Do Mental Health Counselors Diagnose? An Expert's Perspective

Mental health counselors are trained professionals who specialize in the evaluation, improvement, treatment, modification, or adaptation of behavior, character, development, emotion, personality, or relationship. They are dedicated to the optimal functioning of individuals, families and organizations. Currently, 32 states explicitly authorize Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) to diagnose mental illness, while 16 states do not mention that authority in their statutes. Indiana and Maine explicitly deny LPCs the authority to diagnose mental illness.

Assemblymember Harry Bronson (WROC) is sponsoring a bill that would give mental health counselors the ability to diagnose patients in New York State. Mental health counselors use assessment tools, provide mental health and psychotherapy counseling, clinical evaluation and evaluation, treatment planning and case management, prevention services, discharge and aftercare. They help patients develop skills and strategies to address issues such as parenting and professional skills; problems in communication and functioning among adolescents and the family; relationship, marital and relationship problems; and preventing the onset or recurrence of alcohol and toxic substances abuse. The State Board of Mental Health Professionals cannot direct you to a mental health counselor.

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. Mental health counselors demonstrate concern for the short- and long-term well-being of individuals, couples, families, groups and organizations. They use standard mental health evaluation and evaluation protocols, develop patients' psychosocial histories, write treatment plans, document patient progress, facilitate consultations and referrals with other providers, and implement discharge plans.Mental health counseling is an important part of providing quality care for those suffering from mental illness. It is essential that mental health counselors have the ability to diagnose patients in order to provide the best possible care.

The proposed bill in New York State would give mental health counselors the authority to diagnose patients in order to provide more comprehensive care for those suffering from mental illness.Mental health counselors are at the forefront of the national effort to address addiction, provide mental health counseling to vulnerable populations such as veterans challenged by PTSD or older people facing depression, and providing trauma-based therapy to teens affected by abuse and negligence. With the proposed bill in New York State giving them the authority to diagnose patients, they will be able to provide even better care for those suffering from mental illness.

Steve Darity
Steve Darity

Certified food scholar. General coffee fan. Unapologetic twitter fan. Amateur coffeeaholic. General web nerd.

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