If you are considering a career in helping others, mental health counseling is a fantastic role to help those with mental health issues have a place to talk about their feelings and fears and begin to battle their mental illness. There are many things to consider before making this career move, and here are a few of those considerations if a career in mental health counseling is on your radar.
Do I Have the Relevant Experience?
Having experience working with those with mental health problems is a big plus before you begin a career as a mental health counselor. This could be in a variety of settings, but understanding what this entails can really help you make up your mind about becoming a counselor. Perhaps you can find a paid or unpaid job working with a mental health charity, or you may want to work as a health care assistant on a ward with mental health patients if you really want to get hands-on experience.
Do I Have the Time to Study?
Mental health is a really big issue, and one that takes a lot of effort to understand, therefore this degree can take up a lot of your spare time. If you are working full time, you may not be able to commit to going into the university campus each week. You may have other commitments too, such as your children, and this can make studying even more difficult. If this is a career you really want to get into, the Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling can help you study from the comfort of your own home. You will get the same degree as you would studying on campus and you will have support just as you would on campus.
Have I Got the Right Interpersonal Skills for The Job?
A career in mental health counseling is not an easy one, but it can be extremely rewarding. As with any other healthcare career, you need to have the ability to switch off after work and not take what you have seen back home with you. This can be tough and obviously we all have times where we may worry about a patient, but you need to be able to deal with this in a professional way. Empathy is a great interpersonal skill to have as a counselor and will ensure your patient wants to keep working with you. While you may never completely understand how it feels to be in their shoes, you can empathize with them and this can come through in what you say to them and your body language.
Becoming a mental health counselor takes time and commitment, but if you believe you have the right skill set for the job, then it is a great career to have. Studying online may be a great option if you already have a busy life, meaning you can gain your degree and maintain your busy lifestyle at the same time.
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