What Degree Do Most Mental Health Counselors Have?

Mental health counseling is a health profession that requires a four-year college degree as a foundation. This degree is usually in counseling, psychology, or a related field. To work as a licensed professional mental health counselor, you'll likely need a master's degree. Clinical mental health counselors are distinguished by their balanced approach to well-being and psychopathology, which includes prevention, promotion, and positive social change in communities.

In most states, therapists must have graduate degrees and a license. A mental health counselor is not the same as a psychiatrist, who is a medical professional licensed to prescribe medications for diagnosed disorders. Mental health counselors work in the public and private sectors in a variety of settings, such as community centers, hospitals, public schools, universities, health agencies for veterans, outpatient centers, recovery centers, career centers, religious institutions and private practices. To become a licensed professional clinical counselor, you must obtain a master's degree from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Council for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The requirements for obtaining a counseling license vary by state but generally include completing a master's degree program in counseling from an accredited university, 3,000 to 5,000 hours of supervised graduate clinical experience with an initial license, and passing a state-recognized licensing exam. Mental health counselors combine psychotherapy with problem solving to help individuals, couples, families and groups deal with emotional and behavioral problems. Virginia schools offer counseling degrees at the master's and doctoral levels since most types of counseling licenses require a graduate degree. The Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is comprised of 60 credits and prepares program graduates to provide professional counseling services in a variety of mental health settings.

VCU also offers a graduate certificate in online professional counseling designed for applicants who already have a master's degree in counseling but need to complete additional courses for the LPC and several substance abuse counseling credentials in the state. Mental health counselors take a holistic, client-centered approach to providing care to their clients. They may specialize in grief, pastoral or school counseling about mental health or other mental health problems, concerns or disorders. In addition to obtaining the necessary qualifications for licensure, mental health counselors must also stay up-to-date on the latest research and treatments.

Steve Darity
Steve Darity

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

Leave Reply

All fileds with * are required