The Profession of Mental Health Counseling

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 
                           -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 
                                 -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.