey of self-recovery is quite important, and you must give it all it takes to achieve that.
Here are a couple of things you should consider when choosing your mental health counselor:
- Experience and qualification
- Area of expertise
- Philosophy of counseling
- Techniques and tools
- Costs and insurance coverage
One thing is crucial also here; your counselor must be a person you’re comfortable with. This way, you will be able to disclose every single detail about the issue you’re facing, so he can appropriately assist you in the best ways possible.
What this means is, if your current counselor isn’t someone you are comfortable with due to one reason or the other, your best bet is to look for another one.
How much Does a Mental Health Counselor Charge?
The cost of a mental health counselor isn’t as much as other health professionals and largely depends on location and treatment.
According to Jennifer Froemal, the cost of a mental health counselor on average for a 60-minute section is $104, and the range is between $65 to $140.
You are sure of finding some counselors who charge using the sliding payment scale, which means they charge the patients based on the amount they can afford to pay for the session.
Final Thoughts on What is a Mental Health Counselor?
A mental health counselor isn’t your average and lovely friend who gives you support anytime you run into trouble. A counselor has undergone a series of clinical experiences and high-quality education, coupled with following a strict ethical code of conduct before being given a license to practice.
This professional is an impartial third party that gives ultimate support in tackling life challenges, including severe depression and the inability to handle recent life issues.