The Profession of Mental Health Counseling



      counselors for private and public practice.
      treatment team in Office of Mental Health (OMH) agencies, where they provide
      assessment, treatment planning and psychotherapy.
      education, training and clinical practice.
      membership organization that represents the mental health counseling profession in New
      York. Professional membership in NYMHCA requires a Master's degree in
      counseling or a closely related mental health field and adherence to national standards
      for clinical practice.


Graduate education and clinical training prepare mental health counselors to provide a full range of services for individuals, couples, families, adolescents and children. The core areas of mental health programs approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs include:

-Diagnosis and psychopathology
-Psychotherapy
-Psychological testing and assessment
-Professional orientation
-Research and program evaluation
-Group counseling
-Human growth and development
-Counseling theory
-Social and cultural foundations
-Lifestyle and career development
-Supervised practicum and internship

Licensure requirements for mental health counselors are equivalent to those for clinical social workers and marriage and family therapists - two other disciplines that require a master's degree for independent status.


A licensed mental health counselor in New York has met or exceeded the following professional qualifications:

Earned at least a Master's degree in mental health counseling or a closely
      related mental health discipline of at least 60 graduate hours.
Completed a minimum of 3,000 hours of post Master's clinical work under
      the supervision of a licensed mental health professional
Passed a licensure examination.
Mental health counselors practice in a variety of settings, including
      independent practice, community agencies, managed behavioral health
      care organizations, integrated delivery systems, hospitals, employee
      assistance programs and substance abuse treatment centers.
Mental health counselors are highly skilled professionals who provide a full
      range of services including:

-Assessment and diagnosis
-Psychotherapy
-Treatment planning and utilization review
-Brief and solution-focused therapy
-Alcoholism and substance abuse treatment
-Psycho-educational and prevention programs
-Crisis management

They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical problem solving approach that creates a dynamic and efficient path for change and problem resolution.

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