Why Choose a Mental Health Counselor?

  - The majority of national behavioral health managed care companies reimburse mental health counselors 
     for services they provide.

  - The median cost per session for mental health counselors is about $85, compared to a median cost of $100 
     and $145 for psychologists and psychiatrists respectively.

  -  All 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia license mental health counselors. 

  -  Mental health counselors adhere to a rigorous code of ethics. 

  -  Mental health counseling is a distinct profession with national standards for education, training and clinical 
     practice. The New York Mental Health Counselors Association (NYMHCA) is the professional 
     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 

                     -  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 at least equivalent to those for clinical social workers and marriage and family therapists - two other disciplines that require a Master's degree for independent practice. 

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 

In today's managed care environment, mental health counselors are uniquely qualified to meet the challenges of

 providing high quality care in a cost-effective manner. Mental health counselors provide flexible, consumer-oriented

 therapy. They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical problem solving approach that creates a dynamic and

 efficient path for change and problem resolution.