Online masters in mental health counseling: You want to become a mental health counselor? Then this post is just for you.
Online masters in mental health counseling: What is Mental Health Counseling?
Clinical mental health counseling, It is known that clinical health counseling is a separate profession which has a national standard for educational purpose, training, and clinical practice. As a clinical mental health professional, you will operate from a wellness perspective that deals with the matter of the optimal human functioning in mind, body, and spirit, in fact, distress, dysfunction, and mental illness of the clients. If you want to become a mental health counselor, you must also learn how to view wellness and pathology as a means to conduct assessment and the treatment of your client. Remember, in this kind of profession, counselor equally take a team approach to achieve their goals. They do this on a frequent mode. This teamwork means the counselors work alongside with other health personnel’s to carry out an effective treatment on their client.
Online masters in mental health counseling: Who is a Mental Health Counselor?
According to Wikipedia, “A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. They may help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. This title excludes “Social Workers”, “Psychiatrists”, and “Psychologists”.
Online masters in mental health counseling: What are the requirements to study mental health online
As usual, before you will be qualified to study a master’s degree in mental health counseling, you must have passed through some certain levels of education. You must have earned a four years undergraduate degree either in education, psychology, or sociology in a recognized higher institution as the first step to become a master in mental health counseling. Note you don’t need a doctorate degree to become a specialist in mental health counseling.
For instance, the following examples are the exact practices in Master’s degree for mental health in New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.
The Objective of the Course
- Generating and advancing knowledge related to all aspects of research and practice in counseling and counseling psychology.
- Understanding people across the lifespan in cultural contexts
- Promotion of equity and social justice
- Helping all people build lives of wellness, health, and meaning
Examples of Prerequisite and Core Courses in Mental Health Counseling
- Ethical Issues in Counseling for Mental Health & Wellness
- Foundations of Counseling
- Theory and Process
- Individual Counseling I & II
- Cross-cultural Counseling
- Research and Evaluation in Behavioral Sciences
- Human Growth and Development
- Abnormal Psychology
- Group Dynamics: Theory and Practice
- Dynamics of Vocational Development
- Special Population Course
Examples of Electives and Applied-Content Courses
- Bilingual Education: Theory and Practice
- Counseling People with Disabilities
- Current Perspectives on Women’s Development
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Grief and Bereavement Counseling
- Introduction to Art Therapy
- Family Diagnosis and Therapy
- HIV Prevention and Counseling
- Counseling Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Adolescents
- Research in Urban and Minority Education
- Sexual Decision-Making and Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
- Trauma: Theoretical and Clinical Perspectives
- Gestalt Therapy: Overview of Theory and Practice
Note: during the course of study, you will complete laboratory works and a clinical internship as preparatory requirements to meet the certification and licensure in all states. This achievement shall include 600 hours during two semesters as may be approved.
Online masters in mental health counseling: What you can do with Mental Health Counseling Master’s Degree Program
Just like every other profession, there are lots of career opportunities for a master’s degree holder in mental health counseling. You are trained to treat clients in both private and public clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and so on of the vicinity you find yourself. To cut a long story short, once you are approved or licensed by your state government as a professional mental health practitioner, you are good to go.
Once you are licensed, you will be able to work as a professional mental health counselor for family, individuals or groups. Mental health counselors are specialized at treating patients with emotional imbalance such as trauma, low self-esteem, relationship problems, suicidal problems, educational issues and many other cases that I did not mention due to the scope of this article.
Online masters in mental health counseling: How long does it take to study a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling
A master’s degree in mental health counseling requires a period of two or three years to complete. It is done in such a way that the student will combine both learning and experience in classroom settings.
Online masters in mental health counseling: Do I need a Doctorate Degree to Become a Mental Health Counselor
You don’t actually need a doctorate degree to become a mental health counselor, though you may pursue it for a higher job opportunity in a higher working environment.
Online masters in mental health counseling: Can I Study Mental Health Counseling Online
Yes, you can. There are various online programs for mental health counseling. According to my research, I realized that Universities such as Gasglow, Capella and Walden Universities offer online programs for mental health counseling.
Online masters in mental health counseling: What is the Salary of a Mental Health Professional
In the united state of America, according to the U.S Bureau of labor, Statistics, the current Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for a mental health counselor is $48, 480. Although, a variation of the actual salary of mat varies based on the specialization within the field. Factors such as location, the employer’s or patients’ capacity to pay and the work experience may also affect the salary of a mental health practitioner. On an average base, Master of Social Work receives $54, 988, Master of Science Mental health service, receives $48, 500, A Doctorate degree holder receives $60, 000, while Doctorate of Psychology receives $64, 984, annually.
