The W&M Online M.Ed. in Counseling Blog
For admissions tips, career statistics, and general thought leadership tidbits from the field, peruse our blog posts below.
A clinical mental health counselor isn’t the same thing as a psychiatrist. For one thing, counselors can’t prescribe medication, but that’s not all. While clinical mental health counselors may work in a clinical setting, they work toward equipping their clients with strategies and frameworks to help them encounter life in mentally healthy ways. This may involve the diagnosis of psychological disorders, but it’s ultimately a more hands-on way of helping people engage fully in their own lives.
What is the job of a clinical mental health counselor?
Clinical mental health counselors are trained counselors and psychotherapists who treat individuals who have mental, emotional or behavioral challenges. They deal with mental health issues, client concerns regarding career or education choices, and with the ways people relate to one another. As such, a licensed clinical mental health counselor must be equipped with both a firm understanding of the principles of psychotherapy and psychopathology, as well as a sense of compassion and social perceptiveness.
What does a day in the life of a clinical mental health counselor look like?
Like most mental health professionals, a counselor’s day will vary with the needs of their clients. There is a lot of freedom in the job, requiring counselors to develop strong critical thinking and decision-making skills. Meeting a client’s needs can take a lot of forms. Some clients may require direct, therapeutic intervention, and a counselor will work to help them articulate their feelings and gain an understanding of themselves and their relationships. With certain clients, counselors may find themselves dealing with healthcare or insurance providers, or updating families, probation officers, police or the courts on changes in a client’s status. No matter the setting or the client, clinical mental health counseling comes down to working with clients to develop skills that help them cope with inner and outer stressors.
A competent counselor is able to work with clients to help them understand themselves and their relationships more deeply, and to use this information to make better, healthier decisions. Basic competency in this field requires a baseline understanding of psychology and therapeutic theory. But the...
The days of your high school guidance counselor handing you a college application and sending you on your way are long gone. These days, school counselors are viewed as indispensable members of a school staff, with 93% of school counselors holding a master's degree.1 As counselors and educators,...