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Mental Health Counselor

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Master's degree

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What They Do

Mental Health Counselors Career Video

About This Career

Counsels and advises individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health, with an emphasis on prevention. May help individuals deal with a broad range of mental health issues, such as those associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; or aging.

This career is part of the Human Services cluster Counseling and Mental Health Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Maintains confidentiality of records relating to clients' treatment.
  • Encourages clients to express their feelings and discuss what is happening in their lives, helping them to develop insight into themselves or their relationships.
  • Assesses patients for risk of suicide attempts.
  • Prepares and maintains all required treatment records and reports.
  • Counsels clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.
  • Guides clients in the development of skills or strategies for dealing with their problems.
  • Performs crisis interventions to help ensure the safety of the patients and others.
  • Performs crisis interventions with clients.
  • Fills out and maintains client-related paperwork, including federal- and state-mandated forms, client diagnostic records, and progress notes.
  • Develops and implements treatment plans based on clinical experience and knowledge.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Behavior Analyst
  • Behavior Support Specialist (BSS)
  • Case Manager — Deals with individuals involved in accident claims to ensure that the individual receives the best possible options.
  • Clinician
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Counselor
  • Mental Health Specialist — Performs an assessment of the patient's mental state and then may recommend a treatment or refer the patient to a psychiatrist who can also prescribe medicine.
  • Mental Health Therapist — Works with clients who are dealing with a range of emotional or psychological conditions.
  • Mental Health Program Specialist


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733