These listed salaries, signify that mental health counseling is a very lucrative career if you luckily find a job in the United States, will actually enjoy it.
Online masters in mental health counseling: Types of Mental Health Professionals
You may ask which mental health program is right for me. Don’t worry as there are various types of mental health professions available for you. Since I realized that finding the right one for you will require lots of time and research, I decided to take it upon myself to make the useful information you need to select the type of mental health profession suitable for you.
I will be listing and explaining different types of mental health professions below for you to help you understand and select the profession you can work with during your career, and as such will finally know the difference between each of them and the services they provide.
These are the various types of mental health professions as listed and explained below:
This has to do with mental and emotional illnesses, a Psychiatric Doctor is trained to diagnose and treat people with mental and emotional problems.
Licensed Professional Counselor
This is a professional that has a master’s degree in psychology, counseling job and other related fields. This professional is trained to counsel and diagnose patient’s individual or group.
Mental Health Counselor
This professional must have a master’s degree and must have spent several years supervising clinical work. He is trained to diagnose and counsel individual and group of patients.
This is a registered nurse who is trained to carry out psychiatric and mental health nursing. He or she is also trained to diagnose and counsel individual and group.
Clinical Social Worker
You must have acquired a master’s degree in social work from an accredited institution. You are trained to make diagnoses and provide counseling for both individual and group of your patients. You are also required to provide case management and advocacy as found in the hospital policy.
A School Psychologist
If you are a psychologist with an advanced degree in psychology in a well recognized and reliable institution, well accredited, you are qualified to be called a school psychologist. You are trained to make diagnoses on your patients; you will also be required to provide both individual and group therapy. School staffs will work with you for better efficiency in the school settings.
Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor
This kind of professional is trained with specific skills in alcohol and drug abuse. He diagnoses and counsels an individual or group.
Clinical Social Worker
You are required to have a master’s degree in social work from an accredited university or institution. Usually found in the hospital diagnosing, and providing counseling to individual and group of patients.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
This is a medical Doctor that specialized in the diagnosing and treatment of emotional and behavioral issues in children. Though he may not provide psychotherapy but can prescribe medication for his patients, individual or group.
Online masters in mental health counseling: How to Become Some of the above Professionals
Clinical Social Worker
You may like to apply for the various career opportunities listed above but may not know how to go about the application, I shall explain in details, every requirement to do so.
Remember, the profession of clinical social work is more of improving the quality of life of an individual or group of people. It helps to balance social justice and also rescues individuals from some life difficulties they face. If you read over, you will realize that the average annual salary of a clinical social work profession is meaty; it could be as a result of their functionality in the well being of a rejected fellow.
Steps of Becoming a Social Worker
Earn a Bachelor Degree in Social Work
The first step to take in becoming a social worker is to earn a bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) from a council on a Social Work Education in an accredited institution such as universities or colleges of Education. Bachelor of Social Work can equally prepare a student for the pursuit of a professional course in Social Work.
Earn a Master’s Degree in Social Work
You can further your education on Social Work after obtaining a bachelor degree. This will create a better career opportunity for you in the area of mental health counseling. You may apply for a CSWE (council on social work education) an accredited graduate program that will qualify you to earn a master of Social Work. You can achieve the degree of MSW in the period of one year rather than the traditional two-year program.
How to Become a School Psychologist
It requires the following: Master’s degree or Education Specialist degree, a doctorate degree when necessary. You must have good experience in the field of school psychology, a state licensure is also mandatory to become a school psychologist. You must have gone through several hours of supervised internship say 1200 hours, with at least 600 hours engaged in school settings. You must also have good communication skill for university and teaching ability for an effective impact.
How to Become Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor
You must earn an accredited counseling degree program at an accredited university or college. You must have worked as a counselor and acquire supervised clinical practice hours for several hours, such as 600 hours on the field of work.
You must be mentally all right too and must have passed a felony and child abuse background check. You must have been given a national or state licensing or certification exam post-degree before you can become a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor.
How to Become Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
This also requires that you firstly, earn a bachelor degree; it is required for admission for a medical school. You may actually begin this journey either by having a good grade in biology or other science subjects, while of them pursue a degree in psychology, liberal arts or humanities. Sometimes, you may be enrolled in a pre-medical program as a starting point to becoming a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. This is a basic approach for a student to understand the scratch of the health profession and get the basic knowledge of medical research, educational opportunities, and philosophies in the various field of medicine. The courses you shall be required are general biology, anatomy, genetics, biochemistry and organic chemistry.
You are equally advised to apply for a medical school, before or after graduation, but must have passed the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). You must earn a medical degree, complete an internship supervised under several hours of work experience, you must be licensed, and acquire Board Certification in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.