Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed professional counselors help people deal with problems or conflicts they are unable to solve alone, including substance abuse; family, parenting, and marriage conflicts; managing stress; depression; suicidal thoughts; career concerns; and problems with self-esteem. Mental health counselors collect information through interviews, observations, and tests, and then decide how best to treat patients. The counselor may work with individuals, couples, families, or in group sessions of people with similar problems. They work closely with other mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, to care for patients.
Most licensed professional counselors work in private practice, counseling centers, group practices, family service centers, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), hospitals, and government agencies. A 40-hour workweek is standard, with some evening and weekend hours required for the convenience of clients.
Job Outlook Growth in this field is faster than average. These professionals may be in even greater demand if present trends such as high divorce rate, alcoholism, drug abuse, and child abuse continue.
Length of Training/Requirements
The minimum education requirement is a master's degree of arts or sciences. A doctoral degree is rapidly becoming required in the field. After completing course requirements, individuals must complete a years internship before graduating. Then an additional Three years of Supervision before Licensure is granted.