Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Licensed Mental Health Counselors are mental health professionals who help their clients with a variety of mental or psychic issues from self-esteem and career issues to family relationships. Most of the states use the term Licensed Professional Counselor to consider a nearly identical professional license. Other commonly used terms for the same professionals are Licensed Counselor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

Licensed Mental Health Counselors are commonly needed to hold a Master's degree in professional counseling or a related field. Also the Licensed Mental Health counselors complete total 1000 to 3000 hours of professional work supervision depending on state requirements and must pass a licensure exam. Some states require at least 20 and 40 hours of continuing education credits to qualify for license renewal. Licensed Mental Health Counselors assist disordered people with personal, family, educational, mental health, and career problems. The duties of the counselors vary greatly depending on their occupational specialty, which is determined by the setting in which they work and the population they serve. Counselors of vocational, educational and schools provide individuals and groups with career and educational counseling. School licensed counselors assist students of all levels, from elementary school to postsecondary education.

The mental health counselors advocate for students and work with other individuals and organizations to promote the academic, career, personal, and social development of children and youth. School mental health counselors help students to evaluate their interests, abilities, talents, and personalities to develop realistic academic and career goals. Counselors normally use interviews, counseling sessions, interest and aptitude assessment tests, and other methods to evaluate and advise students. They also operate various career information centers and career education programs. Sometimes the mental health counselors work with students who have academic and social development problems or other special needs.

Elementary school counselors for mental health observe children during classroom and play activities and confer with their teachers and parents to evaluate the children's strengths, problems, or special needs. In conjunction with school teachers and administrators, the mental health counselors make sure that the curriculum addresses both the academic and the developmental needs of students. Elementary school mental health counselors do less vocational and academic counseling than high school counselors. High school counselors for mental health advise students regarding college majors, admission requirements, entrance exams, financial aid, trade or technical schools, and apprenticeship programs. The licensed mental health counselors also help students develop job search skills, such as resume writing and interviewing techniques. College career planning and further placement counselors assist alumni or students with career development and job-hunting techniques.

School mental health counselors at all levels help students to understand and deal with social, behavioral, and personal problems. These licensed mental health counselors emphasize preventive and developmental counseling to provide students with the life skills needed to deal with problems before they worsen and to enhance students' personal, social, and academic growth. Counselors of the school provide special services, including alcohol and drug prevention programs and conflict resolution classes. They also try to identify and evaluate cases of domestic abuse and other family problems that can affect a student's development.