Mental health counseling is a specialization in psychology that helps counselors assist people suffering from behavioral or mental issues resolve them. Mental health counselors help patients of all genders and of all ages who are having behavioral or mental issues. Examples of issues which mental health counselors address in their field include addictions, trauma, relationship problems, help reduce worsening of mental health disorders, school or work problems and help in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses (Kapur, 2017). A mental health counselor may work in an office or in clients preferred location based on which method will give better results to the patient.
A patient can be an individual, parent and their children, workers, couples, or friends as mental health issues are caused by family-based or social and environmental factors. After giving the service, a mental health counselor tracks the improvement of the patient’s condition by collaborating with other social workers such marriage counselors or school therapists who are near the patient most of the times.
Mental health counselors do not rely on conventional medical treatment approaches but instead they work to encourage their patients to have a positive attitude towards life by making good choices. A metal health expert encourages the patient to draft a model of life that will lead to their general wellness. The determination of the approach the mental health counselor will make depends on the answers the patient give after an interview or being observed for a certain period of time to access the behavior. The expert may also prescribe additional tests when the results do not lead to an empirical conclusion.
A program that has been accredited is the one which has been reviewed by external quality control body to ensure that the content meets a threshold of set standards. Institutional accreditation refers to the review process which a school offering a specified course has undergone to ascertain the educational accomplishments, financial health and educational quality are adequate to offer a given program.
Before pursuing a career in mental health students should ensure that the school they chose has an accreditation to offer counseling degrees. Accrediting bodies defer from state to state and they include;
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs The council gives accreditation to schools offering counseling degrees. The body approves fields such as family, marriage or couple counseling, addiction, student affairs and career counseling. A student joining a school with CACREP accreditation is assured of the following;
It offers accreditation to schools offering counseling degrees by reviewing individual academic units of a given degree. The body also accredits individual counseling programs and is a preferred body for mental health counseling program.
Differences between Bachelor’s, Master’s, And Doctorate Mental Health Degrees The level of degree a mental health counselor holds determines how their scope of work will entail. Undergraduate degree holders in Mental Health Counseling work in entry level careers. They have introductory knowledge in courses like Sociology and Lifespan Development. Such counselors may work as case managers for patients who are recovering from mental illnesses. Master’s degree holders are more inclined to mental health counseling. They have knowledge of various techniques of counseling, mental health diagnostics and treatment planning. A graduate of this level are licensed to become mental health counselors. PhD level mental health counseling graduates are research oriented. After completion of the PhD program in Mental Health Counseling, one can conduct independent research projects, become a leader in mental health facilities, teach junior students or engage in advanced counseling activities (Bor et al, 2016)
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