Career Description

Mental health counselors work as primary mental health caregivers. They conduct mental health assessments, develop individualized treatment plans and lead therapy sessions. They may make treatment referrals as needed.

Academic Requirements

A mental health counselor requires a master’s degree and a state license. Bachelor’s degree programs can be completed in a variety of fields and usually take 4 years to complete, and master’s degree programs in counseling take 2-3 years. Common coursework includes individual and group therapy methods, psychological development, group dynamics and social and behavioral theory. An internship or other supervised practical work component is required before qualifying to take the licensing exam.