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Online Mental Health Counseling Degree

Confront a Wide Variety of Contemporary Mental Health Challenges with a Mental Health Counseling Online Degree

An online mental health counseling degree is a great stepping stone for you in your pursuit of a satisfying career solving baffling psychological issues of your clients. It's a dream career for people who're interested in human psychology and are passionate about contributing to the community with their understanding of human behavior and the various issues that impact mental health of individuals.

Trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques, mental health counselors diagnose and treat individuals, families and groups suffering from mental and emotional disorders and also use their professional expertise to promote optimal mental health. The issues they address include depression, addiction, suicidal impulses, stress related problems, extreme grief, substance abuse, eating disorders and others.

By pursuing online mental health counseling programs, you will study various mental health counseling theories and their application in clinical practice. The focus will be on developing vital theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to assess and treat mental and emotional disorders. You will also develop critical thinking and logical reasoning abilities along with effective communication skills in your online mental health counseling degree.

A professional qualification in mental health counseling will help you evaluate and diagnose mental health issues and provide effective counseling to individuals in clinics, hospitals, educational institutions and community centers. The skills that you gain will also help you play a preventive role in the spread of mental health issues by developing various mental health programs for specific target groups.

Additionally, online clinical mental health counseling degree programs are more suitable and flexible for working professionals and offer same quality education at significantly lower cost than their traditional campus based counterparts.

Curriculum of Online Mental Health Counseling Degree Programs

The online masters degree in mental health counseling is a comprehensive program that covers a wide array of courses including, introduction to mental health counseling, assessment methodologies and testing, crisis assessment and intervention, group counseling and psychotherapy, theories of psychotherapy, human growth and development, experimental learning and many others that will help you diagnose, treat and prevent the occurrence of psychological problems amongst your patients.

The mental health counseling programs are specifically designed to prepare mental health professionals for performing their activities in a manner that meets the highest standards of morality and ethical practice. You will also study the various legalities that govern the practice of mental health counseling and the responsibility and accountability that professionals have towards their patients.

A prime focus of the course is on students gaining a comprehensive understanding of the ethical guidelines of the American School Counselor Association and American Counseling Association. The degree also helps you develop the necessary skills required to understand and address the psychological problems of individuals by showing empathy and more importantly without giving offence.

In addition, many programs offer challenging fieldwork in mental health settings through the practicum and internship where you can apply your expertise and knowledge to real-world situations.

License Requirements for Mental Health Counselor

In order to practice mental health counseling, you will also need a license. For this to happen, it’s important that you pick an accredited online masters degree in mental health counseling and are able to fulfill all the conditions laid out by licensing authority. Go through the licensure requirements and guidelines at National Board of Certified Counselors to know how to prepare for a licensure in your state.

Mental health Counseling Programs and Career Growth

The employment settings for people with an online mental health counseling degree are varied. You can be a mental health counselor in a prison or a probation department. You can even take up the job of a counselor in a community college and public/private school. You can also join a private clinic, hospice program or an employee assistance program in corporate setting. Employment opportunities also abound in social service agencies, in the government at the local, state and federal level and even family service agencies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment figures for mental health counselors touched 120,300; it predicts that this field will grow by 36 percent over the next decade. This growth is prompted by the fact that mental health counselors are emerging as the perfect affordable alternative to expensive psychiatrists and psychologists. There is absolutely no doubt that the career prospects for students with mental health counseling degree are bright and will keep improving through this decade.

Get Set for a Career with Excellent Salary Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage of mental health counselors in May 2012 was $43,290. Alaska was the top paying state for this occupation, with an annual mean wage of $ 56,300, while Minnesota stood fifth at $49,390. Also, the highest paying Metropolitan area was Mankato-North Mankato, MN with a mean annual wage of $67,140. The salaries you will earn depend a lot on your qualification, experience, the organization you are working for and also your geographic location. As you keep gaining experience, your chances of earning a better salary package increase proportionally.

Future Trends in Mental Health Counseling

Think about a scenario where you are face to face with your patient not in the real world but in the virtual world. Yes, it’s increasingly looking as if that’s the future of mental health counseling. What’s more, we might also be looking at a future where new research and assessment tools will allow practitioners to offer more results driven treatment. The challenge for mental health counselors will be to keep up to date with the latest technological advancement in their fields and how these can be adopted to offer better services to their patients.

If you’re planning on getting an online mental health counseling degree, you will find the best of them at eDegreeSteps. You are assured of enrolling for a program that is reputed and helps you make the most out of your career choice.

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