A Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling helps counselors work with their clients to identify and address the underlying causes of the challenges they face. Whether issues present as substance abuse, family problems, traumatic stress or other, counselors with this advanced degree are well-trained to look beyond the immediate manifestation to reveal the core issues.
Mental health counseling can be a very fulfilling career, and it also gives counselors some job flexibility, allowing them leeway to set their own schedules. With a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling, professionals can expect a wide range of career opportunities throughout the nation. And counselors may work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including community organizations, support groups, offices, and in their own homes. Career options are geographically diverse, too, so you can work in cities or rural areas. Overall, the field of mental health counseling is growing steadily, with an estimated employment growth rate of 20 percent a year, according to “U.S, News & World Report.”[i]
Wherever you choose to practice, attaining a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Antioch University can help you succeed. A wide variety of career opportunities and specialties are available for mental health counselors with master’s degrees.
Career opportunities abound
After they are licensed to practice in their states, graduates from this program can expect employment opportunities like:
- Mental Health Counselors. Natural disasters and war are among leading causes of mental health issues, according to the World Health Organization[ii]. Mental health counselors deal with those challenges, as well as a multitude of other mental health issues, including substance abuse, family counseling, stress management, aging and self-esteem. Practice locations include traditional healthcare settings as well as colleges, local government, religious organizations, and corporations.
- Substance Abuse Counselors. These professionals know that drug and alcohol abuse are the symptoms of deeper problems. They must build trust with their clients before they can begin to address these deep issues and help clients modify their behaviors. Work settings are wide-ranging, including mental health and community centers, prisons, and private practice.
- Military Service Personnel Counselors. Military personnel don’t want to be seen as the weak link in their team. That makes them reluctant to seek help, even when they and their family need it. Military counselors must understand this mindset and find ways to help service members – and their dependents – deal with a range of challenges that include deployment anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance abuse and other conditions. Military service personnel counselors also help members of the military and veterans navigate a complex veterans’ services system. Opportunities are available as a civilian and as a member of the U.S. military.
- Marriage and Family Therapists. The group dynamics of marriage and family therapy make it particularly effective in identifying the root of problems quickly. By talking with family members in a group or individually, therapists may ask the probing questions that help clients identify the underlying issues that led to their current problems. Then, the counselor can help them develop new ways of dealing with those problems. Counselors may work in private practice or mental health centers.
- Rehabilitation Counselors. This profession combines mental health counseling with knowledge of disability and rehabilitation. Since it was founded as a distinct profession in the 1920s, rehabilitation counselors have helped people cope with disabilities, including those caused by accidents, medical conditions and birth defects, with the goal of helping them function independently and hold jobs.
These aren’t the only opportunities. Mental illness is a major challenge in America, but only about half of those with mental challenges seek treatment. The poor understanding of mental health issues throughout society contributes to a suicide rate that is twice that of homicides, according to the National Institute of Mental Health[iii]. Mental health counselors may work directly with patients, as well as with organizations and educational institutions to provide relief, develop counseling programs and educate mental health counseling students. These efforts help extend optimum mental health care and guidance throughout all sectors of society.
Take the first step now
To learn more about starting your counseling career with an online or on-campus Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, contact Antioch University online or by calling (855) 792-1049 to speak with an Admissions Adviser.