Do you have a soft spot for individuals who are dealing with mental health issues? Do you seem to have what it takes to deal with these individuals when they are struggling with their skewed sense of reality? If so, then pursuing a career in mental health counseling may be a great career fit for you! Of course, prior to beginning the course work needed to obtain your bachelor's degree in mental health counseling, you will need to first obtain your high school diploma. Once you have selected a post-secondary learning institution to attend, you will be required to submit a copy of your ACT scores, a copy of your high school transcript, and letter of recommendation that will attest to your character and virtue. You will want to be sure that your transcript demonstrates your academic good standing in your core curriculum
A bachelor's degree program in pastoral counseling is intended to teach students to work as a mental health counselor or an addictions counselor. It is the goal of these individuals to help individuals who are struggling with psychological issues, emotional issues, or behavioral issues. Your formal training and knowledge will make it possible for you to pursue employment by opening your own counseling business, through a government agency, or through a privately owned company. In your capacity as a mental health counselor you will spend your time treating a wide variety of individuals who are suffering from a wide variety of mental disorders.
It will be your responsibility to diagnose what the patient is suffering from and to administer an appropriate treatment plan. Often, a treatment plan will include group therapy sessions as well as individual therapy sessions for the patient. It is common for mental health counselors to work with patients who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks, depressions, or even stress management. It will be important that in your capacity as a mental health counselor that you are capable of working effectively within a team. Depending upon the situation, you could be expected to work alongside a social worker, a physician, a psychiatrist, or other professionals in a related career field.
One possible employment avenue is for you to become an addictions counselor (sometimes referred to as a behavioral disorder counselor or a substance abuse counselor). In this capacity, you will be required to work with the addict as well as with their family members to help them cope with the situation. Mental health counselors should also be expected to work along with law enforcement individuals and other mental health professionals. You may also be required to work with a patient to transition them into a new chemical dependency program and to follow up with patients who have recently completed such a program. In the mental health counseling profession, you will need to be fully knowledgeable in the areas of psychology, human development, and other related mental health areas. If you aim to have this as your career path, then you have to complete specific course work, as well as clinical experiences.