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What Are the Steps in Becoming a Mental Health Counselor?

Question by Jesus: What are the steps in becoming a mental health counselor?
What classes do you take in college?

Best answer:

Answer by jannsody
A licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) typically has a master’s degree from a program accredited by CACREP. Some U.S. states use the term “licensed professional counselor” (LPC), however, both professional titles require a master’s degree.

Just an fyi that the counseling/social work (and nursing) field is supposed to have a high burn-out rate.

With regard to schooling (for any field), please do *avoid* those private For-profit schools such as devry, ITT tech, strayer, U of P, capella, argosy, regis, pima medical, keiser, Everest, concorde career and others. Their course credits usually do NOT transfer to other schools, even if the for-profit school is regionally accredited as opposed to only nationally accredited.

EDIT: I just wanted to clarify that a licensed psychologist, on the other hand, typically has a doctorate (PhD or PsyD).

A licensed-clinical social worker (LCSW) has a master’s degree in social work (MSW) from a program accredited by the CSWE (council on social work education). The LCSW may administer psychotherapy (“talk therapy”) and cognitive-behavioral therapy, how one’s thoughts affect behavior.

A master’s degree in counseling or social work (of even master’s in psychology) involves getting a passing score for the clinical fieldwork placements while under the supervision of a clinical supervisor and having an actual patient caseload.

You may want to consider volunteering for a “crisis helpline” of which the telephone volunteer engages in “active listening” of the caller as opposed to counseling or giving advice. The “active listening” includes reflecting feelings and empathizing with the caller.

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